HL Deb 13 March 2003 vol 645 cc199-201WA
Lord Clement-Jones

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will list the organisations which responded to the recent consultation exercise undertaken by the Medicines Control Agency on the ban of Kava-kava in medicinal products; and whether they will indicate in the case of each respondent whether they (a) supported, or (b) opposed the ban; and [HL2027]

What importance the Medicines Control Agency attaches to the level of experience of herbal remedies and alternative and complementary therapies of those who responded to its recent consultation exercise on the ban of Kava-kava products.[HL2028]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Fifty organisations responded to the Medicines Control Agency's consultation (MLX 286) on the proposal to prohibit Kava-kava in unlicensed medicines. Of these, 17 made no comment, 19 supported the proposal and 14 opposed the proposal or expressed reservations about specific aspects. Where permission for disclosure has been given, information about the responses of individual organisations is shown in the table.

All responses to the consultation were considered carefully, along with available evidence on the safety of Kava-kava, before the decision was taken to proceed with the proposal in the interests of public health. As with any such consultation, we recognise that varying views of respondents will have been informed by their experience and background. For example, some may bring to bear primarily general knowledge and experience while others may have specific expertise for example on public health, on the safety of medicines or the operation of the complementary medicine sector.

Organisations making no comment

  • Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland
  • Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies
  • British Association of Dermatologists
  • British Contact Dermatitis Group
  • British Pharmacological Society
  • College of Optometrists
  • Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicines
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Health Development Agency
  • Help the Aged
  • Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Service Liaison Committee
  • Medical Protection Society
  • National Association of GP Co-operatives
  • Scottish Consumer Council
  • Society of Pharmaceutical Medicine
  • The British Thoracic Society
  • Welsh Consumer Council

Organisations supporting proposal

  • BUPA Hospitals
  • Cosmetics, Toiletry & Perfumery Association
  • Drug and Therapy Committee of Nuffield Hospitals
  • Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists
  • National Pharmaceutical Association
  • NHS Greater Glasgow
  • NHS Information Authority
  • Northern Ireland Practice and Education
  • Council Pharmacy Misuse Advisory Group
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Royal College of GPs
  • Royal College of Midwives
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Nursing Scotland
  • Royal College of Physicians
  • Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • WA 201
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
  • UK Clinical Pharmacy Association

Organisations opposing proposal or expressing reservations

  • Bio-Health
  • Consumers for Health Choice
  • British Herbal Medicines Association
  • Council for Responsible Nutrition
  • Hanover Health Foods
  • Health and Diet Company
  • Health Food Manufacturers Association
  • International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists
  • National Association of Health Stores
  • National Institute of Medical Herbalists
  • Quest vitamins
  • Viridian
  • Weleda

Lord Clement-Jones

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Food Standards Agency based its recent decision to ban Kava-kava in food products upon the evidence produced by the Medicines Control Agency of adverse reactions to medical products or whether they commissioned their own analysis of the risk of its use in food products. [HL2029]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

In July 2002, Food Standards Agency scientists reviewed the data available to the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) and assessed the risks relating to food uses of Kava-kava. The agency sought advice from the Chairman of the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) in the first instance, and then presented the risk assessment to the full committee. COT agreed with the CSM that consumption of Kava-kava is associated with liver toxicity and took the view that the evidence did not justify treating Kava-kava in foods differently from Kava-kava in medicines.