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Kratom in the news, Top Experts Reject FDA Statements

Focus On Science Rather Than Rhetoric

Top Experts Reject FDA Statements that Compounds in Natural Botanical Are Dangerously Addictive, Similar to "Narcotics Like Opioids" or Pose Claimed Death Risks.


Paula N. Brown, Ph.D., adjunct professor of biology, University of British Columbia

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four of the world's leading kratom researchers today called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to cease the agency's scientifically unsupported attacks on the coffee-like herb kratom. The scientists strongly believe that the current body of credible research on the actual effects of kratom demonstrates that it is not dangerously addictive, nor is it similar to "narcotics like opioids" with respect to "addiction" and "death" as stated by the FDA in its public advisories and subsequent warnings. It is the scientists' position that a ban on kratom could result in a "serious public health threat" as consumers are pushed to dangerous alternatives in the black market, while at the same time halting much needed scientific research on the risks and benefits of kratom and its alkaloids.

The four kratom experts organized today's news conference and were not paid to participate in it. The scientists are: Marc T. Swogger, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center; Oliver Grundmann, Ph.D., clinical associate professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida; Paula N. Brown, Ph.D., director of applied research, BC Institute of Technology, Canada Research chair, Phytoanalytics and adjunct professor of biology, University of British Columbia; and Dr. Jack Henningfield, vice president of research, Health Policy and Abuse Liability, at PinneyAssociates, and adjunct professor of Behavioral Biology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Instead of a de facto ban on kratom, the scientists urged the promotion of good manufacturing practices (GMP) complying to FDA standards, as is the case with other widely available supplements in the United States.

For the text of the four experts' statements, go to

EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information, go to, where a streaming audio recording of today's news event will be available online as of 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT on March 7, 2018. Limited and unrestricted support for this news event is being provided by the nonprofit People Plants Health.

SOURCE Paula N. Brown, Ph.D., adjunct professor of biology, University of British Columbia

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