PACIFIC KAVA INDUSTRY WANTS INDEPENDENT STUDY

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Sept. 3) – Pacific countries with a stake in the region’s kava industry want independent evaluation of research that they say shows no health dangers from the product.

Many western countries have banned kava and kava products after reports that they could cause liver damage.

The Pacific Islands Forum says the kava exporting nations of Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Tonga have suffered considerably as a result.

A study done last year by Dr Joerg Grunwald, commissioned by the EU at the request of the Forum, found the negative claims about kava unfounded.

The Forum’s Jaindra Kumar says a meeting of industry stakeholders in Brussels last week agreed to promote the results of this study, but he says they won’t stop there.

"What they want to do is to get an independent evaluation of the study done as well so that nobody can question that the study is biased.’

Kumar said the Forum would probably look to the World Health Organization to support such an evaluation.

September 4, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/ 

 

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