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posted by martyb on Wednesday February 21 2018, @07:05AM   Printer-friendly
from the SN-PSA dept.

At this time, the CDC recommends that people not consume kratom in any form because it could be contaminated with salmonella:

An outbreak of 28 salmonella infections in 20 states has been linked to kratom products, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement Tuesday. Though no deaths have been reported, 11 people have been hospitalized.

[...] California had the highest number of salmonella cases (three). North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah each reported two cases while Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, New York, South Carolina and Tennessee each reported a single case, the CDC found.

Kratom should not be consumed in any form, the CDC said, because the source of salmonella contamination has not been identified.

Also at The Verge, STAT News, and CBS.

Previously: DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30
The Calm Before the Kratom Ban
FDA Blocks More Imports of Kratom, Warns Against Use as a Treatment for Opioid Withdrawal
FDA Labels Kratom an Opioid

Related: Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis


Original Submission

Related Stories

DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30 32 comments

Kratom, an herbal drug made of ground-up tree leaves, is "temporarily" joining other natural substances such as cannabis, psilocybin, and peyote on the schedule I list of the Controlled Substances Act. The active ingredients in kratom, the indole alkaloids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, are both being added to the list for up to three years, after which they can be added permanently.

Prior to this move, the U.S. has already been seizing shipments of kratom:

In 2014, the FDA issued an import alert that allowed US Customs agents to detain kratom without a physical examination. "We have identified kratom as a botanical substance that could pose a risk to public health and have the potential for abuse," said Melinda Plaisier, the FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. According to the DEA, between February 2014 and July 2016, nearly 247,000 pounds of kratom were seized.

Advocates say that kratom is a natural treatment for opioid addiction, an application that the Drug Enforcement Agency dismisses. Meanwhile, the heroin/opioid epidemic continues with "unprecedented" events like the recent 174 heroin overdoses in just six days in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Check out the implosion of this kratom subreddit, which is attempting to get 100,000 signatures on the White House petition site:

APATHY WILL GET US NOWHERE. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME FOR US TO BAND TOGETHER, ITS NOW. stand with me brothers and sisters. hope is not lost.


Original Submission

The Calm Before the Kratom Ban 27 comments

The blowback against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's decision to ban kratom has caught the attention of a bipartisan group of legislators, but a DEA spokesman has said that "It's not a matter of if. It's simply a matter of when" the DEA bans kratom:

A bipartisan group of nine senators is calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration to delay its "unprecedented" decision to ban kratom, a plant that researchers say holds great potential for mitigating the effects of the opioid epidemic. [...] The Senate letter, spearheaded by Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) says: "Congress granted emergency scheduling authority to the DEA based on the need for law enforcement interdiction of new and previously unknown illegal synthetic street drugs that result in injuries and death. The use of this emergency authority for a natural substance is unprecedented, so it is important to determine whether the circumstances here necessitate a jump to Schedule I.

"Given the long reported history of Kratom use," the letter continues, "coupled with the public's sentiment that it is a safe alternative to prescription opioids, we believe using the regular review process would provide for a much-needed discussion among all stakeholders." [...] The DEA cites 600-plus poison-control center calls involving kratom between 2010 and 2015 in its justification for banning the plant, and notes that 15 deaths were linked to the use of the plant between 2014 and 2016. In an interview with The Washington Post, a DEA spokesman later clarified that all but one of those fatalities involved the use of other substances. Earlier this week 51 U.S. representatives similarly called on the DEA and the White House to reconsider or at least delay the ban, which was slated to go into effect as early as Friday. In an interview, DEA spokesman Russell Baer confirmed that the ban was not yet in place. "We have not yet determined a date when we will publish that final order" putting the ban into effect, he said.

There may be a public comment period before the ban takes effect, and the White House is now obligated to respond to the petition about kratom, which has reached over 140,000 signatures.

Text of the Senators' letter. Also at Ars Technica, CBS, and US News & World Report.

Previously: DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Alcohol Industry Bankrolls Fight Against Legal Pot in Battle of the Buzz [Updated]


Original Submission

FDA Blocks More Imports of Kratom, Warns Against Use as a Treatment for Opioid Withdrawal 22 comments

The FDA has issued a public health advisory warning of deaths related to kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) and warning against using it to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. The DEA attempted to temporarily regulate kratom as a schedule I drug in 2016, but stopped short of doing so after a public backlash. From FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's statement on the advisory:

It's very troubling to the FDA that patients believe they can use kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms. The FDA is devoted to expanding the development and use of medical therapy to assist in the treatment of opioid use disorder. However, an important part of our commitment to this effort means making sure patients have access to treatments that are proven to be safe and effective. There is no reliable evidence to support the use of kratom as a treatment for opioid use disorder. Patients addicted to opioids are using kratom without dependable instructions for use and more importantly, without consultation with a licensed health care provider about the product's dangers, potential side effects or interactions with other drugs.

There's clear data on the increasing harms associated with kratom. Calls to U.S. poison control centers regarding kratom have increased 10-fold from 2010 to 2015, with hundreds of calls made each year. The FDA is aware of reports of 36 deaths associated with the use of kratom-containing products. There have been reports of kratom being laced with other opioids like hydrocodone. The use of kratom is also associated with serious side effects like seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms.

