AKA Good Manufacturing Practices a Great Step Forward

July 20, 2018 Articles, Kratom Research, News

As we all know, a great blow was delivered to the kratom community when the FDA announced that it was closing its scientific investigation into kratom after a months-long probe resulting from a kratom-based salmonella outbreak.

In an official statement on July 2nd, the FDA’s commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “It appears the salmonella problem with kratom uncovered earlier this year has probably been occurring for some time and is ongoing. We have closed our outbreak investigation, concluding that anyone consuming kratom may be placing themselves at a significant risk of being exposed to salmonella.

Gottlieb and Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Stephen Ostroff went on to claim that kratom has no proven medical uses and discouraged the public from consuming kratom.

“Kratom is an inherently addictive product that can cause harm, which is reason enough not to consume it. Now, in addition to those risks, we can conclude that there may be a high proportion of kratom and kratom-containing products contaminated with salmonella. It’s another firm reminder of why people should avoid kratom.”

This reductionist attitude towards kratom is something that flies in the face of logic given the preponderance of US products that are regularly recalled due to salmonella.

Luckily, there are individuals that are far more pragmatic than Mr. Gottlieb. The folks at AKA (American Kratom Association) appeared at this year’s Champs Trade Show in Las Vegas, NV where they spoke with a number of the top kratom vendors about the importance of implementing GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices).

At the event, AKA Chairman Dave Herman stressed the importance of protecting consumers against tainted kratom products. In a rousing speech, Herman said that “these strict baseline recommendations for GMP Standards for the manufacturing and distribution of kratom products are essential in protecting the safety of consumers, and will send the clear message to the FDA and federal and state legislators that we are committed to removing adulterated or contaminated kratom products from the marketplace, and we will not allow impermissible health claims to be made by any credible kratom vendor.”

The AKA is working in cooperation with the FDA to seize and destroy any contaminated kratom shipments and is calling on kratom vendors to hold themselves to higher standards of quality control. So far, this seems to have worked as the more reputable kratom vendors online have taken to lab-testing their kratom powder for heavy metals, bacteria and more.

For those kratom vendors who are just learning about this, you can click here for the AKA’s GMP standards. Now is the time to get yourself certified, so that you and your customers will be on the right track.

Self-regulation is vital to the future of the US-based kratom industry. As anyone even remotely familiar with old school libetarianism can tell you, autonomy is an integral part of the American experience. As Americans, we have a Fourth Amendment right to privacy which should include the freedom to discreetly purchase botanicals like kratom.

This year’s Right to Try Bill re-enforces our right to try whatever alternatives to traditional medicine that we so choose. What advocacy groups like the AKA are doing by implementing GMP standards is emboldening those who would offer kratom as a natural supplement by making sure that said supplements are pure and unblemished by dangerous microbes.

The AKA are continuing to work in concert with a coalition of experts and advocates to assess GMP standards and are expected to publish a definitive GMP Standards document by August 15th, 2018. As we covered in our interview with AKA Chief Lobbyist Mac Haddow, the non-profit organization also continues to work tireleslly with legislators to keep kratom legal.

To support the AKA, you can visit their donation page here. Donations will be spent on education, outreach efforts, volunteer training and more.

Bob Freville
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