PRESS STATEMENT: NCC probe sparked by Woolworths into retail industry welcomed
03 November 2015
The human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation BDS South Africa welcomes the decision by the National Consumer Commission (NCC) to extend the Woolworths probe into alleged false and misleading Israeli labelling to other retailers.
Following an initial complaint against Woolworths, the NCC has undertaken to extend its investigations into the broader South African retail sector. The NCC complaint was initially only into Woolworths and its Israeli produce but has now been extended to other retailers.
We trust that the NCC will use its full capabilities and not be intimidated or threatened by Woolworths or other retailers as has been the accusation.
Similar investigations in the UK recently found “529 instances” of false Israeli labelling. Laws are there to be adhered to and penalties/fines should be issued against non-compliant companies such as Woolworths and their suppliers of Israeli produce.
The South African Government in 2013 introduced particular labeling laws for Israeli products in response to the continued misrepresentation by Israeli suppliers of produce, products and general goods from the illegal Israeli settlements.
The launch of this NCC investigation allays some initial concerns by consumers that the National Consumer Commission had taken unacceptably long to investigate complaints against Woolworths for false or misleading Israeli labelling.
Complaints of false or misleading Israeli labelling at Woolworths stores were also lodged directly by consumers. Several of these complaints to Woolworths have gone un-answered.
The un-answering and ignoring of complaints regarding mislabeling of Israeli produce will be raised at the upcoming AGM of the company on the 30th of November by BDS South Africa "shareholder activists". It is unacceptable that Woolworths claims to be a transparent and engaging company yet it does not respond to consumers, shareholders and members of the public when it comes to the allegations of false and misleading Israeli labelling and suppliers.
ISSUED BY KWARA KEKANA ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL IN SOUTH AFRICA (BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
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