In every industry, there is an expected standard for safety, manufacturing, and consumer knowledge. For food products, for example, manufacturers must meet health codes and label all products properly before the consumer ever sees them.
In the kratom industry, however, such standards are still being established. Without strict regulation or rules due to the precarious legal status of kratom in some states, some vendors and producers are not being monitored in any way. This leaves consumers at risk, and that’s not okay.
The American Kratom Association has stepped up to the plate to create the GMP Compliance Program, also known as Good Manufacturing Practices. These industry standards are meant to protect kratom consumers, and we can’t wait to see them take effect on a larger scale.
Introducing The American Kratom Association
Before we get into the specifics of how good manufacturing practices make a difference, let’s introduce some information that you should know about the American Kratom Association. Also known as AKA, this association has committed itself to ensure that kratom consumers and vendors are legally protected.
This means that the nonprofit organization wears a lot of different hats while working, but the main goals that they have set out to accomplish are as follows:
- • Support customers
- • Educate politicians, vendors, and consumers
- • Amplify the voices of kratom lovers everywhere
- • Raise global awareness of safe and practical kratom information
- • Protect natural kratom resources
The work that we have seen American Kratom Association do is absolutely amazing. They make a real difference in the way that people can use and access Kratom. For example, they’ve spent a lot of time in the last three years helping to pass legal regulations and protections for kratom consumption in various states.
Our Involvement With AKA
We find that the work the American Kratom Association is doing is essential. Inspired by their mission and messages, we’ve taken a lot of time to ensure that we are doing our part to educate our consumers.
These blog posts, for example, are just one way that we are trying to make information about kratom, how it is used, and what is going on behind-the-scenes in the industry more accessible to anyone who is curious. We hope that consumers like you find these pieces to be useful for your own educational purposes.
Another way that we are keeping up with AKA’s practices is by joining their GMP program. GMP, which stands for Good Manufacturing Practices, are generally standard practices used in specific industries to ensure that all products that make it to consumers are safe and legal.
These standards did not officially exist in the kratom industry, so AKA has set out to change that. Since AKA created its GMP program, many vendors have taken the time to improve their practices and follow the new industry standard. Some states have even adopted a variation of the GMP rules as official legal regulatory guidelines for kratom in that state.
GMP: Good Manufacturing Practices
What exactly are the Good Manufacturing Practices that the American Kratom Association asks of any vendors who want to be recognized as GMP-compliant? By understanding what these measures are, you’ll gain a better idea of the industry.
The GMP Program
Kratom products are sold as food products, so the only legal requirements placed on them by the federal government are the basic rules set by the FDA. The American Kratom Associate researched what needed to be done for manufacturing, labeling, and verification requirements that go above and beyond what the FDA has in place.
Specifically, the vendors that want to be GMP-compliant must pay attention to the following:
- • Annual 3rd party audit to ensure all procedures are being followed
- • Proper personnel training
- • Clean, sanitary, and functioning equipment
- • Random sampling for pathogens or contamination
- • Proper procedures for all aspects of receiving and monitoring supplies
- • Proper recordkeeping
- • Manufacturing records according to the AKA’s outline
- • Keeping thorough batch records
- • Appropriate quality control standards
- • Establish and follow a reporting system for any discovered problems
- • Proper labeling and advertising
The complete guidelines laid out by AKA are thorough, and the yearly audit completed by a third-party carefully ensures that the vendor is following them. If a vendor misses their audit period, they will have to improve their standards and reapply in the future for AKA to consider their reinitiation into the program.
What We’re Doing
We’ve posted before about our efforts to follow these standards. While we are officially recognized by AKA as a GMP-qualified vendor, we are still constantly striving to improve our manufacturing practices.
A few things that we are always doing include:
- • Finding new ways to test for potential pathogens
- • Revamping our sanitation controls and procedures
- • Screening our supplier and products
- • Testing more accurately
- • Testing more comprehensively
Everything that AKA suggests that we do, we do our best to implement as quickly and effectively as possible. AKA has done a lot of work to figure out what needs to be done to maintain the safety of kratom, and we appreciate that. The very least that we can do is make sure that we follow their great example!
Why You Should Care About Quality Control
You might be wondering why we think you care about quality control, and the answer is pretty simple. You should care!
When you use kratom, the product can have some very real effects on your life and body. If you were to be sold contaminated kratom or something that isn’t what it says it is, wouldn’t you be upset? By supporting companies that have good manufacturing practices in place or only buying from those that are AKA GMP compliant, you are protecting yourself.
That’s not the only reason to care about GMP-compliance, either. There have been a few instances of contaminated kratom causing problems for users in the past, and we want to avoid repeating those situations at all costs.
Vendor-focused programs like the GMP programs help to ensure that consumers are protected at the legal level as well. If there are no contamination incidents, such incidents cannot be used to change the laws about kratom. And that is key to protecting the future of the kratom industry!