On April 3, 2018, the FDA announced it has issued a mandatory recall order for all powdered kratom by Triangle Pharmanaturals LLC, after several (they do not disclose the details) were found to contain salmonella. The agency took this action after the company failed to cooperate with the FDA’s request to conduct a voluntary recall.
“This action is based on the imminent health risk posed by the contamination of this product with salmonella, and the refusal of this company to voluntarily act to protect its customers and issue a recall, despite our repeated requests and actions,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We continue to have serious concerns about the safety of any kratom-containing product and we are pursuing these concerns separately. But the action today is based on the risks posed by the contamination of this particular product with a potentially dangerous pathogen. Our first approach is to encourage voluntary compliance, but when we have a company like this one, which refuses to cooperate, is violating the law and is endangering consumers, we will pursue all avenues of enforcement under our authority.”
Many would not have considered the lack of complying with the requests from the FDA to recall kratom to have been a wise move. Many are outraged by the blatant disregard of the continuous push from the FDA to recall their products because this might show the public that kratom vendors do not have the best interests of the consumers at heart when it comes to purity and health of the products they sell them. Kratom is being more commonly known as a supplement that is used for many common reasons, such as energy, pain relief, mood lift, anxiety relief and more. The kratom community hopes that someday soon kratom will be known right alongside with Sam E, another supplement known for its mood-lifting benefits.
Many kratom consumers are fighting this recent event by sharing statistics of other common, well-supported products sold in America that are much more common for being contaminated with salmonella–chicken. Based on the CDC’s information, they estimate Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year. As for kratom, as of March 14, 2018, CDC reports that 87 people were infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella I 4,,12:b:- (50), Salmonella Javiana (5), Salmonella Okatie (16), or Salmonella Thompson (16) have been reported from 35 states. Twenty-seven people have been hospitalized. However, unlike the chicken statistics, there have been no reported deaths from contaminated kratom. Salmonella poisoning is often linked to contaminated water or foods, especially meat, poultry, and eggs. However, based on statistics, salmonella in kratom is extremely rare and uncommon.
The CDC claims to not have yet found the source or route of the salmonella contamination as of today, which is contrary to the recently published article by the Food Poisoning Bulletin, where they reported that PDX Aromatics had identified a supplier as the source:
“PDX Aromatics has identified a supplier in their supply chain as the source of Salmonella bacteria. The company is notifying all customers to return products so they can be destroyed.”
Perhaps that source was Triangle Pharmanaturals and therefore the chase continues; it seems unclear. However, we hope the source is discovered and disclosed for the sake of the plant’s ever-present legal battle, and for the sake of the community and the growing numbers of kratom consumers whose lives are improving and benefiting from this amazing plant.
Absolutely not! Kratom is still readily available as a research chemical or compound for aromatherapy from reputable online kratom vendors. Although a number of kratom vendors have voluntarily recalled their product pending further testing.
Triangle Pharmanaturals LLC’s website is currently down and unavailable to the public. Kraken Kratom and the other reported brands under PDX Aromatics seem to still be conducting an internal quality audit and are, therefore, not selling kratom at this time.
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