Our thanks to an EBF supporter who sent in this article explaining the reality of Halal (and other) food certification labels.
On Britain First you’ll often see lots of people who are upset about halal food. Never Shechita (Kosher), by the way, just halal. Many claimed that they are ‘not bothered about animal welfare’ but that they don’t want to eat anything that’s had a ‘mumbo jumbo prayer to a false god’ said over it. Most conflate non stunned slaughter with ‘halal’ not realising, or not wanting to know that ‘halal’ covers a much wider range than the method of slaughter and the saying of a blessing. Halal simply means ‘permissible’, something that’s allowed. Anything that is not allowed is ‘haram’ All of the major Abrahamic religions have dietary restrictions. Christians, Jews and Muslims are not supposed to eat pork, and Christians are forbidden to eat shellfish.
And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.
Leviticus 11:10 : But anything in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you.
Shellfish and Pork are ‘haram’ to Christians, Jews and Muslims although it seems that Jews and Muslims are much more likely to observe these laws.
In addition, while alcohol is not strictly forbidden in the bible, drunkeness is frowned upon Galatians 5:21 : Envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Since practicing Muslims and Jews observe these religious dietary requirements, they are careful about what they eat. Some products may contain gelatin derived from pigs and some may have ‘hidden’ alcohol.
It’s pretty obvious that you are buying pork if you buy pork chops or bacon, it’s pretty obvious that you are buying alcohol if you buy a bottle of wine – but some products have hidden pork products and may contain alcohol. Did you know that fruit pastels contain gelatin? Did you know that baked products containing vanilla extract may contain alcohol? If these ingredients are forbidden for you to eat, wouldn’t you like to know that they are in the product so you can avoid it? What about if you are a vegetarian? Or need a gluten free diet? Perhaps you’re allergic to dairy, or prefer your produce to be organic or soil association approved. Vegetarians and vegans would also need to avoid those fruit pastels.
For many years, people with special dietary requirements have had to stand about in the supermarket aisles, trying to read the small print on the back of the products – and some of it is VERY small. It used to be the case that anyone with these dietary needs had to spend a lot of time carefully selecting products, or stick to the few they knew were safe to eat if in a hurry.
But the food industry is big business and could easily lose sales if they are missing out on the purchasing power of a percentage of the population. Not about to miss out on business, food certification became an eye catching way to make sure that your product is SEEN to be safe, and seen quickly. Certification boards were set up to inspect food for it’s content. If the food met the boards standards they were awarded with a label that set their product visibly apart from others (that may also be safe to consume.) The boards charge the manufacturers a fee to display such labelling but this is a worthwhile overhead for manufacturers to have. It’s a form of advertising. Those certification labels shout loudly from the shelves that the product is safe to consume, whatever dietary requirement it meets.
It is much easier and quicker to shop when you can look for a familiar and trusted logo on show, and you are more likely to choose the product that you can easily SEE is safe to consume, than to read all the small print on others, which might be equally safe. So food certification applies to many food types.
Halal certification is a business thing.
It’s not funding terrorism, it’s increasing the manufacturers sales, which makes it simply good business sense to have your food products certified ‘safe’ to consume, for every consumer.