A public backlash to the DEA’s announcement was swift and furious; citizens wrote to politicians, petitioned the White House, and talked to the media about what they saw as an infringement on their right to use a helpful plant.
Researchers expressed concern that the study of kratom’s potential medical uses could be crippled by the expensive and time-consuming regulatory hurdles that scientists must clear before studying Schedule I substances. In an unprecedented response, the DEA responded by withdrawing their intent to schedule, citing an effort to gather additional scientific information and to accept public comment. Over the next 6 weeks, more than 23,000 people submitted comments; over 99% expressed support for keeping kratom legal.
On November 14, 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), citing their science-based obligation to the public, issued an advisory warning of “deadly risks” associated with kratom use, listing 36 deaths (later increased to 44) “associated with the use of kratom-containing products.” The FDA also warned of the risk for harm from adulterated kratom products and serious side effects including seizures, liver damage, and addiction.
Full article at Medscape