By: Philip | 11-15-2017 | News
Photo credit:

FDA Falsely Claims 36 Deaths Related to Kratom

Days ago the NY Post released an article that relied heavily on completely inaccurate information supplied by the DEA regarding the plant kratom. Today it seems the FDA is jumping on the bandwagon. Bear in mind, that we are in the midst of an opiate epidemic and <a href="">billionaire pharma executives are being indicted</a> for the part they played in creating the situation we are in today. It's not just the <a href="">pharmaceutical companies themselves</a> who have been held accountable for the current opiate epidemic resulting in thousands of deaths per year.

The FDA didn't think twice before approving Oxycontin as a 12-hour drug. They didn't think twice about allowing preteens access to the drug that is colloquially known as "redneck heroin." They are, however, very concerned about the use of a plant that is related to coffee. Kratom is related to coffee, but as far as can be seen, it's safety profile is much more favorable even than caffeine. <a href="">Despite being defended by doctors, pharmacologists and clinical researchers,</a> kratom has been under attack for years now. What is most frustrating is how baseless most of the claims being made are. Regardless how many times a factual error is debunked, like a bad penny, it is bound to show back up again.

According to Reuters, The FDA said it was aware of 36 deaths associated with kratom. Now, if you've been keeping up, you'd know that two recent deaths attributed to kratom were debunked by experts in forensic toxicology. In addition, the 36 number is inflated from the claim of "15 deaths" that the DEA offered up in the NY Post article. At present, there are no known deaths which are solely attributable or even causally linked to kratom ingestion. "Fake news" about kratom has, however, been on the rise. Just last month, <a href="">a coroner claimed "17 deaths"</a> in Georgia alone last year from kratom.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">FACT: 1175 docs, veterans, scientists &amp; cops told DEA they don’t want a <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#kratom</a> ban. <a href=""></a> See infographic: <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Paul Kemp (@healthseeker) <a href="">April 7, 2017</a></blockquote>

<script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

The FDA is owed an 8-factor analysis on the potentially addictive nature of kratom. Before they had a chance to, however, Johns Hopkins University professor and renowned addiction authority, Dr. Jack Henningfield, has placed the likelihood of kratom as a drug of abuse in a category similar to nutmeg or St. John's Wort.

“At a time when we have hit a critical point in the opioid epidemic, the increasing use of kratom as an alternative or adjunct to opioid use is extremely concerning,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">How about the FDA approving OxyContin for preteens? Ritalin and adderal mimicking the effects of cocaine and methamphetamine wasn&#39;t enough?</p>&mdash; Timothy Tingley (@timothy_tingley) <a href="">August 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

<script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

There are thousands of people who are currently using kratom to replace their pain medications and thousands more who have used it successfully to wean off illicit opiates or opioids. Mr. Gottlieb is correct, we are in the midst of an epidemic. If a certain plant has resulted in thousands of successes and no deaths, why is it being repeatedly demonized?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">amazing letter in Defense of Kratom by Atty Jane K. Babin must read! <a href="">@DEAHQ</a> <a href=""></a> thanks <a href="">@BotanicalEdu</a> <a href="">@GoodLookingLosr</a></p>&mdash; Brian (@brian_bousquet) <a href="">January 12, 2017</a></blockquote>

<script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Reuters notes that the FDA "declined to say over what period the 36 deaths occurred" they did however direct reporters to file a Freedom of Information Act request to access the data.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">He also did this great presentation not long ago.<a href=""></a></p>&mdash; 😁Drew Turner😁 (@DrewTurner73) <a href="">November 9, 2017</a></blockquote>

<script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

According to the Reuters write-up, the DEA said last year "roughly 30 deaths have been reported since 2009, with most occurring since 2014." As mentioned before, addiction researcher Dr. Jack Henningfield of Johns Hopkins University and forensic toxicology experts <a href="">Dr. Jane C. Babin and Dr. Karl Ebner have thoroughly debunked the claim</a> of "15 deaths." 9 of the 15 figure were found to be attributed to a research chemical that was used to adulterate a kratom product in Sweden. In the other six cases contraindicated drug combinations or other dangerous drugs such as morphine, benzodiazepines and an over-the-counter substance similar to amphetamines were also present in the bodies of dead "attributed to kratom."

Deaths from opiates and opioids topped 33,000 last year. Meanwhile, we have this plant that is the subject of dozens of clinical and laboratory trials showing it to be <a href="">immunostimulant, antioxidant and a possible therapy for treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain, fibromyalgia</a> as well as an aid to those attempting to wean off addiction. So, on the one hand, we have something we KNOW to be so deadly as to be classified a "public health emergency." On the other hand, we have a plant with multiple health benefits that (unlike, say caffeine) has not one death that can be causally linked to its use.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Is the Kratom plant the key to fighting opioid addiction? Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; HLN Weekend Express (@WeekendExp) <a href="">October 29, 2017</a></blockquote>

<script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script>

Forbes, Scientific American, NY Times, Atlantic and others have spoken glowingly of the potentials of this plant-based medicine. It's been studied by scientists all over the globe. Hundreds of laboratory trials and clinical tests suggest it appears to be safe and effective. Then there's the fact that it has been used safely for hundreds of years in its native Southeast Asia. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta even went so far as to say kratom could be an answer to the opiate crisis. So what's to do? You miss all the shots you don't take.

Balls in your court, FDA.

Share this article
Thoughts on the above story? Comment below!
0 comment/s
What do you think about this article?
Comment *

Recent News

Popular Stories