Israel, Turkey, and other countries have been tricking people into buying food products falsely labeled as Lebanese, Lebanon’s Industry Ministry revealed in a statement on Saturday.
“The Ministry of Industry addresses Lebanese and international media outlets with information verified with pictures that clearly show that Turkey, Israel, and other countries are deceiving consumers in foreign markets by adopting slogans and labels on food products that imply they are of Lebanese origin,” the Ministry said.
The statement was released with several pictures of products typically produced in Lebanon, namely tahini and hummus, branded with words such as “Cedar’s,” “Al-Arz” (The Cedars), and “Beirut,” in addition to pictures and logos of the Lebanese cedar.
The Industry Ministry called the practice “an encroachment,” further labeling it as “fraud and piracy,” and stressing that it constitutes “a crime against Lebanon’s sovereignty, economy, and industry.”
With that said, the Ministry announced that it will work with the Foreign Ministry to instruct the Lebanese diplomatic missions abroad to follow up on this issue and prosecute those responsible.
Additionally, it noted that the closure of Lebanese factories during the lockdown adds to the problem by “freezing the national economy and stopping its production and export cycle.”
This closure causes Lebanon’s industrialists and exporters to “lose their markets that cannot be compensated in the future, which benefits competitors abroad in winning these markets.”
18-01-2021 4:53 pm (Beirut): The Industry Ministry released a statement clarifying that the picture showing a product by Cedar’s Foods, which is owned by Lebanese nationals, was added to the statement by mistake.