Finns not told about Israeli settlement products

Finnish citizens are unwittingly purchasing goods imported from contested Israeli settlements because there is no set procedure on how products must be labelled.

Finnwatch, which monitors the impact that Finnish companies have on developing countries, found many products sold in Finland are marked as ‘made in Israel’ when they actually originate from occupied Palestinian areas of the West Bank.

“The Finnish consumer has no way of differentiating between Israeli products and those from the settlements,” Sonja Vartiala, head of Finnwatch, said in a YLE report. “Packaging on Ahava Dead Sea mineral cosmetics says ‘made in Israel,’ but in reality it’s from the settlements,” she added.

The organisation found that dozens of companies sell food, drink and cosmetics that have ties to Israeli-occupied areas. Golan Heights wine from Finnish state alcohol retailer Alko, for example, comes from an unofficial part of Israel.

Vartiala pointed out that Finland has no set way of identifying such products, adding that the country should adopt a system similar to that of Britain, where companies are urged to state on a label if a product is from the settlements.