“One peaceful way in which people can express their political views is through their purchasing decisions,” said the court in its decision.
By World Israel News Staff
Canada’s Federal Court has ruled against labeling products manufactured in Judea and Samaria as made in Israel. The court says that doing so is “false, misleading, and deceptive.”
The court was making the latest ruling in the case involving a complaint filed by Dr. David Kattenburg, who describes himself as “a wine lover and activist,” with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
“The CFIA initially agreed with Kattenburg’s position,” the court document notes. “However, it subsequently reversed its decision, concluding that the wines could be sold as currently labeled.”
Kattenburg appealed that decision to the CFIA’s Complaints and Appeals Office (CAO), which stated “that the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement…defines Israeli ‘territory’ as including areas where Israel’s customs laws are applied. As Israel’s customs laws are applied in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], the CAO concluded that there was no reason to request that the CFIA reconsider its decision, affirming that wines produced in the West Bank could be imported and sold in Canada labeled as ‘Products of Israel.'”
Undeterred, Kattenburg sought judicial review of the CAO’s decision, arguing that “it erred in determining that ‘Product of Israel’ labels on wines produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank complied with Canadian law.”
In its decision published Monday, the Federal Court notes that “Kattenburg describes himself as the Jewish child of Holocaust survivors.”
It also takes note of his statement that he traveled to Judea and Samaria and “has seen first-hand that Palestinians live under what he describes as ‘permanent military occupation apartheid.'”
Kattenburg is further said to have told the Federal Court that his objective is “to ensure respect for Canada’s consumer protection and product labeling laws, to help ensure that I and
other Canadian wine consumers be provided truthful and accurate information about the wine products that they purchase and consume, and to ensure both Canada’s and Israel’s respect for international human rights and humanitarian law.”
In its conclusion, the Federal Court concurred with the complainant that, in fact, “one peaceful way in which people can express their political views is through their purchasing decisions. To be able to express their views in this manner, however, consumers have to be provided with accurate information as to the source of the products in question.”
It added that “Canadian federal legislation requires that food products (including wines) that are sold in Canada bear truthful, non-deceptive, and non-misleading country of origin labels.”
To that end, says the court, “the effect of the CAO’s decision was to affirm the CFIA’s conclusion that it is permissible to label wines produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank as ‘Products of Israel’ when that is not in fact the case.”
Says Canada’s Federal Court: “These labels are thus false, misleading, and deceptive. As such, they contravene the requirements of …the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and…Food and Drugs Act,” and that “as a consequence, Dr. Kattenburg’s application for judicial review is allowed.”
The court says that it is handing the matter back to the CFIA to determine how the products should be labeled.