Dr. Mathias Schmidt is a scientist, a qualified person who is employed in a pharmaceutical company to define whether or not a kava batch is noble kava.
He is also the authority on quality management system which also includes kava.
There are currently five pharmaceutical companies in Germany with marketing authorizations of medications containing kava extracts for the treatment of anxiety. They depend on Dr. Schmidt to assure them there is no two-day kava in a batch.
Dr. Schmidt says the five pharmaceutical company form a task force to fight against the decision of the German authorities (on kava), and he is their scientific expert.
“I am the one who has to define kava quality and to explain this to the German health authorities. Of course our definition makes sure that we will be using noble kava. At the same time the German authorities are absolutely not happy that we managed to convince the courts that kava must be allowed back to the markets, and that’s why they are not much more critical when it comes to kava quality than i could ever be”, he says.
“As a consequence, they are looking very closely into the question of the selection of suitable varieties and plant parts. The slightest suspicion of non-noble kava, and we risk being closed down again”.
As the expert for the German pharmaceutical industry, and having done kava research in the South Pacific, Dr. Schmidt says he is asked by the companies to supply them with kava and a guarantee of noble kava. He has two reliable contacts in Vanuatu.
Asked about his contacts from other countries in the region, he answers, “The situation was already bad enough in Fiji back in 2000, with mostly Indian traders selling anything, but with no traceable origins (we had this problem, that was how I got into the kava quality research back in 1996, when i realized that the Fijian–Indian traders were not exactly selling top notch quality), but now it would even become worse. Being the one taking the decision of where to buy, it is essentially my own decision to blacklist an origin – but this just anticipates an official reaction”.