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Business News/ News / India/  Uttar Pradesh bans 'Halal' certified food products. How netizens reacted
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Uttar Pradesh bans 'Halal' certified food products. How netizens reacted

Food Commissioner's Office issues order, 'In the interest of public health, production, storing, distribution and sale of halal certified edible items banned in Uttar Pradesh with immediate effect'

Yogi AdityanathPremium
Yogi Adityanath

The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday banned the production, storage, distribution and sale of food products with halal certification with immediate effect while exempting products manufactured for export.

In a statement, the state government alleged “malicious attempts" to discourage the use of products lacking a halal certificate not only seek “unfair financial benefits" but also form part of a “pre-planned strategy to sow class hatred, create divisions in society, and weaken the country" by "anti-national elements".

Netizen reaction on UP govt's order

 

 

Strict legal measures will be taken against any individual or firm engaged in the production, storage, distribution, buying, and selling of halal-certified medicines, medical devices, and cosmetics within Uttar Pradesh, the statement said.

“Unrestrained propaganda is being disseminated within a particular section of society to discourage the use of products lacking a halal certificate," the statement said. This harms the business interests of other communities, it added.

There are also fears that the “unfair advantage" is being passed onto “anti-social or anti-national elements", the government said.

However, products manufactured for export will not be subject to the restrictions, it said.

According to the statement, the UP government recently received information which indicated that products such as dairy items, sugar, bakery products, peppermint oil, salty ready-to-eat beverages, and edible oils are being labelled with a halal certification.

“Additionally, certain medicines, medical devices, and cosmetic products are reported to feature the halal certificate on their packaging or labelling," the statement said.

“However, there are no provisions for marking halal certification on labels in the government rules related to drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics, nor is there any mention of halal certification in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and its related rules.

“Any direct or indirect mention of halal certification on the labels of medicines, medical devices, or cosmetics constitutes falsification under the said Act, making it a punishable offence," it said.

As per the Act and rules applicable to food items, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has been given the right to determine the standards of food items, the statement said.

“Halal certification, operating as a parallel system, creates confusion regarding food quality, violating government rules in this regard," it added.

Earlier, police here have registered a case against a company and a few other organisations for allegedly exploiting people's religious sentiments to boost sales by providing "forged" halal certificates.

The case was registered at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow on Friday on the basis of a complaint lodged by Shailendra Kumar Sharma, a resident of Motijheel Colony in Aishbagh.

The case has been registered under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 298 (uttering words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings), 384 (extortion), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the IPC.

The case has been registered against entities such as the Halal India Private Limited Chennai, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust Delhi, Halal Council of India Mumbai, Jamiat Ulama Maharashtra and others for allegedly exploiting religious sentiments to boost sales by providing halal certificates to customers of a specific religion, the UP government said in a statement on Saturday.

Citing the FIR, the statement said that the said companies allegedly issued forged halal certificates to various companies for financial gains, fostering not only social animosity but also violating public trust.

In a statement, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Halal Trust termed the allegations as "baseless" and said it will take "necessary legal measures to counter such misinformation".

"We adhere to government regulations, as emphasised in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry notification, requiring all halal certification bodies to be registered by NABCB (National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies under Quality Council of India), a milestone that Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind Halal Trust has achieved," it said.

"It is also a matter of choice of individuals and manufacturers preferring to certain certifications for their own satisfaction based upon the credentials which the certifying authorities enjoy. It saves a large number of consumers from using products which they do not want for a variety of reasons and ensures availability of need-based products in the market.

"Those who do not want to use such products are free not to use them," it further said.

The UP government statement said the complainant has raised concerns over a potential large-scale conspiracy, indicating attempts to decrease the sale of products from companies lacking the halal certificate, which is illegal. There is an apprehension that this unfair advantage is being passed on to anti-social and anti-national elements.

The issuance of halal certificates for vegetarian products like oil, soap, toothpaste, and honey, where no such certification is necessary, suggests a deliberate criminal conspiracy targeting a specific community and its products, it said.

The complainant further alleged that, under the guise of religion, "unrestrained propaganda" is being pursued within a particular section of the society to discourage the use of products lacking a halal certificate. This, in turn, harms the business interests of other communities.

The complainant also expressed concern over these individuals amassing disproportionate profits and potentially channelling funds towards supporting terrorist organisations and anti-national endeavours, the statement said.

*With agency inputs

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Published: 18 Nov 2023, 08:24 PM IST
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