Monday, July 13, 2015

Halal Hen Hoax

Ramadan will conclude in another 4 days, but has been marked by slimy people who commit or enable a Halal Hoax for chicken, or other meats.
Halal is an Arabic word meaning "lawful" or "permissible" (the opposite of haraam, which means "unlawful" or "forbidden").

While people fast during the days of Ramadan, they also have to watch out for fake Halal meats at night.

Global News previously reported on fake Halal meats in Canada:
“Halal is really important to uphold a Muslim’s spirituality, the acceptance of our worship in the eyes of God is dependent on it, that we’re only consuming Halal,” says Omar Subedar, a Toronto-area imam who serves as the secretary general and official spokesperson of the Halal Monitoring Authority ("HMA").
. . .
Subedar says that revelations from [a prior] investigation led to the formation of the HMA, which maintains a comprehensive listing of Halal-certified producers, brands and restaurants.
The next step for Subedar and his fellow imams is to  create an official, national governing body to regulate the certification of Halal products.
There is a growing Muslim population in Canada, especially around Toronto and the GTA.  Lack of supply and demanding customers entices the unscrupulous to buy or create fake Halal meats.

Some feel that Halal is solely concerned about the killing process.  Others believe that the entire life cycle of the animal is important, culminated with the proper prayer and process at the abattoir.  If you are looking for "best in class" animal welfare, you may be interested in small flock pasture raised chicken.  Check out the Mission, Vision, and Principles of SFPFC.  We believe these Principles of SFPFC are clear, open, comprehensive, and effective; unlike the secret, voluntary compliance or non-compliance, ambiguous, superficial, unverified, conflicting, or non-existent principles of the commercial chicken producers in Ontario (see CFO), and Canada-wide (see CFC). 

HMA reported:
"In March 2004 the Jami’yyatul Ulama Canada (CCMT) received complaints from the muslim community and from certain individuals from the halal industry that many things within the industry are not in compliance with halal guidelines. Subsequently, the Halal Foods Department carried out inspections in 4 meat slaughter plants, 13 poultry slaughter plants, 7 further processing plants and several meat & poultry retailers, all of which are the major suppliers of halal consumables within the GTA."
The HMA's certification trademark that will be on the label
of all foods certified by HMA
Any meat products must come from animals which have undergone a prescribed method of slaughtering (known as dhabihah) in order to be considered halal.
In brief, the Halal method of slaughtering animals consists of using a well sharpened knife to make a swift, deep incision that cuts the front of the throat, the carotid artery, wind pipe and jugular veins but leaves the spinal cord intact. The blood is to be completely drained from the body before its meat is cut. The head of an animal that is slaughtered using halal methods is aligned with the qiblah (ie. facing Mecca).  In addition to the direction, permitted animals should be slaughtered in the name of Allah (the Lord) and the person who is slaughtering should be a Muslim and he/she should be in a good mental condition and faith. All these steps have to be completed to render the meat edible for Muslims' consumption.

The long list of problems discovered led the Halal Food Dept. of the Canadian Council of Muslim Theologins to create HMA.  In turn, HMA's methods have been examined and endorsed by 41 different Imams and Islamic Scholars from across Canada.

So far, HMA has certified 4 poultry abattoirs, and 3 further processors for chicken (eg. chicken nuggets).

Halal has similar standards and requirements to kosher.  Kosher specifies how the animal must be slaughtered, but Halal adds spiritual requirements as well.  Inspection and certification of kosher is a more mature system than the newer Halal certification system.
Trademarks that may be displayed on kosher products sold
in Canada, showing the food producer has passed the
necessary auditing and certification for designation as kosher.

Late last year, the owners of a halal beef supplier in Iowa were charged with selling $4.9 million in beef that prosecutors said did not follow the halal practices it promised.

Some other fraudulent Halal cases have occurred: 
  • In November 2011, a supermarket chain in Anaheim, California, paid fines of $527,000 after it sold regular meat as halal.
  • A wholesaler in England was fined nearly $100,000 last year after investigators caught the company putting the halal label on chicken that was traced to a supplier that did not sell halal meat.
  •  A manager pleaded guilty to directing workers at the Midamar Corp. to repackage beef products from a slaughterhouse that wasn’t approved for export to Malaysia and Indonesia.  The company has denied wrongdoing and moved to dismiss the case, arguing the charges violate the US First Amendment for "free speech".  Islamic Services of America, which certified halal beef for Midamar, said the U.S. government can’t enforce religious slaughter protocols.

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