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Explained: What are Halal-certified products? Why did UP government ban it?

Uttar Pradesh government banned the "production, storing, distribution and sale of halal-certifies edible items" through the state on November 18. The Food Commissioner's office issued an order "with immediate effect" enforcing the prohibition throughout UP.

What are Halal foods?
Halal certification was first introduced in 1974 for slaughtered meat. Meat that has been obtained via an Islamic method is referred to as halal meat. Unlike the jhatka method of slaughtering an animal when the neck receives the blow, the animal must be killed through the throat, oesophagus, and jugular veins but not the spinal cord.

What are Halal-certified products?
A Halal certification ensures that the food is cooked pure and in accordance with Islamic law.

Halal food is defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations as food that is allowed under Islamic law. "All lawful land animals should be slaughtered in compliance with the rules laid down in the Codex Recommended Code of Hygienic Practice for Fresh Meat," according to the guidelines issued by the FAO.

Many private companies in India provide halal certification, designating food or products that are acceptable for consumption by Muslims. While the Indian government recognises some of these halal certifying agencies, some of them still have no recognition.

Why did the UP government ban Halal-certified products?
The Uttar Pradesh government claimed that halal certifications for vegetarian goods like oil, soap, honey, and toothpaste—for which no such certification is required—indicate a purposeful criminal plot that targets a certain population and its goods. The prohibition is meant to avoid confusion and promote public health. Goods intended for export are excluded from the restriction.

Recently, a sachet of tea premix that was halal-certified caused a commotion aboard a Vande Bharat train. A traveller wanted to know what tea with a halal certification meant. The corporation clarified that other nations' exports of that tea premix were the reason for the certification. The accreditation was intended for nations that practice Islam. Thus, halal is not just associated with meat; some cosmetics are certified halal to indicate that they are free of "haram" ingredients like alcohol and pig fat.

On Friday, November 17, a complaint was filed in Lucknow against several organizations for allegedly taking advantage of religious feelings to increase sales by giving halal certificates to clients who practice a particular religion.

The Uttar Pradesh government imposed the limitation in response to complaints against several Halal Certification providers. It is unclear if these businesses have been issuing these certificates in a lawful or unlawful manner.

"Halal certification of food products is a parallel system which creates confusion regarding the quality of food items and is completely against the basic intention of the said Act and is not tenable under Section 89 of the said Act," the UP government order said.

Source : DNA India