Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on July 6, 2017 ordered the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) not to label wines imported from Israel’s Judea and Samaria regions as “made in Israel.”
On Tuesday, the LCBO sent a letter to each vendor, telling them of Trudeau’s decision.
The LCBO is Ontario’s liquor control board.
The letter referred specifically to the Psagot Winery in the eastern Binyamin region, and to the Shiloh Winery in Maaleh Levona.
“The CFIA clarified that ‘Product of Israel’ would not be an acceptable country of origin declaration for wine products that have been made from grapes that are grown, fermented, processed, blended, and finished in the occupied West Bank territory,” LCBO’s letter stated.
“CFIA further advised that the government of Canada does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied in 1967 (the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip). As such, wine products from these regions that are labeled as ‘Product of Israel’ would not be acceptable and would be considered misleading…. LCBO is currently working with the CFIA on an action plan to ensure compliance with the notification going forward.”
Incidentally, Israel, has not “occupied” the “Gaza Strip” since the 2005 disengagement, after which Israeli citizens and military forces left the area entirely. In 2007, the Hamas terror organization wrested control of the area from rival terror group Fatah in a bloody coup.
“Therefore, I am requesting that all vendors discontinue any importations or sales of products labeled as ‘Product of Israel’ from the wineries named above (or other located in the same regions), until further notice,” LCBO’s letter stated. “We are currently seeking clarifications from the CFIA on how such wines should be labeled in order to comply with the Food and Drugs Act.”
Signing the letter was Vincent Caron, LCBO’s Senior Policy Advisor.
Meanwhile, B’nai Brith Canada stated that they “expect that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will soon rescind its recent decision to order the removal of certain Israeli wines from store shelves.”
“B’nai Brith has received a lot of information on this matter from multiple sources and officials during the past 24 hours as we were advocating on behalf of the community,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We can say now that we are expecting this disturbing decision to be corrected in short order.”