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Origin Marking: Israel

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason guidance to retailers on the voluntary labelling of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank no longer appears on his Department’s website. (304732)

The earlier guidance on labelling goods from the West Bank was felt to be in need of revision because it did not offer assistance in the specific matter of distinguishing those goods which were of Israeli settlement origin from those which were from Palestinian producers. As I explained in the debate on 2 December 2009, Official Report, column 106WH, the Government hope to be able to make an announcement shortly on this matter.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the contribution of the Minister of State of 2 December 2009, Official Report, column 106WH, if he will make it his policy to include in the guidance on the voluntary labelling of produce imported from Golan the description “Made in Occupied Syrian Land”. (305253)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs tabled a written ministerial statement on 10 December 2009 concerning technical advice on the labelling of produce from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). That advice has been issued in response to consumer and retailer concern about a lack of clarity on whether such produce comes from Israeli settlements or Palestinian producers. The situation in Israeli occupied Golan is quite different: we are not aware that there is such confusion between different producers, and we have not received representations from consumers or retailers. Therefore, the Government have not addressed the issue of produce imported from the Israeli occupied Golan in the technical advice to which I have referred.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress his Department has made on developing guidance on the labelling of food products sold in England which are produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank; and if he will make a statement. (305714)

[holding answer 10 December 2009]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs tabled a written ministerial statement on 10 December 2009 concerning technical advice on the labelling of produce from the occupied Palestinian territories. That advice has been issued in response to consumer and retailer concern about a lack of clarity on whether such produce comes from Israeli settlements or Palestinian producers.