Decisions soon on the labelling of goods in supermarkets from illegal Israeli settlements
Write to Hilary Benn TODAY
Lawyers from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the Food Standards Agency (Minister- Hilary Benn) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Minister- David Miliband) are right now drafting new guidelines on how goods from illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories are labelled and sold in the UK. This process will be completed within 2 weeks. These guidelines are crucial in that they determine how supermarkets label produce form the illegal West Ban k settlements.
Current practices of mislabelling of produce from the illegal settlements in the West Bank as produce of Israel in retail shops in the UK has led to the producers illegally benefitting from the EU Israel preferential trade agreement and loss to the British taxpayer of trade tariff revenue, and the more recent ‘West Bank’ labelling in some supermarkets has misled consumers in to believing that they are supporting Palestinian farmers.
If the UK government will not ban the import of these goods, then we must make sure that its labelling gives the consumer clear ethical guidance on the origin. This can only be achieved if all these goods carry a label that describes the goods/produce as coming from ‘illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank’.
Please write immediately to Hilary Benn (Hilary.Benn @defra.gsi.gov.uk) ,
copying your letter to your MP, demanding that the labelling of settlement produce clearly indicates its illegal origins. There is a model letter attached which includes the postal address.