Former Ambassador to the European Union Roy Micky Joy and German Scientist Dr. Mathias Schmidt who have fought tooth and nail to defend the Pacific kava market in the European Union since the kava ban came into effect in 2002, have confirmed the German Court has ruled beyond reasonable doubt and told BfArM they have nothing to argue.
What it means is that the door is once again open for kava exporters to export kava to the European market, ending 17 years of kava ban.
Dr. Schmidt who runs a private laboratory in Berlin says, “Today (yesterday) we mark major progress in our fight for the rehabilitation of kava in Europe.
“After the last meeting with the regulatory authority BfArM in court on October 23, the court had called for a lift of the ban visible in the official database of medicinal products in Germany.
“BfArM took its time but as of today (yesterday) the products are greenlighted!”
He explains, “What that means is that products marked as ‘marketable’ in the AMIS database automatically go into the ordering system of the German pharmacies.
“Until today a pharmacist making a query would have received the answer ‘not marketable’.
“Since today the pharmacy has the option to order from the companies or the wholesalers.
“Some of the marketing authorization holders have already manufactured a batch and are ready to deliver; it is now just a matter of time.”
With the latest confirmation, Dr. Schmidt says what the Pacific kava producing countries have dreaded for all this time may not be as bad after all.
However he warns, “BfArM is not out of tricks, and they are using them to find other excuses for their actions.
“Overall, however, the signal is loud and clear: Germany caused the whole drama by blindly rushing into a ban and now piece by piece they have to admit that they were wrong.
“This message should be of interest for the big markets as well, as it removes a taint on kava.”
In conclusion he warns kava growers, “Germany will be extremely aware of quality issues in the future, especially regarding two-day kava and/or peelings.
“We have implemented systems of quality control, and Germany will only accept noble kava.”
The former Ambassador to the EU praises the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, Matai Seremaiah and Director of Biosecurity, Timothy Tumukon saying they are going a great job.
“We should go back to look at the (kava) industry in Vanuatu to make sure we do not allow visiting fly-in-by-night investors to get under-value of the market opening.
“Secondly we have to make sure there is proper coordination of logistics on the ground in terms of legislation, science, trade agreements and marketing to make sure we do not face the same challenges we faced in the initial period.”