A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands



This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.

The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.

SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).




PAPGREN coordination and support

  • CTA
  • SPC
  • CEPaCT

     genebank locations
    Click on the thumbnail to see a map of the locations of Pacific genebanks. Click here to download a regional directory of genebanks in the Pacific, including information on their location, contact details and holdings.

    PAPGREN partners

    Mr William Wigmore
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Department of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 96
    Cook Islands
    Tel: (682) 28711-29720
    Fax: (682) 21881
    Email: cimoa@oyster.net.ck

    Mr Adelino S. Lorens
    Agriculture Pohnpei
    Office of Economic Affairs
    P.O. Box 1028
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Tel: (691) 3202400
    Fax: (691) 3202127
    Email: pniagriculture@mail.fm

    Dr Lois Englberger
    Island Food Community of Pohnpei
    Research Advisor
    P.O. Box 2299
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Email: nutrition@mail.fm

    Mr Apisai Ucuboi
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forest
    Koronivia Research Station
    P.O. Box 77
    Fiji Islands
    Tel: (679) 3477044
    Fax: (679) 3477546-400262
    Email: apisainu@yahoo.com

    Dr Maurice Wong
    Service du Developpement Rural
    B.P. 100
    Tahiti 98713
    French Polynesia
    Tel: (689) 42 81 44
    Fax: (689) 42 08 31
    Email: maurice.wong@rural.gov.pf

    Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
    Head, Research Section
    Division of Agriculture
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development
    P.O. Box 267
    Tel: (686) 28096-28108-28080
    Fax: (686) 28121
    Email : agriculture@tskl.net.ki; Beenna_ti@yahoo.com

    Mr Frederick Muller
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 1727
    Majuro 96960
    Marshall Islands
    Tel: (692) 6253206
    Fax: (692) 6257471
    Email: rndsec@ntamar.net

    Mr Herman Francisco
    Bureau of Agriculture
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 460
    Koror 96940
    Tel: (680) 4881517
    Fax: (680) 4881725
    Email: bnrd@pnccwg.palaunet.com

    Ms Rosa Kambuou
    Principal Scientist PGR
    NARI Dry Lowlands Programme
    Laloki Agricultural Research Station
    P.O. Box 1828
    National Capital District
    Papua New Guinea
    Tel: (675) 3235511
    Fax: (675) 3234733
    Email: kambuou@global.net.pg

    Ms Laisene Samuelu
    Principal Crop Development Officer
    Crops Division
    Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries & Meteorology
    P.O. Box 1874
    Tel: (685) 23416-20605
    Fax: (685) 20607-23996
    Email: lsamuelu@lesamoa.net

    Mr Jimi Saelea
    Director of Research
    Department of Agriculture and Livestock
    P.O. Box G13
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 27987

    Mr Tony Jansen
    Planting Materials Network
    Kastom Gaden Association
    Burns Creek, Honiara
    P.O. Box 742
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 39551
    Email: kastomgaden@solomon.com.sb

    Mr Finao Pole
    Head of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture & Forests
    P.O. Box 14
    Tel: (676) 23038
    Fax: (676) 24271
    Email: thaangana@hotmail.com

    Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
    Head of Research
    Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Private Mail Bag 040
    Port Vila
    Tel: (678) 22525
    Fax: (678) 25265
    Email: flehi@hotmail.com

    Other links

    Other CROP agencies
    Forum Secretariat
    University of the South Pacific

    Pacific biodiversity
    Biodiversity hotspots
    Breadfruit Institute
    Hawaiian native plants
    Intellectual property rights
    Nature Conservancy
    WWF South Pacific Program

    Other Pacific organizations
    Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific
    Micronesian Seminar
    Te Puna web directory

    Pacific news
    Cafe Pacific
    CocoNET Wireless
    Island Directory
    Pacific Islands News
    Pacific Islands Report
    Pacific Islands Travel
    Pacific Time
    South Pacific travel
    Time Pacific

    Interested in GIS?



