If you’ve spent any time researching kratom, you’ve probably seen links to the American Kratom Association (AKA) online. Even if you have heard of the AKA, chances are, you don’t know who they are and what they do.
To put it simply, the AKA is an organization that advocates for kratom and kratom consumers. The AKA is the primary organization pushing back against federal attacks on kratom use and sales. The FDA spends millions of consumers’ tax dollars each year, trying to make kratom illegal. The AKA is working to put a stop to the FDA’s legal and misinformation campaigns.
Want to find out more about the AKA and how it operates? Read on for a full introduction to this organization, its history, and its current work.
American Kratom Association
If you still have access to kratom in your town, you can likely thank the AKA. The FDA began its push to banning kratom in the United States in 2012. Advocates for this beneficial herbal supplement fought back by creating the AKA in 2014.
The AKA doesn’t just advocate for ongoing legality. Its goal is to ensure that consumers have access to safe, high-quality kratom products.
The organization’s primary goals are to:
- Support kratom consumers and advocates
- Educate Americans about kratom
- Amplify the voices of those who benefit from kratom
- Raise global awareness of kratom’s benefits
- Protect natural resources by supporting sustainable harvests
The combined effect of pursuing these goals is to create a new narrative that combats the FDA’s misinformation campaign. The FDA wants Americans to believe that kratom is a harmful drug. If you use kratom, you already know that this is an unfair characterization. Unfortunately, not everyone has first-hand knowledge of kratom’s many benefits.
Developing Industry Standards
People in Southeast Asia have been using the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree for centuries. However, Western consumers have only had access to this beneficial supplement for several decades. When it first became popular in America, kratom was utterly unregulated.
The lack of regulation led to somewhat of a Wild West scenario. There was no way to tell manufacturers that provided high-quality products from those just trying to make a quick buck. Disreputable vendors cut corners in both production and packaging, and contaminated products were standard. The AKA changed all that by establishing the American kratom association approved vendor list.
To be listed as an approved vendor, manufacturers had to adhere to the AKA’s quality standards. Those standards include ensuring not just potency but also purity. If you’ve ever read a third-party lab test for a kratom product, you can thank the American Kratom Association.
The AKA works with stakeholders, including kratom manufacturers, vendors, consumers, and legislators, to advocate for safe access to the herb. They don’t stop at combating negative stereotypes. The AKA actively engages with US governmental leaders and monitors the FDA, NIDA, and DEA’s criminalize kratom attempts.
Instead of arguing against regulation, the AKA has a different goal. They want the FDA to play an active role in monitoring kratom manufacturers and products. They just don’t want the FDA to overstep its bounds and attempt to pass legislation that criminalizes this beneficial herbal supplement. Working with consumers, industry leaders, and legislators alike allowed the AKA to establish an effective advocacy program.
The AKA believes that the FDA could be working in consumers’ best interests to maximize kratom’s potential. After all, the organization’s primary stated goal is to protect consumers’ rights to safe and sober foods, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals.
To this end, the AKA works to protect consumers by advocating for:
- Appropriate FDA regulations
- Child-resistant packaging
- Minimum age of purchase laws
- High manufacturing standards
- Helpful and accurate labeling
- Marketing claims consistent with the DSHEA’s standards
The AKA works for you by advocating for adherence to reasonable quality standards, such as appropriate labeling and purity testing. Kratom lovers deserve the best. The AKA helps to ensure that they can get it.
Early on, the AKA focused primarily on correcting misconceptions about kratom. It helped to fund research into its benefits and effects that improved the supplement’s reputation across the world. Now that most people know the FDA’s misinformation campaign, the AKA’s focus has shifted.
The American Kratom Association continues to support ongoing research into kratom’s active compounds. The primary difference is that now, researchers can investigate its true therapeutic potential. While most of the initial research into kratom in the West focused on its safety profile, modern research is different. It seeks to uncover novel ways that kratom and its alkaloids can improve consumer health and wellness.
American Kratom Association Latest News
One of the great things about the AKA is that they give voice to diverse viewpoints. Not only does the AKA put out press releases, but they also track what’s going on in the kratom industry. Here are just a few of the latest examples of news updates from the AKA:
New Evidence Emerges on Kratom’s Potential for Treating Opioid Addiction
According to Dr. McLaughlin from the University of Florida, there is scientific evidence that kratom could help with opioid addiction. McLaughlin’s research team found that kratom tea helped to alleviate withdrawal symptoms in laboratory tests. Scientists will have to develop and perform clinical research studies to see if those positive effects carry over to humans.
The Agenda for the 2020 Kratom Leadership Summit Has Been Announced
The Summit will focus on informing attendees about recent developments in kratom science and advocacy. It will take place in Tampa, Florida, to attend virtually from November 11th to November 13th. If you’re interested in attending, you should register in advance online.
The AKA Is Running a Donation Drive
The AKA relies heavily on donations to perform its vital work. Right now, the organization is holding a virtual donation drive. Supporters can pledge to raise a specific amount of money for the AKA, then make their donations on December 1st.
The AKA Has Developed a New Campaign
If you’re looking for an easy and cost-free way to get involved in advocacy work, this is it. The AKA has developed a new website called ProtectKratom.org to make it easier for you to contact your elected officials. Visit the site to learn how you can participate in the Kratom Saves Lives ad campaign.
Addiction Specialists Tackle Difficult Questions
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about kratom. Some people still believe that because it binds to opioid receptors, that means it’s comparably addictive to prescription opiates. The AKA recently hosted a debate on the subject to ensure that both sides have their voices heard.
American Kratom Association and the Botanical Education Alliance
Like the AKA, the Botanical Education Alliance (BEA) focuses on educating consumers, lawmakers, and the media. They don’t just explore misconceptions about kratom. Instead, the BEA advocates for natural supplements, more generally. The AKA and the BEA often collaborate on advocacy campaigns and legal work.
The AKA and the BEA are two of the best-known groups advocating for keeping kratom legal and easily accessible. That doesn’t mean they’re the only ones doing this critical work. These dedicated organizations are in good company. They are joined in the fight by representatives from organizations such as A Leap of Faith, Plants People Health, the kratom trade association, and others.
How Is Kratom Made?
Kratom is a natural herbal supplement derived from the leaves of the Mitragyna speciosa tree. Manufacturers don’t make kratom. They just dry and powder the leaves of cultivated trees to create a better shelf life and higher potency.
Support Those Who Support Kratom
It doesn’t matter where you buy your kratom. If you love this beneficial herbal supplement, you can do your part to support the American Kratom Association and other organizations. They’re doing the hard work of keeping it legal and ensuring transparency within the industry. Without the AKA, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the many kratom benefits you’ve come to rely on; if you have the extra money, donate today.