June 14, 2018
Scott Gottlieb Petition
The American Kratom Association (AKA) has been asked by many of our members whether they should add their names to the current PETITION calling upon FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb to recuse himself from decisions regarding kratom. We would advise every kratom supporter to decline to add their name and personal information required to sign this petition, and we do so for the following reasons:
There is no information provided on who the sponsor of this petition is and the purpose for which names, zip codes, and email addresses would be used in the future. The #Keep Kratom Legal is a generic call to action that all of us share, but without knowing who is asking for signatures, it is impossible to make an informed judgment about whether anyone should add their name to this petition. On its face, it is simply unethical to collect personal information in this manner.
The content of the petition mixes facts with highly suspect allegations about Commissioner Gottlieb’s purported current connections with the pharmaceutical industry -- which federal law absolutely prohibits. The AKA shares the concern that Dr. Gottlieb’s past employment and professional experiences have influenced his current posture on kratom, but we do not believe that alluding to some financial conflict that would be illegal under federal law is appropriate or fair.
The AKA believes the pathway to keeping kratom legal has to be focused on the science and public policies to allow access to kratom for the small segment of kratom users who need an alternative pain management therapy to dangerously addictive or deadly opioids. Whether we like it or not, Commissioner Gottlieb will be an important participant in that discussion, and alienating him with unfair and unjustified accusations is clearly damaging to our overall effort.
Even if everything stated in the petition were true, the most important question is who has sponsored the petition, and what will the personal information that is collected be used for in the future. Is this a vendor of adulterated or contaminated kratom products who is looking to a list of potential customers to sell their illicit products, or is it a vendor who is just fishing for a customer list? Or is this a list broker trying to build a list to sell your personal information to any number of vendors?
We strongly advise against signing the petition until the sponsor identifies themselves and explains what the personal information collected will be used for in the future.
As always, we follow the path of being safe rather than sorry.