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How a Kratom Ban Could Exacerbate Environmental Harm in Southeast Asia from the Palm Oil Industry While a ban on kratom in the United States could have significantly negative effects on thousands or even millions of lives, the negative impact could be a global one. Kratom cultivation and harvesting provides many individuals in Southeast Asia with an eco-friendly way to earn the money they need to survive. But a United States kratom ban would result in a dramatic decrease in demand that would almost certainly have a major impact on the individuals who produce and harvest kratom. Unfortunately, the negative effects could extend far beyond the social realm. Many of these kratom producers could be forced to shift to palm oil production, which is credited with causing irreversible environmental damage, particularly to the rainforests and jungles that are home to thousands of unique species, including the Sumatran orangutan. So let's examine how kratom is produced and how a kratom ban would cause many to shift from kratom production to the environmentally harmful palm oil farming industry. How and Where is Kratom Grown in Southeast Asia? Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) is a tree that's native to Southeast Asia. Kratom is grown and harvested across Southeast Asia, including in Thailand and in the Malaysian peninsula to Borneo. Kratom requires nitrogen-rich, fertile soil and a warm environment. It is also known as an “understory” crop, meaning it naturally thrives in the lower regions of the forest, receiving filtered sunlight that passes through the main forest canopy. For this reason, you cannot simply plant kratom in a field (in direct sunlight) and expect it to thrive. While there are some kratom plantations (typically on farm lands that were formed by cutting down valuable rainforest), a very large portion of kratom producers actually work with the thick, ancient jungles, harvesting leaves from the mature kratom trees that grow naturally in this region. These mature kratom trees tend to have a higher quality leaf, with a denser alkaloid content. Many kratom farmers also plant new trees in the jungle, where they thrive and in several years' time, produce a good quality kratom leaf. So in many cases, the worldwide demand for kratom allows enterprising Asians to work with the jungles, effectively slowing the rate at which these valuable and irreplaceable rainforests are destroyed. While we were unable to find precise figures on what portion of all kratom is exported to the United States, the team here at Kratora can confirm that Americans account for a vast majority of our customer base. It's possible that the U.S. could account for as much as 25% or more the world's kratom consumers. This means that hundreds or even thousands of kratom producers and harvesters could be put out of business if kratom is outlawed in the U.S. And it's certain that many land owners would turn to a far more ecologically harmful type of agricultural venture: palm oil plantations. How is Kratom Demand Linked to Palm Oil Plantations? Farmers in Southeast Asia are rather limited in their options by way of crops. If kratom demand is reduced, many kratom producers would be forced to explore other options and it's certain that many would opt to convert their lands into palm oil plantations. While kratom trees can thrive in the dense rainforest, it's just not possible to farm oil palm trees in this way. As a result, thousands upon thousands of acres of ancient rainforest could be destroyed to make way for these palm oil plantations, which are on par with the logging industry in terms of the negative impact on the environment. Southeast Asia's ancient rainforests are home to many unique species that are found nowhere else on the planet, such as the Sumatran orangutan. A reduction in kratom demand could spell death for millions of creatures, including endangered species, including the Sumatran orangutan, the Sumatran tiger, Asian elephants, the probocis monkey and the sun bear. Deforestation and loss of critical habitats isn't the only ill effect from the “forest conversion” process that is required to establish palm oil plantations. To make matters worse, oil palm trees – like all palm trees – have a relatively small, shallow root system. Without the deep, widespread root systems that exist in a healthy rainforest environment, there is little to hold the soil in place. This can result in serious, widespread soil erosion. The dense plant life in the rainforest also results in a lot of water consumption, with some tree species soaking up thousands of gallons per day. Without these plants and trees in place to drink up water from the soil, flooding becomes a greater problem. (And when you combine flooding with loose soil, the erosion problem is exacerbated ten-fold.) During the dry season, there is an increased risk of fire in regions where palm oil plantations are located. Rainforests tend to remain damp year-round, in large part due to the thick layer of organic and peat material that covers the forest floor, serving like a giant sponge. The thick forest canopy also prevents the direct sunlight from hitting the forest floor, limiting evaporation. This means these jungle regions are naturally protected from fires. But in a palm oil plantation, the rainforest is clearcut and the peatlands are drained. Direct sunlight dries the earth, creating dry conditions that are ripe for fire. What's more, the oil palm tree is not native to Southeast Asia. It's actually native to Western Africa, yet an estimated 85% of the world's palm oil is sourced from Malaysia and Indonesia. Non-native plants hold the potential to cause new