Luxembourg (QNN)- A senior adviser to the EU’s top court said on Thursday that products from Israeli-occupied territories must be clearly labeled as such to avoid misleading consumers.
The European Court of Justice is not obliged to follow the Advocate General Gerard Hogan’s legal advice. However, the former Irish judge’s legal opinions are seen as highly influential in the bench’s deliberations, AFP said.
The ECJ is considering a request from France’s top tribunal for clarification of rules on labelling goods from the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, which the international community considers occupied Palestinian land, as well as the Golan Heights, which Israel took from Syria in 1967.
Hogan said the EU rules on labeling products take into account ethical considerations that might influence a consumer’s purchases.
“EU law requires, for a product originating in a territory occupied by Israel since 1967, the indication of the geographical name of this territory and, where it is the case, the indication that the product comes from an Israeli settlement,” an ECJ statement outlining Hogan’s legal opinion said.
Referring to legal judgments that Israel’s settlement policy is illegal, Hogan said: “It is hardly surprising that some consumers may regard this manifest breach of international law as an ethical consideration that influences their consumer preferences and in respect of which they may require further information.
“The absence of the indication of the country of origin or place of provenance of a product originating in a territory occupied by Israel and, in any event, a settlement colony, might mislead the consumer as to the true country of origin or place of provenance of the food,” he said.