Canadian Regulator: Settlement Wines Cannot Say ‘Made in Israel’


May 17, 2022 | News | Other | National | International
Canadian Regulator: Settlement Wines Cannot Say ‘Made in Israel’

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel -

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency ruled on Friday that wines produced in Psagot and Shiloh, in Judea and Samaria, cannot be advertised as “products of Israel.”

After consulting with Global Affairs Canada, which oversees the North American country’s foreign relations, the food regulator wrote that “Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories occupied in 1967 (this includes the West Bank) and that the West Bank is a territory outside of the internationally recognized boundaries of the State of Israel.”

The CFIA added that although the wineries are located in an area administered by Israel, Canada “considers that there is no recognized country where the two wines in question were produced.”

As a result, labels describing the wines as products of Israel violate Canadian consumer protection laws.

However, the next step is not clear. The CFIA also ruled that it does not have a mandate to suggest an acceptable wording. The Canadian Press reported that the agency intends to hold a consultation later this year with the relevant parties.

The wineries also have the option to appeal the ruling through judicial review, a legal process that could potentially last several years.

The case began in 2017, when Dr. David Kattenburg, a former university science instructor in Winnipeg, filed a complaint with the CFIA, claiming that the wines were produced in illegal Israeli settlements and should not be allowed to advertise themselves as “products of Israel.”

Kattenburg, who is Jewish and has since moved to the Netherlands, also claimed in legal submissions to the court that the Psagot winery was located on land which he said was stolen from its Palestinian owners.

The CFIA initially ruled in Kattenburg’s favor, but reversed itself when Global Affairs Canada notified the food regulator that Judea and Samaria were included in Canada’s free trade agreement with Israel. But a federal judge ruled in 2019 that settlements were not part of the state of Israel and that the label was “inaccurate and misleading.”

The Psagot Winery, located in the Sha’ar Binyamin Industrial Zone, near Jerusalem, was founded in 2003. According to its website, the winery produces 750,000 bottles of wine every year, the majority of which are exported to 27 different countries.

The Shiloh Winery, located in the Shiloh Industrial Zone, was founded in 2005.

There are 150 territorial disputes across the world, yet the CFIA ruling only applies to Jewish products from Judea and Samaria.

Following the CFIA ruling, Kattenburg tweeted, “Know of any foods or beverages made in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements and sold in Canada with ‘Product of Israel’ labels? Please file complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.” The tweet included a link to the CFIA’s complaints form.

In April, Palestinian activists were angered to learn the Psagot wine was served at the White House‘s “model Passover seder” ahead of the holiday. The wine appeared in a photo posted on social media by Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff.


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