4 May 2015

Vanuatu hears of possible court action over dumped kava ban

4:06 pm on 4 May 2015

European Union lawyers say they are interested in filing a legal claim against a German pharmaceutical company, following the lifting of the controversial kava ban.

The kava ban was in place from 2002 until last year, when the company, BfArM, couldn't provide scientific evidence to a German court to support its claim that kava causes liver damage and lung cancer.

The company's claim had led to the ban in 2002.

no caption

Photo: RNZ

The chair of the International Kava Executive Council, Tagaloa Eddie Wilson, says the Pacific lost around 2-3 billion US dollars during the ban.

Vanuatu's Ambassador to the European Union, Roy Mickey Joy, says he has cautioned those keen to bring the action, to wait on instruction from Pacific kava-producing countries.

Ahead of a kava conference in Vanuatu later this year, Mr Joy says the countries may want to resort to alternative measures, such as negotiating on aid deals or compensation from the EU.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs