Kratom Claims Enforcement Increasing
Opioid support claims are high risk
There have been four kratom warning letters this year compared to just one last year, a 400% increase. This shows there has never been a riskier time than now to market kratom with disease claims.
All kratom warning letters this year involve claims related to opioid withdrawal. Products marketed for opioid and substance withdrawals remain a high risk as those suffering from addiction are considered a “vulnerable population” and are top of mind for the FDA/FTC. Other vulnerable populations are the elderly, children, and those with mental illness. Now is a great time to ensure these high-risk statements are not inadvertently hiding on a company website or socials.
The FDA does not have a favorable position on kratom and considers it a New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) according to this import alert. The FDA also sent out this kratom alert where several US Marshall kratom seizures are highlighted. There also have numerous kratom-related recalls because of salmonella contamination.
The key learning lessons are that if a company must sell kratom, they should be very careful not to make opioid withdrawal support or other disease claims, including statements in blogs or citing clinical studies. Also, investing in safety studies and testing every lot for microbials is advisable. I think safe and responsible kratom commerce may someday have a place in dietary supplements.
The 2022 kratom warning letters are joint FDA and FTC warning letters. Also, they include cease and desist demands requiring the companies to stop making unsubstantiated claims or face injunction, civil penalties of up to $46,517 per violation, and requirements to refund customers.
Disclaimer: The educational information provided here is for informational purposes only. Contact an attorney for specific legal advice. Rule #1 in compliance is to ensure marketing is truthful and not misleading.