Supermarkets may face action on Israeli labels, say lawyers
Retailers including UK supermarkets may be at risk of prosecution for misleading consumers by selling goods from the Palestinian Territories under the label “West Bank”, lawyers have warned.
Fruit, wine and cosmetics originating from illegal Israeli settlements are among the goods that lawyers representing Palestinian interests argue are regularly being wrongly labelled, so that buyers might conclude they are actually produced by Palestinians. In a separate issue, they say illegal settlements are also wrongly benefiting from preferential trade agreements with Israel, which are meant only for goods from inside its pre-1967 borders.
“The use of the expression ‘West Bank’ may in many cases fail to give the consumer the full picture,” said barrister Kieron Beal from Matrix Chambers. He added that in other cases, “where goods have come from the occupied Palestinian Territories they should not be labelled as having their place of origin as Israel”.
The warnings come as government proposals for implementing new EU rules on product labelling, which make it illegal to deceive consumers, are expected within a month…