@colleenyoung — Thank you again for the post regarding kratom. I would just add that significant controversy persists regarding Dr. Gottlieb's statement, and the FDA advisory opinions pertaining to 'deadly' disks associated with kratom.
This isn't a comprehensive list, as there are numerous critiques on this issue, but here are four reputable reviews on this topic. The consensus from those on the other side is that it is unlikely that kratom has been responsible for any deaths at all. The general argument is that the cases cited involve multiple agents, and in some cases, suicide, and that none can be attributed to kratom directly. If one looks hard enough, a small handfull of cases with kratom as the single agent can be found, although many critiques for those exist as well.
First, here is a compilation of fatality cases from the FDA (02/2018) that readers may read to derive their own conclusions:
Risk assessment from Pinney Associates (a Pharmaceutical Research Firm). [See page 52)
Letter from David Kroll, PhD, Academic Pharmacologist in Forbes Magazine:
Rebuttal from nine prominent academic scientists:
To be fair, here is an excellent piece that details deception on both sides of the issue:
In short, I would assert that Dr. Gottleib's statement, and the FDA's position notwithstanding, the controversial issue of kratom safety is far from settled.
…for the record: I am not a Kratom advocate. I am an interested stakeholder actively observing this complicated issue as it develops.