    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    Assessment of the risk of hepatotoxicity with kava products

    From : WHO

    Executive Summary

    Opinion on key question

    1. Evidence from our review of case reports suggests that kava lactones in any type of product may rarely cause hepatic adverse reactions because of kava-drug interactions, excessive alcohol intake, metabolic or immune mediated idiosyncrasy, excessive dose or pre-existing liver disease.

    2. In addition to this background incidence, products made from acetonic and ethanolic extracts appear to be hepatotoxic on rare occasions, seemingly from non-kava lactone constituents. The incidence is unknown, but is more significant than the background e£lfect in '1'.

    General overview

    There has been international concern over the association of kava products and serious hepatotoxicity. Regulatory action banning these products in Europe has been controversial. The objective of this report is to investigate the possibility of hepatotoxicity with kava. This report is written in four major sections:
    I Description of kava
    IIA Safety information -literature review
    IIB Safety infonnation -analysis of case reports
    IIIRegulatory issues
    IVConclusions and recommendations

    The first 3 sections are written as stand-alone documents with their own references. In addition there is:
    • A summary of findings
    • A summary of recommendations
    • A bibliography.

    I Description of kava

    • The known pharmacologically active components are a group of kava lactones.
    • The types of preparation are water 'extracts' (the traditionally prepared microsuspensions in water and 'teas' prepared from powdered kava root), organic extracts (ethanolic and acetonic) and synthetic. These different products are not chemically equivalent. Products prepared from the organic extracts have been those principally used in Europe and North America in pill or capsule form.j
    • The raw materials for the preparation of these products come from a variety of sources without adequate quality control and without sufficient standardization of selection of plant varieties or cultivars or plant parts.

    II A safety information -literature review

    • Clinical trials of kava have not revealed any hepatotoxicity.
    • Most experimental studies have not shown that kava has a tendency to have a toxic effect on the liver.
    • Most clinical reviews of case reports cast doubt on a causa association between kave products and liver roblems.The cases have come to regulatory authorities as spontaneous
      reports. There have been no epidemiological studies and the incidence is not known.

    II B Safety information -review of case reports
    1. Findings from case reports

    • This was undertaken using standard pharmacovigilance and phannacoepidemiological methods.
    • 93 case reports were identified with the possibility of a small number of duplications.
    • There were seven patients who died and 14 patients had liver transplants.
    • As is usual in pharmacovigilance, most of the reports were incomplete to one degree or another.
    • Eight of the cases were coded as having a 'probable' association, meaning that essential information was present for a standard assessment, that a close association between the use of kava and the liver problem. was established, that the patients recovered on withdrawal of kava and that no other plausible cause for the liver problems could be identified.
    • 53 cases were classified as having a 'possible' relationship meaning that a causal association was plausible, but that there were insufficient data for a full assessment, or there were other potential causes of liverdamage.
    • Most of the other case reports were unassessable because of lack of information.
    • There were five cases with a positive rechallenge.
    • With the use of sales volume figures converted to a defined daily dose, rates of hepatic events were estimated for acetonic and ethanolic extracts and synthetic products. Patients taking acetonic and ethanolic extracts had a higher rate of liver problems than patients taking synthetic products. These differences were independent of age, gender, dose, duration of treatment, concomitant therapy and/or alcohol use and are unlikely to be confounded by other disease states.

    2. Conclusions from review of case reports

    • The relationship (causality) ratings provide a significant concern of a cause and effect relationship between kava products and hepatotoxicity. A nonrandom effect is indicated by a higher rate for the organic extracts than for synthetic products.
    • Chemicals other than kava lactones might be responsible for hepatotoxicity with the organic extracts.
    • Kava products have a strong propensity for kava-drug interactions.
    • Risk factors for hepatic reactions appear to be the use of organic extracts, heavy alcohol intake, pre-existing liver disease, genetic polymorphisms of cytochrome P450 enzymes and excessive dose. Also, co-medication with other potentially hepatotoxic drugs and potentially interacting drugs, particularly other anxiolytics, antipsychotics and and-thrombotics, might lead to harm.

    For more on the article refer to the link below ( this is a three day link) :


    Article Courtesy of : HC Bittenbender [hcbitt@hawaii.edu]

    * Comments:

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