20 Feb 2006

Fiji Kava council chairman says legal action possible over kava ban

4:25 pm on 20 February 2006

The chairman of Fiji's Kava Council says legal action is being considered in an effort to lift the ban placed on kava products by some countries.

Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo, who's also the chair of the region's International Kava Executive Council, says discussions are continuing over the more than three year ban imposed as a result of kava being linked with liver problems.

And, he says they've produced the results of new clinical trials which rule out kava causing liver toxicity.

Ratu Josateki says they hope this will help but otherwise legal action may be taken.

"We are also now looking at taking a legal challenge through the World Trade Organisation, on the basis that the trade ban on kava products was discriminatory and certainly illegal."

Ratu Josateki says a ban remains in place in Germany, the U.K., France and Switzerland with some other countries carrying a warning about the product.