Safeguard Consumers From Potentially Dangerous Pain Relief Supplements

Target: Robert Califf, Commissioner for U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Goal: Protect the public from popular supplements that could pose serious health risks.

Two recent troubling cases highlight how a lack of regulation in the health supplement industry is possibly endangering consumers’ lives. For one, scrutiny is increasingly falling on kratom: an herbal supplement found in powder and pill forms and used to relieve pain and anxiety. This substance has reportedly been linked to thousands of deaths when taken in combination with other drugs. While the exact nature of the link is still being studied, some researchers believe the supplement may interfere with the body’s ability to properly break down other drugs.

Another pain supplement, Neptune’s Fix, has also been associated with potential life-threatening drug interactions and side effects like seizures. This supplement contains an unapproved-for-medical-use ingredient called tianeptine. The substance is often referred to as gas station heroin because it is commonly found in gas stations and convenience stores, just like kratom substances (which are prolific online as well).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about both of these supplements but has done little else to help curb their risk to consumers. Despite efforts from organizations like the Mayo Clinic, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and its parent agency the Department of Health and Human Services to bring greater awareness and action to kratom supplements, the FDA has reportedly not assisted—and in some cases allegedly obstructed—these efforts. Even an advocacy group for kratom agrees that more federal regulation is needed.

Sign the petition below to demand a prominent agency for consumer protection do its job.


Dear Dr. Califf,

Warnings will never be sufficient if they do not reach the right ears and eyes. This agency defends its actions on possibly dangerous supplement substances like kratom and tianeptine, but polite requests that businesses stop selling or marketing these products are not sufficient. Consumers should directly know of the potential dangers they are facing via clear labeling and warnings. Even the American Kratom Association concurs with this assessment.

A handful of states have already taken the initiative to limit and better regulate supplements such as kratom, and it is far past time for this federal agency to follow suit. Please join with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the broader Department of Health and Human Services, and countless researchers and scientists who are trying to protect consumers from these hidden dangers to their health and their very lives.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Laryssa Suaid

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


163 Signatures

  • Donna Jones
  • Alison Martin
  • Alison Martin
  • judith worrall
  • Evan Jane Kriss
  • Nancy Fifer
  • Silvia Rocha
  • Vanessa Bartley
  • C Bradley
  • Jacqueline Forte
1 of 16123...16
Skip to toolbar