Pocan/LoBiondo letter to the DEA is final

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“This letter sends a loud and clear message to the DEA that they need to look at the actual science of kratom, not the misinformation being pushed by the FDA”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — January 14, 2017 – The American Kratom Association (AKA) strongly agrees with the bi-partisan Congressional letter signed by 25 Members of the House of Representatives from across the United States urging the DEA to adhere to the requirements of the Controlled Substances Act in their review of kratom.

The statute requires that scheduling only be done when there is conclusive scientific and legally defensible proof that the substance being reviewed has (1) a high potential for abuse, and (2) that it is unsafe for consumer use.

In a statement, the Chairman of the AKA, Dave Herman, said: “The American Kratom Association is extremely grateful to Congressmen Pocan and LoBiondo, and their staffs, for their extraordinary efforts in obtaining broad, bi-partisan support for this letter. We know that the misinformation blitz on Capitol Hill from the FDA has been intense, and we appreciate the courage that all 25 Representatives demonstrated by co-signing this letter.”

“The FDA has published completely false information on alleged deaths and adverse event reports from kratom use that completely undermines the intent of the CSA,” Herman stated. “The FDA is trying to do an end-run around the Congressional intent to ban kratom as a part of a broader regulatory campaign to remove any product consumers use for pain management that the FDA has not reviewed under the onerous and expensive new drug application process.”

The FDA has recently announced aggressive enforcement actions against a broad array of alternative pain management products in homeopathy, medical foods, and dietary supplements that are currently safely used by consumers to manage pain rather than use highly addictive and often deadly opioid prescription drugs.

“It’s unfathomable that the FDA would choose to attack consumers by banning pain management alternatives safely used by consumers to drive them to opioids that have proven to be a public health crisis – killing more than 90 Americans a day,” Herman continued. “I am hopeful that the President will step in to support his own Commission’s recommendation to expand the availability of non-opioid pain management options for people suffering from pain.”

Dave Herman continued, “We are extremely appreciative of all the groups who supported and promoted this letter. The science is on our side. Let me be clear, scientific evidence demonstrates that kratom does not kill people. Kratom is not an opioid. Kratom does not have the same effects as an opioid, and kratom is not an analogue of an opioid. This letter sends a loud and clear message to the DEA that they need to look at the actual science of kratom, not the misinformation being pushed by the FDA.”

“The FDA has resorted to using trumped up claims of safety when the science is clear they are wrong, and they are repeating the same game plan of trying to demonize any product that is not a prescription drug just like they did in the early 1990s when Congress had to slap the FDA down with the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA),” Herman concluded. “Clearly the Congress will have to step in and restrain the FDA once again as they try to expand their demonization of non-opioid pain management products.”

The AKA would like to thank the following Representatives in Congress who signed the letter:

Rep. Pocan (D-WI)
Rep. LoBiondo (R-NJ)
Rep. Brat (R-VA)
Rep. Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Rep. Polis (D-CO)
Rep. DeFazio (D-OR)
Rep. Gosar (R-AZ)
Rep. Blumenauer (D-OR)
Rep. Soto (D-FL)
Rep. Napolitano (D-CA)
Rep. Lee (D-CA)
Rep. Budd (R-NC)
Rep. Khanna (D-CA)
Rep. Gabbard (D-HI)
Rep. Jayapal (D-WA)
Rep. Rush (D-IL)
Rep. Bergman (R-MI)
Rep. Johnson (D-GA)
Rep. Cohen (D-TN)
Rep. Moore (D-WI)
Rep. Lofgren (D-CA)
Rep. Jones (R-NC)
Rep. Krishnamoorthi (D-IL)
Rep. Hanabusa (D-HI)
Rep. Norton (D-DC)


The American Kratom Association (AKA), a consumer-based non-profit organization, is here to set the record straight about kratom and give a voice to those who are suffering and protect their rights to possess and consume kratom. AKA represents tens of thousands of Americans, each of whom have a 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, pete.candland@americankratom.org
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