and unforeseen forms of environmental damage, harming native species in a number of ways. The situation in Southeast Asia is already critical. According to facts and figures provided by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), it's estimated that 300 football fields worth of ancient rainforest is cut down every hour to make way for new palm oil plantations. The WWF estimates that if this rate continues, we could lose endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger in as little as three years and the Sumatran orangutan in as little as five or ten years. Over 90% of the Sumatran orangutan's habitat has been destroyed in the past 20 years alone. The rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo are home to approximately 300,000 animal species and countless more plant species. While the forest timber is sold and utilized worldwide, all of the other plant matter is dried and burned, making this region the third worst greenhouse gas emitter worldwide. As if the environmental impact wasn't bad enough, the palm oil industry has also been linked to egregious human rights violations, including child labor in Malaysia and Indonesia. Many children are forced to pull weeds for 12 hours a day or longer, while others carry heavy, thorn-ridden bunches of palm fruit from the fields to the processing area. In short, the impact of banning kratom in the U.S. could have a profoundly negative impact on thousands of Americans, but beyond this, we could see ever-worsening conditions in Southeast Asia where many kratom producers may be forced to join the palm oil industry. ,

Quick Start Guide to Kratom - Mon, 31 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EST

What You Need to Know as a First-Time Kratom Buyer As a first-time kratom buyer, it's important to note that kratom is not currently approved for human consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As such, we can only sell it as an unapproved dietary ingredient, sold for external use only. We're unable to sell or market kratom for human consumption, nor can we offer advice on taking it orally as this would be considered a violation of the current U.S. laws. To this end, as a compliant vendor, we sell kratom for botanical uses and research purposes only. How Much Kratom Do I Need? In smaller quantities (usually ranging from 1 to 4 grams), kratom tends to have an “aroma” that is more stimulating and invigorating. In larger quantities (5 grams or more), kratom's “aroma” is more soothing and relaxing. Remember that kratom extracts are more concentrated. It's generally best to start with a smaller quantity of kratom when seeking a specific “aroma.” Remember you can always add more kratom to the mix if you decide you'd prefer a larger quantity. Whereas if you accidentally utilize too much kratom, you may encounter challenges (i.e. it's impossible to remove excess kratom from a soap mix or incense blend.) Which Kratom Variety Do I Choose? Choosing the right kratom strain and variety can be a challenge. Don't get overwhelmed. Each strain of kratom has slightly different properties. The strains are each named for the region where it is cultivated, including Bali, Sumatra, Thai, Indo (for Indonesia), Malay (for Malaysia) and Kali (for the Kalimantan region on the island of Borneo.) In addition to kratom strains, you'll also see reference to type or color. There are three basic types of kratom: green vein, white vein and red vein. The vein color refers to the color of the stem and the vein that runs through the leaves. Each strain is slightly different in terms of the “aroma,” but generally speaking: Red vein kratom varieties tend to have the most relaxing and soothing “aroma;” White vein kratom varieties tend to have the most stimulating and invigorating “aroma.” Green vein kratom tends to be a middle ground. Its “aroma” is both stimulating and invigorating in smaller quantities and more relaxing and soothing in larger quantities. We recommend keeping it simple. Choose a kratom vein color from below based on your preferences. Once you have a baseline feel free to try a couple varieties of that color to see which kratom variety produces the most desirable “aroma” for you. White Vein Borneo (19) In Stock Green Vein Borneo (7) Out of Stock Thai Red Vein (31) In Stock ,

Kratom Public Comment Announcement - Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EST

Help Keep Kratom Legal – Submit Your Comments to the DEA Thanks to the tremendous public outcry, amongst other factors, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has backed off its plan to list kratom as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. However, Kratom is not out of the woods yet, but you can take action to help keep kratom legal because the DEA is accepting public comment on kratom for a period of six weeks. This public comment period will be used to determine how the DEA will proceed concerning kratom. So now is your opportunity to take action and save kratom! Please take the time to do this. This is the single most important thing you can do to influence how the governement will treat Kratom going forward. Don't assume others will do it and all is good. How Do I Share My Comments on Kratom? The American Kratom Association has led the charge in an attempt to keep kratom legal in the United States. This organization has launched a website at www.KratomComments.org where users can complete a simple form that will be submitted directly to the DEA. The site was created to ensure that all comments are being counted and that a independent count In addition to your comments, the form asks for some basic information, such as your name, address, email and phone. Please note that you can submit