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Guidance for UK food labels is set to change and distinguish between produce from Israeli settlements and Palestinian produce, reports claim.
All Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law, although this is disputed by Israel disputes.
Britain has advised UK supermarkets selling goods from the West Bank to state explicitly on the labels whether the content has come from Israeli settlement or Palestinian-owned farms.
The recommendation, issued by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), is not a legal requirement but Israeli officials and settler leaders have reacted angrily to the decision, saying it will lead to a boycott of their goods.
Until now, food has been labelled "Produce of the West Bank", but Defra's voluntary guidance says labels should give more precise information, like "Palestinian produce" or "Israeli settlement produce".
The Guardian, a British newspaper, said that 27 Israeli companies working in settlements and exporting to Britain had been identified, with stores selling such produce including Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury, Somerfield, John Lewis and B&Q.
Labels will soon show whether food from the West Bank, such as strawberries, dates and olives, comes from Palestinian farms or Israeli settlements, to give buyers a clearer choice.
Supermarkets and other retailers have decided to follow controversial new government guidance, despite Israel’s anger that it will provoke a boycott of its goods.
Goods will specify “produce of the West Bank (Israeli settlement produce)” or “produce of the West Bank (Palestinian produce)”. The Government has decided that produce from Israeli settlements may not be labelled “produce of Israel” because the area is not within the state’s internationally recognised boundaries.
Traders labelling goods from the occupied territories as Israeli produce also face possible enforcement action for breaching EU legislation.
Now,customers can make that informed choice and know if the food they are buying is from land that is internationally recognized or as illegally occupied or not....otherwise its West Bank/Gaza or Israel-and you don't know whether its legally occupied land or not. There is no reason not to have it, just states facts.