A 20-state salmonella outbreak and a recall of dietary supplements are being blamed on the plant kratom, crunched by attacks of two government agencies this week.
A day after Tuesday’s recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid Kratom following the investigation of a salmonella outbreak, the Food & Drug Administration announced the recall and destruction of three brands of dietary supplements with kratom distributed nationwide by Missouri-company Divinity Products Distribution.
And, the FDA says after supplements Botany Bay, Enhance Your Life and Divinity get yanked off the market, Divinity won’t include kratom in any more products. The FDA wishes other companies would do the same.
“The extensive scientific data we’ve evaluated about kratom provides conclusive evidence that compounds contained in kratom are opioids and are expected to have similar addictive effects as well as risks of abuse, overdose and, in some cases, death. At the same time, there’s no evidence to indicate that kratom is safe or effective for any medical use,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. “To protect the public health, we’ll continue to affirm the risks associated with kratom, warn consumers against its use and take aggressive enforcement action against kratom-containing products.”
Kratom is also known as Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketom and Biak, according to the CDC, which said whole genome sequencing on the bacteria’s DNA indicates the 28 people in the salmonella outbreak likely caught it from a common source.
The outbreak has hospitalized 11 people. Eight of those 11 people reported taking kratom in pills, powder or tea. But because the CDC can’t pin down exactly where the salmonella-carrying kratom comes from, it issued a blanket “don’t use” recommendation.
In this outbreak, California has three cases; Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Utah each have two; and Florida, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts and North Dakota each have one.