EU foreign ministers want labeling on W. Bank products

The foreign ministers of 16 out of 28 member states of the EU send a letter to the union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, asking her to promote the labeling of products made in the West Bank and sold in stores across the continent, Haaretz reports.

Signatures come from the foreign minister of the UK, Belgium and France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Croatia, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Luxembourg and Malta, as well as from Sebastian Kurz, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.

Significantly lacking from the document is the signature of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walther Steinmeier.

While the letter certainly has symbolic significance in bringing to the fore the displeasure of European countries with Israel’s settlement policies, its actual economic effect is yet to be seen.

Israeli vegetables are often prominently labeled as made in Israel and sell for higher prices in European markets because of their superior quality. Several years ago Chinese farmers forged Israeli labeling to boost their sales.

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