the form anonymously by entering the word “ANONYMOUS” in each of the fields for name, address, phone and email. The comment section is where you can share your experiences with kratom and your thoughts on why it's so important to keep this natural plant legal and unrestricted in the United States. Just visit www.KratomComments.org to get started! What Should I Write in the Kratom Comments Section? We encourage you to share your personal experiences as a kratom user. Just keep the 5,000 character limit in mind when writing your comments. (You can use the “preview” button on the bottom of the form to check the length before sending.) If you're unsure of how or where to start, consider these points as you prepare to write your comments to the DEA: • What first attracted you to kratom? Were you seeking a natural pain or anxiety reliever? Were you addicted to prescription painkillers or heroin and seeking something to ease the withdrawal symptoms? Do you suffer from chronic pain, but cannot afford prescription drugs? Paint a picture of what your life was like before kratom and what motivated you to try kratom. • What has kratom done for you and your life? Explore the benefits of having kratom in your life. Has kratom relieved your pain or anxiety? Has kratom allowed you to become a more productive person? Has kratom allowed you to overcome an illness or condition that you were unable to overcome previously? Does kratom make you a happier, more well-adjusted member of society? Explain precisely WHY kratom is important to you! • What would you lose if kratom was banned tomorrow? Would you be unable to work due to pain or anxiety? Would your social anxiety prevent you from pursuing college classes? Would you be unable to care for your children effectively without kratom? Would your overall quality of life suffer? Paint a picture of what your life would look like without kratom. What losses you would you suffer if kratom was made illegal? • Have you ever experienced serious problems in terms of a kratom overdose, addiction or side effects? Do you feel kratom is safe? Have you experienced serious side effects? Do you feel you're addicted to kratom? These are primary areas of concern for the DEA, so any thoughts on safety and addictiveness are important to discuss. Why is All This Happening? On August 31, the DEA announced its plan to make kratom's two main alkaloids a Schedule 1 controlled substance – a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no recognized medicinal usage, including heroin, LSD and methamphetamine. September 30 was the earliest this new classification could go into effect, making kratom illegal to possess or sell. The DEA attempted to justify the emergency scheduling measure by calling kratom an “imminent” health threat. The DEA cited kratom's connection to 15 deaths (although 14 of those incidents involved other drugs in addition to kratom.) The agency also cited the 660 kratom-related calls to poison control centers between 2010 and 2015, although just 428 of those calls involved kratom only. For perspective, over the same six-year timeframe, the CDC has received 23,203 calls concerning caffeine and a total of 66,300 calls concerning essential oils. The DEA's plan to list kratom as a Schedule 1 substance drew significant objection from kratom proponents, many of whom use kratom to self-wean off dangerous opiates or to self-manage pain that would otherwise require opiate painkillers. In fact, a DEA spokesperson named Melvin Patterson told the media that “I have been with the DEA for 20 years and have never seen this level of public response.” A number of lawmakers also spoke out, as did attorneys for The American Kratom Association, amongst others. So in a rare move, the DEA has backed off its plans to list kratom as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, but now, your action is more important than ever! This public comment period is extremely important, as the feedback that the authorities receive from members of the public – people like YOU – will help paint a more accurate picture of kratom's real characteristics and benefits. We encourage you to take action now and complete the American Kratom Association's public comment form, which will be sent directly to the DEA once you submit the form. Take action today and share this link with your kratom-loving friends! ,

Summary of AKA 's law firm letter to DEA - Mon, 10 Oct 2016 00:00:00 EST

Attorneys for The American Kratom Association made a move to block a move by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which is seeking to list two of kratom's primary alkaloids as Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act. In a letter from the law firm of Hogan Lovells US LLP addressed to DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, the attorneys asked the agency “to immediately suspend the process of scheduling mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, constituents of the kratom plant, pursuant to the emergency scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).” Background on The DEA's Move to Ban Kratom On August 31, 2016, the DEA filed a notice of intent concerning its plans to include kratom alkaloids, called mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, as Schedule 1 controlled substances. This is the most restrictive classification reserved for substances with a high risk of abuse with no recognized medicinal value. Substances in the Schedule 1 category include heroin, cocaine and LSD. The temporary change in classification was eligible to go into effect on September 30, 2016, but much to the relief of kratom enthusiasts and proponents, the DEA indicated that the Schedule 1 classification has not yet gone