According to the AKA, these standards hold vendors to stricter manufacturing standards, not unlike the Good Manufacturing Standards (GMP) enforced by the United States Food And Drug Administration. In order to meet the AKA’s new standards, kratom products must be packaged and processed in a sterile environment and verified by a third-party laboratory for quality and safety.
However, the AKA’s standards also restrict potentially misleading kratom marketing practices, including unfounded health claims. In addition, vendors must label their kratom products with each product’s respective alkaloid content.
Vendors that meet and comply with the AKA’s product standards will be eligible to include the AKA’s GMP Certification “Seal of Approval” on their product packaging – indicating to consumers that the product has met the AKA’s specifications.
Regarding the initiative, Dave Herman – Chairman of the AKA – stated that “the mission of the AKA is to protect the consumers and to provide confidence in the products they are purchasing. We have listened to the kratom vendors who have wanted more structure for industry standards and are now ready to move forward with stricter industry self-regulation. Our recommendation is that vendors immediately adopt and follow these standards.”
In case you needed a quick refresher, the Hemby study concluded that – in rat studies – kratom’s primary psychoactive alkaloid, mitragynine, “does not have an abuse potential and reduces morphine intake.” This directly contradicted the FDA’s previous statements that labeled kratom as a substance of “abuse, addiction, and … death.”
However, the same study also concluded that another one of kratom’s alkaloids – the lesser-present 7-hydroxymitragynine – has a “high abuse potential that may also increase the intake of other opiates.” Due to 7-HMG’s potency, some kratom products are intentionally developed to have heightened levels of the alkaloid.
According to Haddow, the United States FDA is now building their case against kratom by highlighting the potential dangers of 7-HMG – despite the fact that 7-HMG makes up no more than 2% of kratom’s naturally occurring alkaloid content.
In the AKA’s July 19th Legislative Update, Haddow revealed that the FDA has acquired the ability to “interdict, seize, destroy, and recall any kratom product that contains a concentrated or artificially elevated level of 7-OH in the product.”
While this is likely bad news for vendors selling kratom products with concentrated or elevated levels of 7-HMG, vendors selling ground or crushed leaf kratom should be unaffected. Still, this new development may indicate a shift in the perception of kratom’s psychoactive properties – potentially casting the plant in a more favourable light.
That’s it for this week’s update – thanks for stopping by, and all the best to you and yours!
Hassan, Z., Muzaimi, M., Navaratnam, V., H.M. Yusoff, N., W. Suhaimi, F., Vadivelu, R., Vicknasingam, B., Amato, D., von Hörsten, S., Ismail, N. I. W., Jayabalan, N., I. Hazim, A., M. Mansor, S., & P. Müller, C. (2013). From Kratom to mitragynine and its derivatives: Physiological and behavioural effects related to use, abuse, and addiction (Vol. 37). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.11.012