Why Is The FDA Commissioner Spreading Misinformation About Kratom?
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why Is The FDA Commissioner Spreading Misinformation About Kratom?

Isn't it suspicious that PZM21, a synthetic compound derived from Kratom leaves, has been developed by researchers while the FDA Commissioner claims that the plant is a 'Potential Killer?'

2896
Why Is The FDA Commissioner Spreading Misinformation About Kratom?
nbcnews.com

On August 30th, 2016, the DEA announced its intent to schedule Kratom as a schedule 1 substance on September 30th, 2016. This was met with heavy opposition by Kratom users and former Heroin addicts who swear by the medical potential of this plant.

As a result of this rash decision by the DEA, the Botanical Education Alliance started the congressional-letter writing campaign, encouraging users to contact their state's local officials. With that, 51 members of congress (most notably Bernie Sanders) signed a letter that was sent to the DEA, asking the federal agency to halt the emergency push to ban Kratom.

Then, in an unlikely shift of events, the DEA withdrew its notice of intent to schedule Kratom, instead choosing to open an official public comment period for U.S. citizens to share their experiences on using the plant as a medical treatment. Following this, the DEA requested the FDA to expedite scientific research.

Before the FDA commissioner would publically comment on Kratom, Donald Trump made a long anticipated decision, to declare the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. After this declaration, as most would expect, attention turned to the pharmaceutical companies (like the Sackler family) that have been reaping in massive profits from the opioid crisis, which likely sent them reeling to find an alternative to the substances they currently prescribe, in order to avoid losing profits. And to no surprise, news articles were released on the day of President Trump's declaration, about what safer alternatives could be used to combat the opioid crisis. One of these happens to be PZM21, a synthetic compound derived from the Kratom leaf.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but shouldn't Scott Gottlieb's ties to the twenty health care companies he has worked with in the past raise suspicion? And isn't it strange that PZM21 has been developed by researchers, while the FDA commissioner claims that it is a 'potential killer'? Something is amiss here, and I believe many others feel the same way.

Perhaps we should examine his ties to Big Pharma, with companies such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Cephalon (a company he helped secure more Fentanyl for a powerful painkiller product in December 2006) and GSK, in order to understand why he would make such an unprecedented and ignorant statement. Such ignorance I feel, should give President Trump the incentive to remove him from office. Unfortunately however, Trump's lack of political experience likely led to the nomination of someone like Scott Gottlieb, who is arguably unqualified for his position.

Now, to focus on the FDA's claim that 36 individuals have died from using Kratom; a majority of these deaths were due to drugs being combined with Kratom, and not the plant itself. For example, nine cases of fatal intoxication from adulterated Kratom in Sweden, was due to a substance sold as Kratom by the company ("Krypton") , which was contaminated with Odesmethyltramadol, a metabolite of the opioid Tramadol. This cluster of deaths were later confirmed to result from the opioid adulterant, not mitragynine, and in each case, additional drugs (up to eight) and/or alcohol were detected. Autopsy findings were described as “non-specific” and most cases “included brain and lung edema and congestion of internal organs.” Non-specific edema (swelling) differs significantly from hemorrhagic pulmonary edema, or bleeding from the lungs.

Some other examples include:

. A death caused by polyhexidrine (a stimulant related to methamphetamine), but reported as Kratom-associated because mitragynine was also detected in combination with morphine, acetaminophen, and promethazine.

. A fatality in which mitragynine, dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine, temazepam (a benzodiazepine), and 7-amino-clonazepam (a benzodiazepine metabolite), were detected in the body of a teenager with a history of heroin abuse.

These and other reports were reviewed by Dr. Henningfield in the 8-factor analysis submitted to the DEA in opposition to placing mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Henningfield concluded from these reports that “[w]e do not rule out the possibility that there have been overdose deaths involving extremely high doses of Kratom; however, to date, we have been unable to document a single death in which Kratom overdose can reasonably be concluded to have been “causal” in the death.” It should also be noted that while non-specific pulmonary edema was observed in many if not all.

Now, even though a majority of these 36 deaths were caused by drug combinations and not by Kratom itself, should we still be concerned? Yes, absolutely. However, it is the honesty of vendors and companies to ensure that their Kratom-containing products should not be mixed with any other substances.

Rather than banning Kratom, the FDA should regulate it as a dietary supplement, and punish any dishonest companies such as ("Krypton"), in order to ensure the Public's safety, Is the FDA commissioner capable of doing this? I have my doubts, and although these 36 deaths should be taken into account, isn't it hypercritical to ignore the dangers of another plant such as Tobacco, which is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths each year?

It is time for President Trump to do the right thing, and remove Scott Gottlieb from office, before our country descends into the 21st Century's version of Reefer Madness.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

How I Went From Pro-Life To Pro-Choice

"No one can make you do this."

3036
msra.org

I was raised in a strict, Irish-Catholic family. My parents and grandparents, even though I love them, instilled many beliefs in me that I came to disagree with as I grew older, things like "homosexuality is weird and wrong." I eventually rejected many of these ideas once I began growing into myself, but there was always one belief I let ring true well into my teen years: abortion is the murder of an unborn baby.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Trip to The City of Dreams

In a city that never sleeps, with constant bustling and hustling in the streets, my friend and I venture out to see what the "Big Apple" is all about.

1809
Trip to The City of Dreams

There are so many ways for one to describe the beautiful city of New York. It is breathtaking, exciting and alive all in one. Taking a trip here was absolutely the adventure of a lifetime for me and I'm so grateful to have gotten to see all there is to do in the "City of Dreams" with one of my best friends.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

a God story.

testimony.

6546
a God story.

many of you have someone in your life you admire the most. a parent, a superhero, a celebrity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Religion

God, What's Next?

What you're probably asking yourself during your season of waiting.

5397
God, What's Next?

We spend most of our lives waiting for something. Maybe you're waiting for a job opportunity to open up, or for a professor to email you back because you procrastinated on your assignment, or maybe you're waiting for the next chapter in your life to start. Whatever the case maybe be for you I want to let you know that your season of waiting is not in vain! It may seem like it but your season of waiting is a crucial part in your walk with Christ. You may not have a walk with Christ and I encourage you to be open to starting a relationship with him but even your time of waiting isn't in vain. Waiting is a hard thing to do but it is so worth it in the end. The Bible even tells us this in Ecclesiastes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments