29 Dec 2004

Chairman of Fiji's Kava Council says drink is proven safe

11:14 am on 29 December 2004

There has been a strong response in Fiji to calls for Kava to be to declared a major risk factor in heart disease.

A prominent doctor, Ram Raju, said the drink should be included in the list of substance abuse drinks just like alcohol.

Kava was suject to import restrictions in the US and Europe following allegations that it damaged the liver.

But the Co-chairman of the International Executive Kava Council, Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo, says thorough investigations have now proven that Kava is a safe social drink:

"I would ask those making such allegations to produce the scientific evidence that they may have available to themselves to prove the allegations."

Ratu Joseteki says if people do not have the evidence they should not make accusations about Kava.

He says it is better for young people to consume kava than alcohol or drugs, but in moderation.