FIJI THREATENS LAWSUIT OVER U.S., EUROPE KAVA BAN

SUVA, Fiji (RNZI, Jan. 23) - The Fiji Kava Council says it has government support for a planned multi-million dollar class action lawsuit against regulators in the United States and Europe who have banned kava products.

Some European countries and the U.S. have banned kava, saying it causes liver damage.

Council Chairman Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo says the ban has cost Fiji US$500 million.

Ratu Josateki says the council will hold a symposium, scheduled to coincide with the South Pacific Games in June, bringing together scientists and food authorities from around the pacific.

He says by then, there should be enough evidence collated to prove kava doesn’t cause liver disease.

"We will then approach may be the international court of justice, and other authorities, whereby we will demand from the German regulatory authority, likewise with the Americans, that they pay for all the losses that we have incurred."

January 23, 2003

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International. 

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