This week Ben Swann released a Reality Check segment entitled “FDA’s Disinformation Campaign on Kratom” to rave reviews from kratom advocates. Most assuredly, he is not getting the same love from the FDA and their supporters. For those of you not familiar with Ben’s work, he runs a media site called Truth in Media, and hosts a segment called Reality Check that used to air on CBS in Atlanta before it was pulled because of a controversial topic he covered during the 2016 Presidential elections. After it was pulled Truth in Media, and Reality Check went dark for more than a year to come back strong at the beginning of 2018 with funding from Dash digital currency.
In June of 2016 Ben took aim at the FDA and the idiotic practices they follow under the guise of acting as a non-partisan governmental body with a video entitled “The Revolving Door Between the FDA and Big Pharma.” He correctly pointed out that many of the federal employees who work for the agency know the job is a wonderful springboard into the private sector with many of the companies whose pharmaceutical drugs they are currently approving or denying. This leads to a conflict of interest, especially when they can use their leverage within the agency trusted to make sure American’s are safe from harmful drugs, to gain six-figure employment from the companies whose drugs they are approving.
This should raise flags in the eyes of anyone who possesses the slightest amount of skepticism about the trustworthiness of the government at the very least, and cause others to scream for more regulations having to do with the legality of pharmaceutical companies hiring people from the bullpen of the FDA. While many of you reading this article may not know who I am, let me tell you this; the FDA is my least favorite governmental body. I am a regular “vaper” and I own a vape that has the words “F*** the FDA” emboldened across the cover. I disagree with much of what they do, and believe they are more in the pockets of Big Pharma companies than they care about the well-being of the American people. I also had the opportunity to meet Ben in 2014 in Florida. I was a fan before I met him, and have only grown in my fandom since that day. I am able to recognize my biases as I write this, but also felt the need to inform the readers before I went on.
In his most recent video Ben states many points kratom advocates have been spouting for some time. Kratom is not an opioid. Kratom isn’t made from the poppy seed, but instead from the leaf of the kratom tree, a relative of the coffee tree. He also quoted scientists who stated that by banning kratom they are putting addicts at risk for relapse with stronger, more dangerous drugs. Ben also picked apart the FDA’s claims that kratom is responsible for 36 deaths. He presented evidence that 9 of the people who were included in the report took kratom that had been tainted by tramadol. A 43-year old man who had deep vein thrombosis, and was on 5 different medications was also included in the report. Another man they included fell from a window, denied help at the hospital and had 9 substances in his system, one of which was kratom. Most shockingly was the man who was included, although it was redacted, who had died due to a gunshot wound to the chest. Politicians know how to spin facts for their gain, the FDA completely misuses them for the profits of the companies they either worked for in the past, or the ones they hope to work for in the future.
Nine “leading scientists,” according to Ben, have sent Kellyanne Conway and Robert Patterson a request to ignore the FDA’s report, stating it is filled with inaccurate science, and biased reporting. Ben eloquently shines light on the hypocrisy of the FDA in this video, and shows that a governmental body, funded by the tax payers, does not work for those who pay their salary, but instead they work for the people who they hope to work for in the future. They seem to be more concerned with protecting the bottom lines of companies who are going through multiple class action law suits due to their involvement in the opioid epidemic that President Trump recently referred to as a “public health emergency.” Tennessee is one of the many states who has put together a class action suit against multiple Big Pharma companies due to the high number of addicts they have in their state. They are following through with this lawsuit, while attempting to ban the plant kratom themselves, thanks to a bill proposed by State Representative David B Hawk (admittedly Mr. Hawk did tell me via email that Governor Bill Haslam requested him to submit the proposal, and was not acting on his own accord).
I contacted Paul Kemp from the American Kratom Association (AKA) when I heard that Ben Swann was going to be putting out his video to get his thoughts. He informed me that he was quite excited about the news, but was still concerned because the AKA’s petition to President Trump has failed to garner the support they had anticipated. Mr. Kemp expressed his worry because he had gotten wind that many people were afraid to sign it for fear of the repercussion of signing the petition.
There is never a scenario in which I would tell someone to do something they thought they would land them in trouble with the law, unless they wanted to stage some sort of peaceful protest, and that was their end goal. Signing a petition is nothing more than an exercise of your free speech, and protected under the first amendment. Anyone who has signed a petition in support of the legalization of cannabis, the government auditing the FED, or ending the longest running war in American history has never be prosecuted for signing that piece of paper. I proudly sign petitions for causes I believe in, as I have this one.
Many people say they want a voice in the political realm, or they fear their voice isn’t heard by those in charge. Many times it feels as though you may be in the minority, fighting for a cause you believe in, with the odds stacked against you. You may not have the ability to speak publicly, or have a forum in which you can talk about the issues in an attempt to get your voice out there, but you have the ability to put your name on a petition, and you can then join Paul Kemp, Ben Swann and myself in the fight against the FDA as they wage their war on kratom.
Please, come and fight alongside us.
Sign the AKA petition here
Watch Ben Swann’s Video Here