Federal officials based in Tulsa announced the seizure of large amounts of kratom, an herbal ingredient marketed as a dietary supplement but deemed a danger by the FDA.
U.S. Marshals, acting with investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, seized more than 250,000 products containing kratom and 1,000 kilograms of bulk kratom from an east Tulsa building, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tulsa.
The materials seized following the filing of a civil forfeiture complaint were valued at more than $3 million total, according to the statement.
The seizures were conducted at Botanic Tonics LLC, a business located in the 13100 block of East 61st Street in Tulsa, near its border with Broken Arrow, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma.
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The products were marketed under the brand name “Feel Free Plant Based Herbal Supplement,” according to the statement.
The complaint alleges that kratom is a dietary ingredient for which there is inadequate information to provide reasonable assurance that it does not present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury.
“This seizure underscores our commitment to taking aggressive action when companies distribute products that contain dangerous ingredients such as kratom that put consumers at risk,” said Judy McMeekin, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “We will continue to safeguard consumers against illegally marketed products that do not comply with FDA regulations.”
The seizure follows two FDA inspections at the business, one in fall 2022 and the other on Wednesday, according to the complaint.
There are no FDA-approved uses for kratom, and the agency has received concerning reports about the safety of kratom.
The FDA in April 2022 issued a warning to not consume kratom, which is the common name for Mitragyna speciosa, a plant grown naturally in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
The plant affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine and could expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse and dependence, according to the FDA.