into effect. An agency spokesman indicated that the DEA is still in the process of moving forward with the new scheduling, but there has been some indication that the agency may allow for public input prior to finalizing this matter. If the scheduling change does go into effect, it would remain valid for up to two years. At any time during this period, the DEA could move to make the Schedule I status permanent. An Overview of the Letter to the DEA From The American Kratom Association's Attorney Hogan Lovells' 35-page letter, dated September 26, 2016, is quite clear in its intention. The law firm wrote, “The Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) proposed use of the emergency scheduling authority in this instance is completely unprecedented. Because it allows for a departure from formal, public regulatory processes prior to taking effect, the entry of an emergency scheduling order is intended only for the most extreme instances of harmful illicit drug use, where no other options are available to prevent 'an imminent hazard to public safety.' “Far from being 'an imminent hazard,' kratom herbal products are used routinely, safely and responsibly by several million consumers in the United States. Never before has [the] DEA invoked its emergency scheduling authority to take action against a natural product with a long history of safe use in the community.” Notably, the emergency scheduling provision that's available to the U.S. Attorney General and the DEA is designed to allow for the prompt criminalization of new, “rapidly emerging” synthetic, “designer drugs” that quickly and suddenly arise on the market. These substances are typically highly addictive, extremely dangerous in terms of their ability to cause illness or even death. Kratom, the attorneys argue, does not bear these qualities and therefore, does not deserve to be the subject to emergency scheduling measures. The attorneys point out that kratom – which has literally been used throughout Southeast Asia for thousands of years and has been in use amongst millions of Americans for at least a decade – does not fit the category of “rapidly emerging.” Nor is kratom a so-called designer drug that was “concocted to avoid existing DEA controls.” Attorneys Argue that Kratom Lacks Danger and Potential for Abuse Notably – and somewhat problematically – the concept of “abuse” is not clearly defined in the Controlled Substances Act. Even so, the American Kratom Association's legal team has made a compelling argument against the claims that kratom is a dangerous and addictive substance. In fact, Hogan Lovells cited the work of one of the planet's premier experts on drug abuse and addiction, Jack Henningfield, PhD. Henningfield classified kratom as having “a remarkable record of safety and low abuse risk,” with “little evidence of dependence or serious adverse events and no documented kratom-caused overdose deaths.” The legal brief even cited the pharmacologic properties of kratom, which make it “a poor choice as an agent of abuse. Research shows that it would require a 'heroic effort' to consume enough kratom to achieve the types of effects typically associated with abuse.” The letter indicated that “kratom does not demonstrate a high potential for abuse similar to fentanyl or oxycodone – but, rather, shares characteristics of unscheduled naturally-derived substances such as caffeine.” They also cited research performed at Columbia University, where it was discovered that “the primary constituents of kratom, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, have significantly different pharmacology profiles from traditionally abused opioids.” The lawyers pointed to the pharmacological properties of kratom's alkaloid constituents, which have been called “opiate-like” in their effects. But this similarity, they argue, does not equate to a similarly high risk of abuse: “...Kratom does not exhibit the binding profile associated with the reinforcing qualities that lead to opiate addiction and abuse. Mitragynine binds to several non-opioid receptors and demonstrates both agonist and antagonist effects at the opioid receptors, limiting the 'high' that can be achieved with kratom and, with it, the potential for abuse.” As for the other targeted alkaloid, 7-hydroxymitragynine, the attorneys pointed to research involving mass spectrometry, which revealed that “only trace quantities” of this alkaloid were present in kratom leaves and as such, “is unlikely to generally account for the psychoactive properties of this plant.” They also cited research that revealed that the more than two dozen additional alkaloids contained within kratom “showed no measurable agonist activity at any of the human opioid receptors, even at high concentrations.” Additionally, kratom also differs from traditional opioids “in terms of its very low bioavailability, as only 3% is bioavailable when taken orally.” Compare this to the bioavailability of morphine 20% to 25%), fentanyl (50% to 70%) and codeine (90%). This relatively low degree of bioavailability “limits the extent to which a user could experience a 'high,'” while simultaneously reducing the risk of overdose and the reinforcement that may lead to dependency and addition. What's more, there is no evidence to link kratom to social harms, such as auto accidents, violent acts, unemployment, criminal behaviors or other acts that are linked to highly addictive and harmful illicit drugs. In reality, users report the precise opposite: “Indeed, many kratom users assert that kratom has enabled them to once again be active, contributing members of their communities.” “There is little evidence that individuals are taking kratom in amounts sufficient to create a hazard to their