THE AMERICAN KRATOM ASSOCIATION DELIVERS “OPEN LETTER” TO ACTING DEA ADMINISTRATOR ROBERT W. PATTERSON ASKING DEA TO DO AN “INDEPENDENT 8-FACTOR ANALYSIS ON KRATOM”
“Over 18,000 Letter Co-Signers Request 2nd Opinion from DEA on Biased FDA Claims Against Kratom. AKA asks DEA to Conduct an Independent 8-Factor Analysis to Test the Credibility of any potential FDA Scheduling Recommendation on Kratom”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — December 7, 2017 – The American Kratom Association (AKA) delivered its “Open Letter” to Acting DEA Administrator Robert W. Patterson, with over 18,000 co-signers from across the United States, asking the DEA to fulfill its statutory mandate to conduct a “thorough and independent 8-Factor Analysis on kratom to test the credibility of any potential scheduling recommendation submitted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
Dave Herman, chairman of the AKA, said: “The FDA has chosen to demonize kratom when it offers a safe alternative to opioids for Americans to manage pain. If the DEA accepts any FDA scheduling recommendation to ban kratom as a schedule I drug, more people will die in the current opioid crisis. The American Kratom Association supports appropriate FDA regulations to ensure product quality to protect consumers from adulterated or contaminated products, but the FDA wants it regulated as a drug knowing that will effectively ban it. We want the DEA to exercise its statutory obligation to conduct an independent 8-Factor Analysis and, if they do, they will reject this overreach of regulatory power by the FDA.”
Addiction expert Dr. Jack Henningfield, vice president of Research, Health Policy, and Abuse Liability at PinneyAssociates, said: “Recently there have been reports of kratom-associated deaths in the media. It is important to understand, and the FDA’s own data confirms this, that there has not been a single verified report of an acute poisoning death that we can say with certainty was caused by kratom use. Most of the kratom-associated deaths occurred in people who had various pre-existing illnesses and/or were taking multiple substances with known serious health risks that may have been significant contributors to or causes of the reported deaths. The contribution of kratom, if any, to these deaths, is not known.”
Dr. Henningfield added: “We need every asset to dig our way out of the deep hole that is the opioid crisis. We need to find a path for kratom to continue to realize its benefits to help keep kratom available as a path away from opioids, and to not replace the legal marketplace with the black market that will surely emerge in the vacuum of a lawful market. It makes no sense to take kratom out of the equation and risk avoidable opioid epidemic deaths.”
In the “Open Letter” to Robert W. Patterson, the Acting Director of the DEA, the AKA emphasized the following:
• If kratom is banned, opioid deaths will increase.
• Kratom is an alternative to opioids, not a gateway to opioid abuse. • The AKA strongly supports appropriate FDA regulations to protect consumers.
AKA pointed out that it has delivered an independent 8-Factor Analysis that mirrors the same statutory requirements that should be applied to kratom as should have been used by the FDA, and that analysis concluded that kratom has been responsibly used by consumers for centuries, is not dangerously addictive, and is not an appropriate candidate for scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act.
Dave Herman added the following statement: “The plain fact is kratom is used by millions of Americans to manage pain as a part of their personal choice for their health and well-being. The FDA staff wants to expand its regulatory authority to strip Americans of their personal freedoms to make those choices, and they are hell-bent to criminalize kratom using false data and cooked-up stories to inflame public opinion and mislead Congress, state legislatures, and local government officials into a stampede to ban kratom. We trust the DEA will fulfill its statutory duty and reject any FDA scheduling recommendation for kratom.”
The American Kratom Association, a consumer-based non-profit organization, is here to set the record straight, giving voice to those suffering and protecting our rights to possess and consume kratom. AKA represents tens of thousands of Americans, each of whom have an unique story to tell about the virtues of kratom and its positive effects on their lives. www.americankratom.org
MEDIA CONTACTS: Pete Candland, Executive Director of the AKA, (703) 608-4649, firstname.lastname@example.org