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In 2018 The HHS Reviewed And Revoked The FDA's Recommendation That The DEA Ban Kratom; The FDA Kept This A Secret For Two Years, Misleading The Public And Endangering The Health Of Americans

A previous article on The Kratom Herald discussed how the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has withdrawn its recommendation to the DEA that Kratom be declared a Schedule I illegal drug, and simultaneously the HHS has officially acknowledged that banning Kratom would cause a serious public health risk for millions of Americans. This is a major victory for Kratom.

However, although this information is just coming to light now, the HHS actually rescinded the recommendation to ban Kratom all the way back in August 2018, and the FDA has kept this a secret for 2.5 years, misleading the public and endangering the health of Americans, as will be discussed in this arcticle.

Essentially, the HHS is the parent organization of the FDA, and back in October 2017 the HHS recommended to the DEA that Kratom should be banned. The HHS did this on behalf of the FDA, based on the information that the FDA provided at the time.

However, in August 2018 the HHS reviewed the recommendation that Kratom should be banned, and decided to rescind this recommendation. Not only that, but the HHS acknowledged that banning Kratom posed a serious public health risk.

Even though this should have immediately become public knowledge back in 2018, the FDA managed to keep this information a secret for 2.5 years. Indeed, only yesterday was it finally revealed that the HHS had revoked the recommendation to ban Kratom.

Further, not only did the FDA hide this information, the FDA made it seem like the HHS recommendation that Kratom should be banned was still active.

This caused tremendous damage to Kratom’s reputation and legality, as Mac Haddow, the Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the American Kratom Association, explains: “The FDA’s messaging about kratom tied to its recommended classification as a Schedule I substance has had enormous negative public policy outcomes. Public health policy makers, state legislators, county commissioners, city councilmen, law enforcement groups, medical examiners and coroners, researchers, and substance addiction specialists have all been misled into supporting an FDA narrative on kratom tied directly to the claims that kratom should be banned and that scheduling was imminent. Six states were duped by this messaging to pass bans on kratom sales, and a number of local county and city governments also based their bans on the FDA’s claims.”

Essentially, via concealing that the HHS had withdrawn the recommendation to ban Kratom, the FDA was able to tarnish Kratom’s reputation for years, resulting in Kratom being banned in several states and municipalities.

On the other hand, if the FDA had followed proper procedure and acknowledged that the recommendation to ban Kratom was no longer active, then there would be much less Kratom misinformation, and some or all of the state and municipal Kratom bans may have been avoided or repealed.

Zooming out, the FDA has truly abandoned its mandate to protect the health of Americans in this case, since the HHS made it clear that banning Kratom could endanger the health of millions of Americans, and the FDA endeavored to censor this information in order to get Kratom banned.

In other words, the FDA directly endangered public health and misled the public by concealing the HHS’ declaration that banning Kratom is a public health risk.

What the FDA did in this case is completely morally wrong, since it has caused Kratom to be banned in some places, leading to suffering and death. Also, Kratom’s reputation has been badly damaged from the FDA’s actions in this case, preventing Kratom from saving even more lives.

On a final note, the FDA’s actions are not only morally wrong, but also possibly illegal, and the FDA should be investigated and possibly charged. That being said, it seems unlikely that any legal action will be taken against the FDA, even if the FDA possibly broke the law, violated basic moral standards, and endangered the health of countless Americans. 

At least the truth has been revealed however, and hopefully the damage that the FDA has caused to Kratom’s reputation and legality can be reversed.