Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, recently made headlines in the kratom community as she decided to veto the Kratom Consumer Protection Act (KCPA). The KCPA was originally passed by Oregon’s state senate on June 26. She was expected to sign.
In case you are new here, or have been living under a rock, the Kratom Consumer Protection Act provides individual states a regulatory and legal framework regarding the sale and usage of kratom products. It is aimed at keeping the plant legal, as well as ensuring consumer safety. Basic important provisions of the bipartisan legislation include:
- Prohibiting the sale of kratom to minors
- Disallowment of adulterated and/or synthetic kratom
- Requiring the proper labeling and the listing of ingredients for kratom products
- Standardized testing of kratom products for dangerous contaminants and proper alkaloid levels
The Oregon KCPA in particular, however, was formatted a tad differently than KCPA’s we have seen in years past. In short, the bill would require all kratom “processors” to register with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Any retailers selling kratom in the state would have to source directly from said processors, or have been registered as a processor themselves. There was no mention that a processor could be located in a different state.
For a state that has kept kratom legal, you would think that KCPA would be welcomed with open arms. Especially when you consider that unregulated kratom once caused an Oregon-based salmonella outbreak back in 2018. A safe, standardized product would seemingly do wonders for those who safely and responsibly utilize kratom. So why wasn’t the KCPA passed?
The issue with Gov. Brown lies with one specific provision. Something she herself described as, “problematic.”
The Oregon Department of Agriculture, not the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), would be the ones overseeing the regulation of kratom had the KCPA passed.
As per Gov. Brown, “Given there is currently no FDA-approved use for this product and there continues to be concern about the impacts of its use, I would entertain further legislation to limit youth access without the state agency regulatory function included in this bill.”
Obviously, Gov. Brown views the FDA as better equipped to handle kratom regulation than her own state agency. The worry is that other states in similar situations may follow suit. This may prove problematic for us supporters of kratom.
FDA’s Attack on Kratom
As you may know, the FDA has been continuing its misled attack on the legality of kratom here in the United States. After failing to schedule kratom here domestically, they instead set their sights on trying to prohibit the plant globally through the World Health Organization. A bold move considering that the Department of Health and Human Services outright told the FDA that, “there is a significant risk of immediate adverse public health consequences for potentially millions of users if kratom or its components are included in Schedule I.” To our disdain, the FDA pushes forward.
And oh, they are not being all too fair or objective on the matter either.
According to their notice for comments posted into the Federal Register, they state kratom as a plant that is, “abused individually and with other psychoactive substances. They additionally claim that kratom is, “misused to self-treat chronic pain and opioid withdrawal symptoms.” They provide zero evidence to back their claims of overwhelming abuse and even suggest that kratom itself, “has not been studied as a treatment agent in the United States.” Such a notion is completely false.
Heck, just last week the HHS passed a funding bill granting the AHRQ $3,000,000 to continue studying kratom through September, 2022! In the bill is language that reiterates, “The Committee is aware of the potential promising results of kratom for acute and chronic pain patients who seek safer alternatives to sometimes dangerously addictive and potentially dangerous prescription opioids.”
Someone in the FDA clearly does not like kratom, and won’t be told otherwise. Even by another government agency.
It is important that anybody with a keyboard takes the chance to leave a comment and support kratom in this fight for legality. Lives are on the line. The FDA did not give us much time (only 3 weeks total for activists, scientists, and policy makers to garner a response.) The deadline for comments is August 9th. If the scheduling is pushed through, we can expect 37 countries to ban kratom outright. It’s important to act swiftly, yet respectively when commenting.
You can leave comments on the notice itself, or through the AKA’s submission portal.
As always, follow the science (we’re looking at you FDA).
Disclaimer: There is no content on the Kratom Science Podcast nor on KratomScience.com that in any way constitutes medical claims or medical advice. You should consult a medical professional for medical advice and we believe this sincerely. Take care.