The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that products originating from lands occupied by Israel cannot be simply labeled as coming from “Israel” on the product’s packaging. The ruling requires labels to indicate the specific territory from which the product originated in order to provide EU consumers with informed choices in their purchases.
According to the press release accompanying the judgment, “The Court observed that the country of origin or the place of provenance of a foodstuff must, in accordance with Articles 9 and 26 of Regulation No 1169/2011, be indicated where failure to indicate this might mislead consumers into believing that that foodstuff has a country of origin or a place of provenance different from its true country of origin or place of provenance.”
The court further noted the importance of EU citizens’ ability to choose where their food comes for ethical reasons.
“The provision of information to consumers must enable them to make informed choices, with regard not only to health, economic, environmental and social considerations, but also to ethical considerations and considerations relating to the observance of international law.”
The court further specified that the concept of the “place of provenance” should apply to specific territories and not to its affiliation with an occupying country.
Israel has stated that the new ruling is discriminatory and will impact its economic and political choices.