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Shocking evidence has come to light that the American Kratom Association (AKA) has been in bed with Big Pharma and other anti-Kratom organizations since 2016. This is a serious threat to Kratom’s legality, since pretty much everyone in the Kratom world has put all of their eggs into the AKA basket, and now it is becoming clear that the AKA has intimate ties to Big Pharma organizations which are trying to ban Kratom. Essentially, the primary spokesperson for the AKA is Mac Haddow, whose real name is McClain Haddow, a man who was thrown out of the Reagan Administration and straight into prison for ‘improperly pocketing’ $55,000 from the government and a private foundation. After that, Haddow worked to advance the agenda of terrorist Libyan dictator Muammar Gadafi, where Haddow was trying to convince families of the Pan Am 103 bombing to accept $1 million each in exchange for pressuring the State Department to turn over the terrorists responsible to countries that were more friendly to Libya. That stuff is not the main point of this article however. The reason this article is being written today is that the AKA is deeply connected with a lobbying firm called Upstream Consulting, which is a company that is solely owned by Haddow and his brother. Public data from OpenSecrets.org reveals that during the past 5 years Upstream Consulting has been providing lobbying services for the AKA while simultaneously providing lobbying services for organizations which are trying to get Kratom banned, including Big Pharma companies and the Natural Products Association (NPA). A brief Segway about the NPA: Essentially, the NPA is a wing of Big Pharma that focuses on supplements. The NPA has been aggressively trying to ban Kratom for years, and in-fact the NPA played a critical role in almost getting Kratom banned in 2016. Although the NPA’s effort to ban Kratom did not succeed, the NPA did succeed in getting the FDA to issue an import alert, which has caused tremendous amounts of Kratom to be seized at the border. Also, the NPA is continuing to pursue efforts to ban Kratom to this day. To make a long story short, the NPA is a piece of Big Pharma, and the NPA has been aggressively trying to get Kratom banned. Worst of all Upstream Consulting, the company owned by Haddow, is simultaneously lobbying for both the AKA and NPA. Literally, since 2016 Upstream Consulting, which is once again owned by Haddow and his brother, has received approximately $380,000 from the NPA, the same organization that is working hard to ban Kratom. Also, another piece of firm evidence that Haddow is working closely with the NPA is that in December 2020 Haddow was a guest speaker in a lecture held by Doctor Fabricant, who is the aggressively anti-Kratom leader of the NPA. The lecture had nothing to do with Kratom, but is clear that Haddow and the leadership of the NPA are buddies. Aside from that, Upstream Consulting has also received plenty of money and has done plenty of work for Big Pharma companies including Primus Pharmaceuticals, NextMed, AveXis, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, and Melinta Therapeutics. And all these partnerships are from 2016-2020, the same period of time that Upstream Consulting has been doing the AKA’s lobbying work. In-fact, tallying everything up, Upstream Consulting receives more money from Big Pharma and the NPA than the AKA, and it is clear that Upstream Consulting is firmly in Big Pharma’s pocket. Likewise, this strongly raises the possibility that the AKA is in Big Pharma’s pocket as well, since Upstream Consulting does the AKA’s lobbying work, and the primary spokesperson of the AKA, Mac Haddow, owns Upstream Consulting. Zooming out, the AKA’s intimate ties with Big Pharma via Haddow and Upstream Consulting possibly explains why the AKA has essentially made no progress in keeping Kratom legal despite raising untold millions of dollars from Kratom users. Indeed, the Kratom legality situation is just as bad and tenuous as ever. All in all, it is obvious that the Kratom community needs to stop donating to the AKA, and that efforts to keep Kratom legal need to be focused elsewhere. On a final note, aside from focusing Kratom advocacy efforts elsewhere, the Kratom community needs to make sure that they never put all of their hope and efforts into a single organization again. Rather, Kratom advocacy efforts need to be decentralized across multiple organizations, since if there is just 1 pro-Kratom organization, then it is the natural progression of things for Big Pharma to take it over, like what appears to have happened with the AKA. Stay tuned to The Kratom Herald, more articles on this situation are coming soon.