health or to the safety of others. If that were the case, we would expect to see many cases of serious adverse events and overdose deaths,” the attorneys wrote. In reality, millions of people in Thailand alone use kratom and worldwide, there have been fewer than 100 “serious adverse events” reported in connection to kratom. And in these cases, it's believed that the adverse health effects “were likely caused by the co-administration of other substances.” The AKA's attorneys also highlighted the fact that making kratom's alkaloids Schedule 1 substances would cause irreparable harm to numerous businesses and millions of Americans who use kratom on a routine basis. A Closer Look at Alleged Kratom Deaths In the DEA's announcement in the Federal Register when it announced its plans to make kratom's alkaloid Schedule 1 substances, the agency cited 660 calls to the U.S. Poison Control Center (with the Centers for Disease Control or CDC) in the timeframe from January 2010 through December 2015, along with a number of kratom-related fatalities. In response to this claim, the American Kratom Association's attorneys examined the approximately 30 alleged reports of kratom-related fatalities. They reported that “a close examination of these reports shows that there are no instances in which kratom itself was determined to be responsible for the cause of death....Because kratom does not appear to induce respiratory depression (the dominant reason why abuse or misuse of traditional opioids leads to death)... there is good reason to question whether these reports indeed represent a valid or meaningful signal with respect to kratom. “Close review of the totality of the evidence points clearly in the other direction, namely, that kratom is well tolerated and relatively mild in its effects.” They also point to compelling evidence of kratom's prominent use as a self-care staple, which is allowing Americans to live productive lives without relying upon prescription medications and/or illicit drugs.” In their announcement, the DEA had also referenced autopsy and medical examiners' reports, although the DEA's spokesman Melvin Patterson acknowledged that just one death was “directly attributable to kratom alone.” But even this is no longer accurate. The kratom death in question involves a 36-year-old man who was living in Denver, Colorado when he reportedly ingested kratom and experienced a fatal seizure. While the full and complete medical examiner's autopsy report, toxicology reports and medical history are not publicly available, it was noted that “the medical examiner's report later revised its toxicology findings to state that it was 'indeterminate' whether 7-hydroxymitragynine was present in the man's bloodstream.” The medical examiner also noted that the decedent had a history of cardiopulmonary arrest – a factor that may have contributed to the death. And while the AKA's legal team called the death “regrettable and concerning,” they noted that far more evidence is needed to qualify the substance for emergency scheduling.” This is especially true in light of the fact that other legal, and widely available substances, such as ginseng, have been linked to fatality, yet ginseng and many others remain available and without regulation. Examining the Flaws in the DEA's Reliance Upon Poison Control Center Call Data The lawyers also made a very apt point concerning the DEA's reliance upon the Poison Control Center data, as the data did not “demonstrate imminent harm or a substantial likelihood of an immediate threat of abuse.” In fact, some have argued that many of the Poison Control Center calls could be attributed to physicians' lack of knowledge concerning kratom and its effects. In cases where a patient has ingested an unfamiliar substance, it is standard protocol to contact the Poison Control Center to learn more about that substance and its effects. So, for instance, if a patient arrived at a hospital for treatment of a broken arm and the medical team determined that emergency surgery was necessary, they would typically ask the patient if they had recently ingested any substances or supplements. If the physician or anesthetist was not familiar with kratom and its effects (particularly relative to anesthesia or other medications that would be administered), then it would be standard practice to contact the Poison Control Center to learn more about kratom – even though the patient is not seeking treatment for a kratom-related issue. According to the legal brief, many of the calls to the CDC involved patients who had ingested many different substances, making it impossible to determine what, if any, adverse effects were caused by kratom. If you eliminate these cases from the equation, the 660 calls are reduced to just 428 calls over six years – a very low figure when you examine that figure relative to the millions of Americans who use kratom on a regular basis. Relatively, these 428 kratom-related calls are insignificant. Over the same six-year timeframe, the CDC has received 23,203 calls concerning caffeine and a total of 66,300 calls concerning essential oils. When you compare kratom's 428 single-substance calls to the Poison Control Center to other natural supplements that are generally considered “safe,” the reality of this situation comes into even greater focus: · Echinacea has been involved in 1,149 single-substance reports and 1,464 reports overall; · Valerian has been involved in 778 single-substance reports and 1,499 reports overall; · St. John's Wort has been involved in 717 single-substance reports and 1,173 reports overall; · Yohimbe has been involved in 985 single-substance reports and 1,246 reports overall; and · Ginseng has been involved in 412 single-substance