West Bank wines can’t be labeled ‘Product of Israel,’ Canadian court rules


(JTA) — Labeling a wine from the West Bank as a “Product of Israel” is misleading and deceptive, Canada’s federal court ruled.

The court on Monday ordered the Canada Food Inspection Agency to review how the wines should be labeled.

The decision was in response to a lawsuit filed by wine enthusiast and pro-Palestinian activist David Kattenburg of Winnipeg, who describes himself in the document as “the Jewish child of Holocaust survivors” and who says that the Jewish settlements in the West Bank are not part of Israel.

The court agreed, saying,  “Whatever the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank may be, all of the parties and interveners agree that the settlements in issue in this case are not part of the State of Israel. Consequently, labeling the settlement wines as ‘Products of Israel’ is both inaccurate and misleading.”

The country’s Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act requires that food products, including wines, that are sold in Canada “bear truthful, non-deceptive and non-misleading country of origin labels.”

Israel has argued in similar labeling disputes that such moves are unusual and discriminatory, in that they single out Israel among hundreds of territorial disputes around the world.

Following a complaint by Kattenburg in 2017, the CFIA determined the labels on wines from the Psagot Winery and the Shiloh Winery were misleading and in violation of federal law.

Following an outcry from Jewish groups and vendors, the agency reversed its decision. So Kattenburg took it to court.

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