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B’nai Brith Lauds Federal Agency for Upholding Ruling on Israeli Wines

Oct. 26, 2017

By Aidan Fishman
Interim National Director of The League for Human Rights
B’nai Brith Canada

OTTAWA – B’nai Brith Canada is pleased to announce that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has rejected a bid by a disgruntled consumer to remove wines from two Israeli companies – Shiloh and Psagot – from store shelves.

As the result of a bureaucratic error, the two wines were mistakenly blacklisted in Canada in early July. Following relentless advocacy, the CFIA rescinded its decision just two days later.

On Oct. 25, Dimitri Lascaris, counsel for David Kattenburg, the consumer who filed the original complaint, admitted that he had failed in his internal appeal against the CFIA decision, but pledged to continue the struggle in Federal Court. This admission came after legal counsel for B’nai Brith sent a detailed memo to the CFIA and other branches of the Federal government, explaining why the Shiloh and Psagot wines should continue to be sold in Canada.

 “We applaud the CFIA for doing the right thing, and acknowledging that there is no legal barrier to purchasing products made by Israelis east of the Green Line,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith. “Countless other products originating in disputed territories are already sold in Canada, and it would be a travesty to punish Jewish vintners for simply living or working in their indigenous homeland.

“We are confident that the Federal Court will reject Mr. Lascaris’ arguments for the same reasons that the CFIA did so,” added Mostyn.

B’nai Brith continues to monitor developments in this file, and will consider seeking intervenor status before the Federal Court in any future proceeding.