Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), an herb from Southeast Asia, made headlines again in early 2016 when the U.S. Marshals Service, at the request of FDA, seized nearly 90,000 bottles of beverages marketed as dietary supplements and labeled as containing kratom. Federal regulators said the herb poses adverse health effects, and FDA determined the substance qualifies as a new dietary ingredient (NDI), however it has objected to the one NDI notification it’s received.
The health and nutrition industry was widely made aware of kratom in February 2014 when FDA instituted an import alert allowing the detention of products containing kratom that attempted to enter the United States.
In May, The United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) initiated a new policy that barred the sale, distribution or marketing of kratom for human usage or consumption as a condition of membership.
In September, U.S. Marshals seized more than 25,000 pounds of raw kratom material, worth more than USD $5 million, from Rosefield Management Inc. in Van Nuys, California.
2015 was quite for kratom on the regulatory front, but researchers were exploring its potential benefits. American consumers of kratom deny that it is harmful and have touted its benefits. Kratom helps to alleviate pain, relax and treats other conditions, including restless leg syndrome, according to some consumers.
In this episode, Sandy Almendarez, editor in chief, and Steve Myers, managing editor, INSIDER discuss:
Industry trade association reactions to selling kratom for human consumption.
Current research on kratom that was performed at the University of Mississippi.
What a supplement company could do scientifically to potentially create a safe kratom product.