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USP plays a major role in the partial lifting of the Kava ban in Germany

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Some of the kava products available in the European market after the ban. A partial lift of the ban could see some kava products return to the shelves.

The partial lift of the kava ban in Germany is a major achievement for The University of the South Pacific which played a leading role in organising an International Kava Conference in November/December 2004 at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat in Suva in collaboration with the International Kava Executive Council (IKEC) and the Fiji School of Medicine. The participants which included many scientists from Germany and the United States, discussed the kava ban and decided that it was based on insufficient and inconclusive investigation and pressed for the lifting of the ban. As a result, a three person WHO Committee was appointed to look at the safety and efficacy of kava. One of the members of the Committee is a USP staff member (Professor Sotheeswaran). USP has been at the forefront of analysing scientific data on kava to look at its efficacy and safety. In a seminar held USP earlier this month, Professor Sotheeswaran questioned the ban on kava products and provided evidence that kava was indeed safe. The German Health Authorities have agreed with IKEC, USP and FSM that the kava ban was indeed based on insufficient and inconclusive investigation and have partially lifted the ban on kava products in Germany. As a concerned scientist, Professor Sotheeswaran has indicated that: "The partial lifting of the ban does not mean that the Pacific Island Countries can start exporting kava to Europe immediately. Many kava products in Europe have been de-registered as a result of the ban. Each one of these products will be very closely scrutinised before they can be re-registered and sold again. It may even be possible that the existing kava products may not be re-registered but the pharmaceutical companies may have to apply for new products to be registered". "Exporters of kava in the Pacific Islands should be aware that only the correct kava varieties should be exported when the German buyers are ready to buy them again". "Quality control laboratories in Fiji and Europe should start working on better analytical procedure to ensure that the kava varieties sold do not contain any unhealthy organic compounds which may cause health problems to the consumers". "The manufacturers also will have to modify their extraction processes so that the kava pills contain the active constituents of kava roots and not any toxic constituents."


This news item was published on 16 May 2005 02:53:55 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact Media and Public Relations Coordinator.


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