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FDA orders mandatory recall of Triangle Pharmanaturals' herbal supplement kratom after firm refuses to do it voluntarily

  • The Food and Drug Administration is ordering a mandatory recall of kratom products produced by Triangle Pharmanaturals after the company refused to comply with the agency.
  • Several of Triangle's kratom products were found to contain salmonella, the FDA said, and the agency requested the company to issue a voluntary recall.

The Food and Drug Administration is ordering a mandatory recall of kratom products produced by Triangle Pharmanaturals after the company refused to comply with the agency's request to issue a voluntary recall.

Several of Triangle's kratom products were found to contain salmonella, the FDA said, and the agency requested the company to issue a voluntary recall. The agency has been investigating a salmonella outbreak that had infected 87 people as of March 15, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kratom, or Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant that grows in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Some people take it as a way to treat opioid addiction, while others take it recreationally.

The FDA has warned consumers not to use kratom because it appears to affect the brain in similar ways as opioids and could expose users to similar risks of dependency and addiction.

"We continue to have serious concerns about the safety of any kratom containing product and we are pursuing these concerns separately," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. "But the action today is based on the risks posed by the contamination of this particular product with a potentially dangerous pathogen."

This is the third time the agency has moved to issue a mandatory recall, but the first time the organization actually had to order one. It had threatened to do so twice in the past but was able to resolve those cases.

Triangle Pharmanaturals did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.