Food that has been produced in settlements occupied by Israel, which are not legally recognized by the European Union, must be labeled to indicate their origin, the European Commission has decided.
The EU “does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and does not consider them to be part of Israel’s territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic Israeli law,” the Commission said in a notice about the new mandate.
“There is indeed a demand for clarity from consumers, economic operators and national authorities about existing Union legislation on origin information of products from Israeli-occupied territories.”
Enforcement of the label of origin rule will be left to individual members of the EU, who will be responsible for making sure that penalties for infringements of provisions of Union law are effective, proportionate and dissuasive.”
Citing the need for food labels to be “correct and not misleading for the consumer,” the Commission has decided that such origin labels will need to include the expression “Israeli settlement” or an equivalent, plus the geographical information, such as “the Golan Heights” or “the Gaza Strip.”