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?'

Why Is The FDA Commissioner Spreading Misinformation About Kratom?

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.

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.


Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Odyssey Template: 25 Questions For My State's Elected Officials

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We fought for these ideals, we shouldn't settle for less."


Whether you're interested in how democracy works, how stop signs get installed, or anything in between, this is your opportunity to ask questions. This is your opportunity to show current and future members of your community what, in your opinion, is most important as your town, city, and state are trying to put the best, most effective practices forward.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.


The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.


For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Who is ready to fa-la-lall in love with holiday-themed sex toys that will make you jingle all the way? If you're biting your lip and your legs are quivering with excitement, hold on to Santa's sleigh reins because there are so many ways to celebrate the season.

Festive sex toys are here to bring you some holiday cheer. From candy cane flavored everything to bright red bows, there is fun for everyone. Feel free to treat yourself or add these 15 festive sex toys to your wish list.

Keep Reading... Show less

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.


When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Reasons 'Hubie Halloween' Is A Must-Watch Halloween Film For October Movie Nights

Just knowing it's an Adam Sandler movie, you can assume it's funny but very ridiculous.


"Hubie Halloween" was just released on October 7. It follows Hubie Dubois in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween. He patrols the town to make sure people are safe. He's the kindest and caring person in the town and also the most bullied.

This poor man is scared of everything. He screams when he sees scary decorations and when people prank him. Definitely a laugh, but when I watched it, I felt bad for him. The one person that pulled at my heartstrings is Violet Valentine, a woman he had a crush on since high school. She's super nice to him and stands up for him when she can. It was great seeing someone, other than his grandma, on Hubie's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

While this is my first ever presidential election, I have voted before in others, including at least one other "off" year election. I can honestly say that one of the things that made voting for the first time interesting was that I personally don't really identify myself with either party completely.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

7 Ways You Can Volunteer Virtually In The Middle Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

Use that anxious energy from dreading the rest of 2020, and put it towards volunteering


Life has shifted from face-to-face to face-to-screen-to-face this past year. There's no need, though, to wait out the pandemic to make a difference from home. Rather than spending the unexpected free time the rest of this year dreading each day, use that same energy towards volunteering from the comfort of your bed or couch or patio.

Here are seven ways you can volunteer safely and virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Hilarious Netflix Specials To Binge If You Need A Laugh In 2020

Netflix specials are single-handedly keeping my spirits high.


I cannot tell you the number of times that I have re-watched these comedy specials over the course of the last seven months.

What I can tell you is how absolutely great these comedians are. They bring me joy when I am sad, bored, or wanting to tune into something while I work on school or my virtual job.

Keep Reading... Show less

"Emily in Paris" is one of the newest Netflix original series and it began streaming on the platform on October 2.

I knew this was going right to the top of my watch list because I have a serious girl crush on Lily Collins, it's from the creator of "Sex and the City", and the plot feeds directly into my "Mamma Mia" fantasy of just hopping on a plane and killing it in a whole new country. Not going to lie, the series has its slightly cringe-y moments, but that honestly makes me love it even more.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Songs We All Need To Add To Our Fall Roadtrip Playlist

This songs are guaranteed to make you feel like the main character this fall.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

One of the best feelings is driving with the windows down. Listening to the right song makes that experience even better. If you want to feel like the main character in your own teen movie, listen to these feel-good classic songs right away.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments