Is Kava Banned in Germany?

On May 12, 2005, the German health authorities repealed the ban of registered kava drug products in Germany. The BfArM had instituted the ban in June 2002 based on concern about the potential hepatotoxicity of kava in the wake of various adverse event reports of liver toxicity and liver failure allegedly associated with the use of various kava preparations.

The International Kava Conference in November/December 2004 at the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat in Suva, in collaboration with the International Kava Executive Council (IKEC) and the Fiji School of Medicine played a key role in getting the partial lift on the ban of Kava in Germany. The participants, which included many scientists from Germany and the United States, discussed the kava ban and decided that it was based on insufficient and inconclusive investigation and pressed for the lifting of the ban.

"Despite kava's not being put back on the shelves for now, the decision is still a milestone, as now the administrative way to regular kava registrations is again open," explained the kava scientist Mathias Schmidt, PhD. Previous to this decision, an application for a kava preparation would not even have been considered for the German drug registration process. "We are glad that the discussion is now re-opened, and we hope to finally come to a constructive dialogue with the BfArM."

Germany's lifting of a kava ban was subject to certain conditions. The International Kava Council had until June 2007 to carry out tests to prove the positive effects of kava on the health of users and present the results to Germany.

The findings were presented, the argument was convincing, and as of July of 2006, kava has been legal for sale and importation into Germany. A victory, very sweet, that should serve as an example for Canada, where Kava is still not entirely off the "demonized" list. However, Kona Kava Farm has received EXPLICIT PERMISSION to sell all of our Kava products to our Canadian neighbors!  Read our full article called "KAVA (NOT) BANNED IN CANADA" for the full story.