Given all these considerations, we must ask ourselves whether the use of kratom – for recreation, pain or other reasons – could expand the opioid epidemic. Alternatively, if proponents are right and kratom can be used to help treat opioid addiction, patients deserve to have clear, reliable evidence of these benefits.

Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis 23 comments

Opioid commission's anti-marijuana argument stirs anger

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, head of the presidential commission on opioids, warned of the dangers of marijuana in a letter to President Donald Trump earlier this month about the panel's findings, saying the current push for marijuana legalization could further fuel the opioid epidemic.

"There is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency, and abuse potential for marijuana. This mirrors the lack of data in the 1990s and early 2000s when opioid prescribing multiplied across health care settings and led to the current epidemic of abuse, misuse and addiction," Christie wrote in the letter, which was released with the commission's final report.

"The Commission urges that the same mistake is not made with the uninformed rush to put another drug legally on the market in the midst of an overdose epidemic."

[...] But some experts say the commission's fixation on marijuana was bizarre and troubling, lending credence to outdated views of marijuana as a gateway drug. And these experts want to nip such thinking in the bud.

They emphasized that they support efforts to curb the nation's opioid epidemic, but not the demonization of marijuana in the process.

"I was surprised to see negative language about marijuana in the opioid report," said Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Research that examines pain and marijuana shows that marijuana use significantly reduces pain. In addition, the majority of studies examining marijuana and opioids show that marijuana use is associated with less opioid use and less opioid-related deaths."

You had one job.

Previously:


Original Submission

FDA Labels Kratom an Opioid 37 comments

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has released a new statement denouncing the drug kratom. The statement says that the FDA has learned about new deaths that "involved" kratom use, additional adverse effects associated with its use have been found, and that Public Health Assessment via Structural Evaluation (PHASE) "3-D computer technology" has been used to analyze the chemical compounds in kratom:

Using this computational model, scientists at the FDA first analyzed the chemical structures of the 25 most prevalent compounds in kratom. From this analysis, the agency concluded that all of the compounds share the most structural similarities with controlled opioid analgesics, such as morphine derivatives.

The FDA continues to discourage the use of kratom, which it is calling an opioid.

FDA Orders Mandatory Recall of Triangle Pharmanaturals Kratom Products 11 comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued its first-ever mandatory recall for kratom-containing "food products", because the company selling them did not comply with the agency's request for a voluntary recall:

FDA orders kratom product recall over Salmonella; first such mandatory move in history

Federal drug regulators issued their first-ever mandatory recall Tuesday to a company selling several products containing the herbal supplement kratom and contaminated with Salmonella.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it issued the order because Triangle Pharmanaturals of Las Vegas refused to cooperate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that the kratom Salmonella outbreak was linked to 11 hospitalizations among 28 people who caught the strain.

The FDA is advising consumers to discard the products that are part of the mandatory recall, which it says include, but isn't limited to: Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Emerald Green, Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ivory White, and Raw Form Organics Maeng Da Kratom Ruby Red. The company, which promotes itself as a consulting firm, may "manufacture, process, pack and/or hold additional brands of food products containing powdered kratom, FDA says.

Related:
FDA Blocks More Imports of Kratom, Warns Against Use as a Treatment for Opioid Withdrawal
FDA Labels Kratom an Opioid
CDC Warns of Salmonella Infections Linked to Kratom


Original Submission

4/20: The Mary Jane Majority 56 comments

Past articles: 201520162017 👀

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come out in support of federal cannabis decriminalization, just in time for 4/20:

The Minority Leader of the Senate is making it official the day before 4/20: He's down with legal weed. In an exclusive interview with VICE News, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed he is putting his name on legislation that he said is aimed at "decriminalizing" marijuana at the federal level. For Schumer, this is a shift. While he has backed medical marijuana and the rights of states to experiment with legal sales of pot, what he is proposing is a seismic shift in federal drug policy.

"Ultimately, it's the right thing to do. Freedom. If smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anybody else, why shouldn't we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?" Schumer said.

The legislation should be available within a week or so, and would remove cannabis (still listed as "Marihuana") from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of Schedule I substances. States would then be free to regulate or continue to prohibit the plant. Cannabis advertising would be regulated as are alcohol and tobacco advertising. (Also at NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and CNBC, as well as Reason taking a shot at Schumer for not doing it sooner.)

A majority of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, including, for the first time, a majority (51%) of Republicans, according to Gallup. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use. 29 states, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico have legalized medical use of cannabis, and another 17 states have legalized the use of cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis became available for recreational purposes in California on January 1.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by MostCynical on Wednesday February 21 2018, @07:33AM (1 child)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Wednesday February 21 2018, @07:33AM (#641067) Journal

    Those In Power say "it is bad, stop using it"
    People keep using it.
    Those In Power say "it is as bad as some other things that are very bad, so it is bow Illegal"
    People keep using it.
    Thos in Power say "it has Bad Things in it now, stop using it"
    People wonder.. Who put the Bad Things there?

