Even though the Coronavirus Pandemic is the only thing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should be focused on right now, they are still fixated on attacking Kratom, a natural plant which benefits 15 million Americans.
The latest news from the FDA is that they have developed a new handheld device which can instantly detect Kratom, and this device is intended to be used by international mail carriers to prevent Kratom from reaching the United States.
Specifically, the Forensic Chemistry Center at the FDA has published a paper titled ‘Detection of Mitragynine in Mitragyna Speciosa (Kratom) Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy with Handheld Devices‘. In this paper the FDA describes how they built this device, and more importantly how they tested it 1,000 times, and found that it had 99.3% accuracy for positive Kratom detections and 97.9% accuracy for negative Kratom detections.
Further, the device can detect Mitragynine in concentrations as low as 342 parts per billion, which is accurate enough to detect even the weakest Kratom, since Kratom generally has Mitragynine concentrations of 1-2 parts per hundred, which is 10-20 million parts per billion.
Therefore, the FDA has developed a handheld device which can detect Kratom nearly 100% of the time, and as the paper states, this is intended to be used by international mail carriers to intercept Kratom: “The method is ideal for prioritizing samples for additional testing using other more time-consuming laboratory-based techniques needed to detect and quantify mitragynine and for field use at international mail facility (IMF) satellite laboratories to help interdict kratom and prevent this dangerous product from reaching the U.S. supply chain.”
Lo and behold, within a month of this handheld Kratom detector being announced, the FDA has initiated a campaign to get DHL and UPS to seize international Kratom packages that are inbound to the United States. In other words, the FDA is trying to stop the flow of Kratom from Indonesia to the United States.
Even worse, the FDA is telling DHL and UPS that they cannot facilitate Kratom imports into the United States without a license, which is an outright lie, since such a license doesn’t exist, and it is perfectly legal for DHL and UPS to handle Kratom imports into the United States.
In any case, it seems the FDA is trying to make DHL and UPS paranoid about importing Kratom into the United States, which creates the perfect opportunity for the FDA to deploy these new handheld Kratom detectors with DHL and UPS.
Further, it is likely that these handheld Kratom detectors are being deployed with Customs and Border Protection, which is a more serious problem for the Kratom industry since all Kratom imports are under a higher threat of being seized. Indeed, there are reports across the industry that big Kratom seizures at the border have ramped up, after a period of relative calm the past several months.
Thus, the FDA may not have been able to make Kratom illegal back in 2016, nor have they provided convincing evidence that Kratom should be banned, but they are increasing their efforts to seize and destroy Kratom at the border via this new handheld Kratom detection device.