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FDA’s Kratom Ban Would Harm The Public And Damage The Agency’s Credibility

The agency is forging ahead with actions that may further erode its credibility

Trust in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declined after its approval of the controversial Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab. Three experts resigned amid allegations that the FDA had caved to industry pressure. Some argue that its credibility has reached a new low.

These events should have prompted the FDA to pause, reflect, and work to repair its reputation. Instead, the agency is forging ahead with actions that may further erode its credibility. A timely example is its position on Mitragyna speciosa, commonly called kratom, a tree related to coffee plants.

Kratom has long been consumed in Southeast Asia as a pain reliever and mild stimulant. Millions of Americans also use it, claiming it eases symptoms of chronic pain and addiction, important effects as drug overdose deaths continue to rise.

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