11 July 2024

The Thai Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) will not compromise on public safety when allowing kratom (Mitragyna speciose) to be processed into food and cosmetics commercially, according to Varavoot Sermsinsiri, head of the Strategy and Planning Division, adding that information about the safety of such products is necessary.

His comment was in response to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin’s instruction to the TFDA to address complaints from many potential investors that they are confused as to why kratom cannot be processed into food or cosmetics, while the same restriction is not applied to cannabis or hemp, despite the fact that all three have been decriminalised in the country.

According to the justice minister, kratom is classified in the food category, while cannabis and hemp are not. Hence, more studies and documentation, regarding the safety of food and cosmetics containing kratom, are required.

He said, however, that he wants a similar standard to be applied to all three plants, adding that he would like an answer from the TFDA quickly, probably within a week, otherwise Thailand may lose the opportunity to capitalise commercially on kratom leaves.

The head of the TFDA’s Strategy and Planning Division said that the TFDA retains public safety as the priority, adding that there is currently insufficient credible information on the safety of products containing kratom.