Do We Test Our Kratom for Contaminants?Lynn Seminole
Do We Test Our Kratom for Contaminants?
Yes. As with any organically-grown plant, kratom is susceptible to contaminants that may be present in the soil, water, and air. All kratom from Siesta Botanicals is thoroughly tested for potential contaminants, including heavy metals and bacteria. In particular, a third party lab tests our kratom for lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, E.coli, and salmonella.
But let’s rewind a bit. Before we even began selling kratom, the owners of Siesta Botanicals made the journey to Indonesia to personally inspect our facilities and farms to observe their growing, harvesting and storing practices. They were able to witness firsthand the quality of the product before purchasing anything to sell directly to the customer. As an added bonus, Daniel, one of the owners of Siesta Botanicals, is also certified in quality management for government contracting.
What Do We Test For And Why?
All of our kratom is tested for heavy metals lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. In high amounts — or in smaller amounts over a long period of time — consumption of these metals can cause all kinds of health and neurological problems. We also test for the bacteria E. coli and salmonella which can both cause immediate severe illness. These two types of bacteria are quite common as we all remember lettuce or ground beef being recalled due to contamination.
Here is some more information on these contaminants and how they can get into our crops:
Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal that, if present in the soil, can be absorbed by plants. Lead cannot be removed by washing the plants or by any other processing means. While lead makes up only about 0.0013 percent of the Earth’s crust, it was used in many products and construction (paint, gasoline, water pipes, and soldering) up until the mid-20th-century before we became aware of its adverse health effects.
Since lead does not degrade from the environment and can build up over time, low levels of lead can still be detected in soil, plants, the air, and water due to a build-up or leaching in the environment.
Arsenic is another naturally occurring element, so it’s not possible to remove it completely from the environment. While arsenic levels in the soil are generally low, some geographic areas contain higher amounts than others, including regions with more volcanic activity. This is because volcanic eruptions can bring arsenic from the depths of the earth to the surface. In addition, fracking, mining, arsenic pesticides (quite common in the early 20th century and finally banned in the 1980s), and arsenic-treated lumber also contribute to more arsenic contamination in certain areas.
Plants and crops can absorb arsenic through the soil, water, or air. Rice, in particular, tends to absorb more arsenic than other crops do, and since many young children consume large amounts of rice cereal, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has started ensuring that infant rice cereal stays under 100 parts per billion (ppb) for inorganic arsenic.
Mercury is also a naturally-occurring element found in rocks, including coal. Mercury is emitted into the air from the weathering of rocks and soil, the burning of fossil fuels or medical waste, forest fires, volcanoes, and the evaporation of ocean water. Mercury can remain in the environment for long periods of time by cycling back and forth between the air and soil.
Power plants that burn coal for electricity are the biggest source of emissions, accounting for about 42% of man-made mercury emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 National Emissions Inventory report.
Fish and shellfish are the primary contributors to mercury exposure in humans. Consuming large amounts of mercury-contaminated seafood can cause neurological damage.
Cadmium is a rare but widely-dispersed naturally-occurring element. It often occurs with zinc. Cadmium can be released into the environment through phosphate fertilizers, the burning of fossil fuels, mining and smelting, and other industrial processes. It can then be absorbed by plants from contaminated soil or water. Cadmium enters the soil by rain or falling out of the air. It can then be absorbed by plants. Certain plants, including tobacco, rice, and potatoes absorb cadmium more vigorously than they do other heavy metals such as lead and mercury.
E. Coli Testing
E. coli bacteria live in the intestines of humans and some animals. While most E. Coli is harmless and even important to the digestive system, some types are pathogenic and can cause severe illnesses such as diarrhea. The pathogenic types can be transmitted into humans through contaminated water and food. Outbreaks of E. coli have occurred in ground beef, lettuce, spinach, raw milk, untreated water, alfalfa sprouts, yogurt and produce from manure-fertilized gardens.
Salmonella lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. People can become infected with salmonella bacteria by eating foods or drinking water contaminated by animal feces. Although most contaminated foods are animal products, such as eggs, poultry, milk, or beef, salmonella is also found in fruits and vegetables.
People can also be infected with salmonella bacteria directly from animals such as pets, birds, fish, dogs, cats, and turtles. The FDA banned the sale of turtles smaller than 4 inches wide in 1975 to prevent the spread of salmonella.
Are There Any Specific Kratom Standards?
While the FDA doesn’t regulate kratom, the kratom industry has taken it upon itself to ensure high-quality products.
According to the American Kratom Association (AKA), when the FDA began focusing on the adverse events and deaths they had alleged to be linked to kratom, as well as on the contaminants and adulterants that were present in some kratom products, the AKA created the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards program that asked vendors to voluntarily adhere to the GMP standards for food and dietary ingredient products.
“This has been welcomed as a powerfully positive step by many elected officials, public health officials, and policymakers at all levels of government. It clearly demonstrates the kratom industry is both willing and capable of self-regulation and condemns the kratom manufacturers to fail to use GMPs or who deliberately adulterate their products for profit.” The American Kratom Association
Now that you know we have the highest standard of safety for our kratom powder, you should try it for yourself. Click here for our full catalog of kratom powder.