European Top Court: Foods From Israel Settlements Must Be Labelled as Such

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a variety of vegetables, beef, salmon, eggs and cheese
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By Cnaan Liphshiz / JTA

Foods made in Israeli settlements that are viewed as occupied by the European Union must be marked as such when they are marketed in EU members states, the European Court of Justice ruled.

The ruling Tuesday was on a court case brought before the court by the Psagot winery, which claimed that it was being discriminated against because of a requirement passed by the French government for labeling. The requirement was based on European Commission regulations from 2015.

The court rejected the lawsuit and reaffirmed both the French government’s requirement and the European Commission regulation.

“Foodstuffs originating in territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied, where those foodstuffs come from a locality or a group of localities constituting an Israeli settlement within that territory, by the indication of that provenance,” a statement about the ruling said.

“The Court underlined in that respect that such considerations could influence consumers’ purchasing decisions,” the statement added.

The NGO Monitor organization in Israel condemned the ruling. Its founder, Gerald Steinberg, called labeling a “gateway drug” towards boycotting Israel “and other forms of demonization” of Israel.

Both the European Commission regulations and the ruling are binding, though some EU member states have not implemented them.

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