12 Jun 2014

Pacific kava exports still under threat

4:15 pm on 12 June 2014

A kava researcher based in Vanuatu says the future of the kava trade into Europe is still threatened despite a landmark German court ruling on the traditional herb.

The decision by Germany's Federal Administrative Court overturns Germany's twelve year old ban on kava because of fears overs its toxicity.

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Photo: RNZ

The ban has also reduced trade into the rest of Europe and the United States representing up to 200 million US dollars in losses for the Pacific region.

Vincent Lebot says the trade is still at risk because there are serious problems with the quality of kava being traded.

The wrong varieties are being exported, the wrong parts of the plants are being exported. This is potentially very dangerous, because if some kava of poor quality is exported to the EU it will be the end of kava for good.

A kava reseracher based in Vanuatu, Vincent Lebot.