22 Jan 2003

Possible Fiji Government support for legal action over kava ban

5:37 pm on 22 January 2003

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

Some European countries and the US have banned kava products, saying there is a link between them and liver damage.

The Council chairman, Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo, says the ban has cost Fiji half-a-billion US dollars.

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."

Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo.