Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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December 05, 2003

WHO to Investigate Ban on Kava Herb

Recently, the National Assembly of Wales voted to reverse a ban on the sale of a herb (Kava Kava), a root with relaxing, anti-depressive properties, which had been banned in serveral European and some non-European countries after adverse reaction reports linked the herb to some cases of liver damage. Apparently, the evidence proving the links was never fully made available and has been challenged by the sellers of the herb.

The NAHS, association of health food and herbal stores in the UK, has taken legal action to force revision of the restrictions on Kava sales, and is waiting for a court ruling. Meanwhile they point out that several European countries have banned Kava Kava without notifying the European Commission in accordance with European directive 98/34 and that these bans are therefore illegal under EU law.

The World Health Organisation seems to have doubts about the legality of taking the herb off the market and they have initiated an investigation and possible re-evaluation of the safety of the herb by two of its own Pharmacovigilance Centers.

Whether this WHO intervention, after reviewing all the safety data, will give Kava Kava a clean bill of health is yet uncertain. Equally uncertain is whether eventually Kava Kava will be made available again as a food supplement, or whether the herb will be sold as a medicine only.

See also:

Kava regains shelf space in Wales

Cropwatch: Kava-kava: Bans to be Reconsidered

VANUATU: Heading Up Lobby On International Kava Standards
Friday: May 26, 2006
Vanuatu kava stakeholders have unanimously agreed to lead the lobby for improved quality of the product, locally and internationally, Port Vila Presse reports. This is based on the many kava varieties in Vanuatu compared to Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the French territory of Wallis and Futuna. At a meeting in Port Vila, organised by the department of quarantine, it was explained to kava traders that it was now time to introduce kava on the Codex Alimentarus rules.


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Friday December 5 2003
updated on Wednesday December 8 2010

URL of this article:


Related Articles

Kava regains shelf space in Wales
Kava regains shelf space in Wales 28/11/2003 The kava industry is hoping to see other UK regions follow the move by the Wales National Assembly, which came into effect from the end of October, and will allow kava to go back on sale to consumers. Kava was banned in the UK in December last year because it had been linked to cases of liver damage. It is also banned in... [read more]
December 01, 2003 - Chris Gupta

Wales Reverses Kava Ban
The National Assembly of Wales as a result of a case brought by the UK's National Association of Health Stores, has reversed a two-year ban on the sale of herbal products containing Kava Kava. The decision came into effect at the end of October 2003. Kava Kava, a root traditionally used to prepare a relaxing drink in South Sea island cultures, had become a widely used alternative to pharmaceutical anti-depressants... [read more]
December 01, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger

Kava Kava - Germany, UK To Review Ban
Kava protest - Victory Column (Siegessäule) in Berlin Kava Kava, a calming and relaxing herbal preparation traditionally used in several South Sea islands, made from the roots of piper methysticum, was taken off the market in several countries on the strength of "safety concerns". Canada banned the herb in 2000, Germany in 2001 and several other European countries followed suit, although the evidence of actual harm to people's health... [read more]
April 07, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Kava Court Challenge Unsuccessful - London High Court rejects review
As reported in The Times on 10 January, the case brought by the the UK National Association of Health Stores and actress Jenny Seagrove to force government re-consideration of a ban on Kava Kava was rejected by High Court Justice Crane. A traditional South Sea calming drink is made by fermentation from Kava Kava root and has been used for centuries on several of the South Sea Islands. It is... [read more]
January 12, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

New year brings new herbal regulations
Well it's started... See also: Health Canada Harassment to Stop Vitamin Supplements that Work Health Canada poised to make natural products into drugs ... Pharmaceutical Quality Control Myth Snake hiding in the grass exposed! Chris Gupta... [read more]
December 31, 2003 - Chris Gupta

European Directive on Medicinal Herbs Discriminates Against China, India, Other Cultures
On 31 March 2004, the European Union put the finishing touches on its directive for herbal medicinal products, which was published in the official journal and can be downloaded as a pdf here. The directive will have to be transformed into national law by the 25 EU member countries. It introduces a simplified registration for herbal medicinal products that have been on the market in Europe for at least 30... [read more]
July 19, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger




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