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @04:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @04:23PM (#641213)

      Wikipedia: "M. speciosa is indigenous to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Papua New Guinea".

      Wikipedia: "Most infections are due to ingestion of food contaminated by animal feces; or by human feces, such as by a food service worker at a commercial eatery."

      That explains everything.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by pipedwho on Wednesday February 21 2018, @08:00AM (2 children)

    by pipedwho (2032) on Wednesday February 21 2018, @08:00AM (#641073)

    28 over 20 States is not a cluster. It's 20 separate instances, with a couple of overlap. Since Salmonella is pretty much everywhere, it's seems a stretch that the Kratom is the root cause (in any form - ie. pill, leaf, extract, powder, - or however it is packaged).

    TFA even mentions that there are 1.4 million Salmonella related cases a year. So, somehow out of these 1.4 million, 28 people had consumed Kratom (in one of many forms according to the article) and there that must be it. Not the under cooked chicken they had earlier, or the salad prepared on the same cutting board as the raw chicken, or whatever other generally unsanitary event took place to have them spraying their guts into toilet while throwing up the rest on the floor in front of it.

    This seems like a classic shout out for causation is not equal to correlation. And in this case, I can't even image how you could even establish a correlation without a probability of error asymptotically approaching unity.

    Methinks someone is trying to demonise something they don't like. Just saying.

    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday February 21 2018, @04:17PM (1 child)

      by sjames (2882) on Wednesday February 21 2018, @04:17PM (#641210) Journal

      And then "the authorities" wonder why people ignore them in droves.

      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday February 22 2018, @01:15AM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Thursday February 22 2018, @01:15AM (#641544) Homepage

        I saw a Black man eat it once and he went into a sex-crazed frenzy and later got arrested for attempted rape of White women.

        Also, Kratom makes White people laugh manically and jump out third-story windows.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @08:40AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @08:40AM (#641077)

    It's a plant. If it's not cleaned sufficiently, it can carry bacteria, such as salmonella. This is true for any plant, whether Kratom, Broccoli or carrots. This is no more a valid excuse to outlaw Kratom than it is to outlaw all vegetables.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @11:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @11:09AM (#641117)

      You don't have to convince me, it's long before time to criminalize all vegetable possession. It was a good start with green herbs, but gateway vegetables in the brassica family just lead to harder vegetables like Solanum tuberosum, before you know it people find themselves addicted to meat, potatoes and two veg. three times a week.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday February 21 2018, @03:51PM (4 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday February 21 2018, @03:51PM (#641196) Journal

      Broccoli should not be consumed in any form, the CDC said, because the source of salmonella contamination has not been identified.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Wednesday February 21 2018, @04:59PM (3 children)

        by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Wednesday February 21 2018, @04:59PM (#641233) Journal

        Not salmonella. Listeria. And it was identified, in 2016. http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2016/04/03/frozen-broccoli-recalled-due-to-listeria-contamination-risk/ [cbslocal.com]

        So yeah, even though it's usually FDA that issues warnings like this, it's actually government doing it's public health job. Nothing to see here, move along.

        --
        This sig for rent.
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday February 21 2018, @05:17PM (2 children)

          by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday February 21 2018, @05:17PM (#641251) Journal

          In the days between the discovery of listeria cases and the identification of the specific batches of broccoli that caused the illness, they don't recommend that all people in the entire nation stop eating any source of broccoli.

          There is something to see here. A campaign being waged against kratom at multiple agencies (FDA, CDC, DEA).

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday February 21 2018, @06:02PM

            by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 21 2018, @06:02PM (#641282) Journal

            Sounds like it might really be effective at getting people off of opioids.

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Wednesday February 21 2018, @06:24PM

            by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Wednesday February 21 2018, @06:24PM (#641296) Journal

            I do think you have a point.

            But broccoli producers are regulated. They can spot the trend and narrow it down to, "Hey, these people all ate Brand X broccoli. Let's go and require Brand X to test their plant for contamination with Listeria. Oh. Positive. Issue recall. Problem solved." If they were able to narrow down this to a particular source of kratom, and require that supplier to stop supplying, would it be a similar response?

            But, like I said, I think you're right that the gov is picking on kratom as a cause celebre.

            Separately to the story, I'd like to explore its pharmacology a bit more. Something tells me it's probably more than just coffee but less than fentanyl.

            --
            This sig for rent.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @09:10AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 21 2018, @09:10AM (#641082)

    So a plant I never have heard before is now considered a health risk to eat? Well, great, I won't have to change my diet one bit! :-)

  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday February 21 2018, @04:20PM (1 child)

    by sjames (2882) on Wednesday February 21 2018, @04:20PM (#641212) Journal

    Salmonella will die if heated to 148F for 3 minutes. Don't most people consume kratom by steeping it in boiling hot water?

    I smell a rat.

  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Wednesday February 21 2018, @08:11PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 21 2018, @08:11PM (#641374) Homepage Journal

    I'll type it real slow so you'll be sure to understand:

    You do not want to get salmonella

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
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