PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i


FRANCE BANS SALE OF KAVA BASED PRODUCTS

PARIS, France (January 11, 2002 Radio Australia)---Health officials in France have announced an immediate ban on the sale of almost all kava-based products following linkage of the popular Pacific Islands herbal extract -- and intoxicating beverage -- to dozens of cases of hepatitis in Europe.

The French agency responsible for the safety of health products said the sole exception will be homeopathic treatments in which the intoxicant is diluted to extremely low levels, to a standard called 5ch.

It said the measure was decided after health authorities in Germany and Switzerland recorded about 30 cases of hepatitis among people who had taken kava-based products.

One person is said to have died and four other patients are reported to have had liver transplants as a result of the outbreak.

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