In a move that has caught the attention of both advocates and skeptics, Congress is considering a bill aimed at regulating kratom, a controversial herbal substance. The proposed Kratom Consumer Protection Act has bipartisan support and was recently filed in both the House and Senate. The legislation aims to:
- Prevent the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from treating kratom as an “adulterated dietary supplement.”
- Establish a kratom task force to investigate the plant’s health claims.
- Require the task force to hold a public hearing and deliver quarterly updates to Congress for two years.
Kratom, which is available in various forms including powder and extract, is often touted as a natural pain reliever. However, its efficacy and safety are still subjects of debate. While some see it as a tool for treating opioid use disorder, others point to injuries and deaths linked to its use as a reason for more stringent regulation.