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Improve quality to ensure European markets lift ban

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Saturday, March 08, 2014

SENDING kava back to the European markets will continue to be slow, unless more visible efforts are made in assuring kava quality, says Dr Mathias Schmidt.

The visiting German academic was part of a group of international speakers who spoke at a kava symposium at an FNU international conference on applied chemistry this week.

Dr Smichdt spoke on the kava ban in Europe and ways Pacific Islanders could improve on kava quality to ensure the ban was lifted.

"I have no doubt that kava is safe but then again, sellers have to make sure they sell good kava products and roots are peeled properly as this is not always the case as I see in the markets here," Dr Schmidt said.

"The case is currently before the German court and Fiji and other Pacific Islands stand a good chance of winning the case. And should it happen, there is a great need to improve on kava quality."

Dr Smichdt said a two-year research in the US indicated kava protects people from kinds of cancer and while there was still not enough data to confirm this, it was important that kava growers monitor how they grow the crop to avoid problems.

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