reports and 638 cases overall. What's more, substances such as Valerian and St. John's Wort have been found to have “reinforcing effects” that can lead to dependence. And ginseng was even implicated in a death in 2011! The legal brief also faults the DEA for failing to consider multiple sources, which is typically the case. The attorneys argued that “When evaluating whether a substance has a history or current pattern of abuse, DEA ordinarily relies on a number of national surveys and data sources. These sources include the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Monitoring the Future, the Drug Abuse Warning Network, and Treatment Episode Data Sets, among others. These databases report the age of users, the frequency of use, involvement with the criminal justice system, use in combination with illicit substances, use leading to emergency department visits, and use patterns consistent with addiction... These databases could have provided the information that DEA’s notice is sorely lacking: statistics that differentiate between legitimate use and abuse and that indicate the presence or absence of risk factors that affect the public health.” AKA's Lawyers Call Emergency Scheduling “Unlawful” In their letter to the DEA's Acting Administrator, the American Kratom Association's lawyers made a case for the unlawful nature of the emergency scheduling of kratom, which they called “an important law enforcement tool.” They noted that historically, the DEA has used its emergency scheduling authority for three types of cases: synthetic fentanyl analogs; · synthetic analogs to MDMA (also known as ecstasy); and · “powerful synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones, substances directly associated with disturbingly bizarre adverse events and deaths.” They added, “In contrast, DEA has never exercised its emergency scheduling authority to control a natural botanical substance. It has never exercised its emergency scheduling authority to control a widely used consumer product with a long history of safe marketing and it has never exercised its emergency scheduling authority to control a substance in the absence of evidence of a high potential for abuse or an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm. Indeed, doing so in the case of kratom would be patently inconsistent with both the plain language and legislative history of the CSA.” It's also argued that the emergency scheduling of kratom would be a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) on a substantive and procedural level and it could be considered a violation of the due process clause. On the latter point, they noted that “if the scheduling order takes effect without an opportunity for interested parties to provide comments and participate in a meaningful hearing, the scheduling order will violate procedural due process requirements...Here, [the] DEA is criminalizing a substance that has been used by millions of Americans for many years, yet providing only a retrospective opportunity to object....Such 'post-enforcement procedures' do not satisfy the minimum procedural safeguards guaranteed by the due process clause.” It was also argued that the DEA failed to follow the “important considerations, oversight and public involvement required by executive orders 12866 and 13563.” Executive Order 13563 requires federal agencies to carefully consider their actions and the impact of those actions on the public, in addition to considering options that “reduce regulatory burden and maintain flexibility and choice for the public, and to involve the public in their considerations. Executive Order 12866 requires any “significant regulatory actions” to be submitted to the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Significant regulatory actions are regarded as decisions that – amongst other things – “have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities...” The legal brief's authors argue that a kratom ban could fall under this umbrella. As a result, the “DEA is duty-bound to withdraw the notice” to add kratom's alkaloids to the list of Schedule I substances. In a final point, Hogan Lovells' attorneys argue that the DEA's emergency scheduling notice fails to meet the standards put forth in the Data Quality Act (DQA) due to the incomplete and inaccurate nature of some of the information put forth in the proposed temporary scheduling order. They also criticize the lack of proper analysis, which includes failure to place information “in the context of the broader population safely consuming kratom and without reference to the very similar data for similar botanical substances or other consumer products.” A copy of the full letter can be viewed at https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwMPT92bOJKdZWM2bzlLeU5DdDg. ,
David Kolovson, a spokesman for Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., tells U.S. News that Pocan spoke with DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg on Friday, and that Rosenberg indicated the decision to ban kratom will be postponed while the agency opens a modified public notice and comment period. Rather than enact the ban in the immediate future, "it appears the DEA will instead open up a modified comment process before a final decision will be made," Kolovson says. "While we do not know the exact timing or details of the new comment period for kratom, Acting Administrator Rosenberg assured Congressman Pocan that we will find out more in the near future." The number of days that would be included in the modified public comment period is not yet clear, Kolovson says. Source http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-09-30/kratom-will-remain-legal-for-days-possibly-longer ,