PRESS STATEMENT: Consumer Commission launches investigation into Woolworths over Israeli labels

29 October 2015
South Africa's National Consumer Commission (NCC) has launched an investigation into Woolworths over allegations of false Israeli labelling.
See attached for an NCC investigation memorandum approved and recommended by the National Consumer Commissioner and Deputy NCC Commissioner.
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa together with other #BoycottWoolworths activists intend on raising these practices of false-labelling of Israeli products, amongst other issues, at the upcoming Woolworths AGM on the 30th of November.
Several BDS South Africa and NC4P members are "activist-shareholders" owning shares in Woolworths. Last year at the launch of the #BoycottWoolworths campaign activists bought a single share each in Woolworths Holdings Limited in order to attend the company’s AGM and raise issues regarding, amongst others, the boycott of Israel. Click here for a Business Day article from last year's Woolworths AGM that BDS activists had attended.
In August 2014 a call for the complete boycott of Woolworths until it ends its Israeli trade was made by BDS South Africa, COSATU, ANC Youth League, MJC, SACP, YCL and various others including the National Coalition 4 Palestine (a coalition consisting of more than 30 organizations, trade unions and other groups). Last year, a survey of over 3000 people found that Woolworths was losing close to R8 million a month due to the #BoycottWoolworths campaign. The #BoycottWoolworths campaign is inspired by the anti-apartheid boycott movement of the 1980s against companies that traded with Apartheid South Africa and forms part of the larger international non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel movement.
Several complaints against Woolworths regarding false-labelling and mis-labelling of Israeli products have in the pass been lodged with the NCC as well as directly with the company. As the NCC investigation unfolds, we urge members of the public to share their examples of mis-labelling with us and the NCC . Click here for another example of alleged Israeli mislabeling at Woolworths.
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