Salmonella Outbreak in 20 States Linked to Popular Herbal Supplement Kratom

Salmonella Outbreak in 20 States Linked to Popular Herbal Supplement Kratom

The CDC said so far the outbreak investigation has not pointed to a common brand or supplier of the supplement.

There are now no FDA-approved therapeutic uses of kratom. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday that the substance is linked to an outbreak of salmonella.

The CDC is urging Kratom users to stop taking the plant in any form because the source of the contamination has not been identified.

The agency reported 28 people have been infected with salmonella in 20 states, and 11 of them have been hospitalized.

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To this end, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory back in November of 2017 warning consumers not to use kratom. Unfortunately, that reality is being reflected in shipments of kratom products contaminated with salmonella.

According to a bulletin from the CDC, a multistate Salmonella outbreak has been traced to supplements made from the plant. According to an FDA analysis, also released on February 6, one of the main compounds in kratom-mitragynine-may bind to the same kinds of receptors in the body as an opioid. Kratom advocates claim that the herbal supplement may be used to help opioid addicts get through withdrawal symptoms in weaning themselves off the powerful painkillers.

While this concern is legitimate, there is no way to know precisely how kratom does - or doesn't - work without rigorous scientific testing, which has not yet been done. Across the United States, several reports of deaths and addiction led the Drug Enforcement Administration to place kratom on its list of "drugs and chemicals of concern".

Kratom is banned in Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and several U.S. states (Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee, and Wisconsin). "If they could come up with the same type of testing and policies like they have for marijuana here that fit kratom use, I think it would be a great move in the right direction of keeping it legal". In October 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was poised to criminalize use of the plant, but it backed away from that position after facing Congressional opposition and a social media storm.

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