U.P. bans halal certified products, export goods to be exempted

The Uttar Pradesh government banned production, storage, distribution and sale of halal certified products in the state with immediate effect. However, export products have been kept out of the purview of this ban.

Ms. Anita Singh, Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary, Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA), Uttar Pradesh, issued a notification in this context. The ban is a sequel to an FIR being registered at Hazratganj police station in the state capital against four organizations, production companies, their owners and managers as well as other unidentified people for unnecessarily extorting money in the name of halal certification and promoting enmity in the name of religion and also funding different anti-national, separatist and terror organizations.

Those made accused in the FIR include Halal India Pvt Ltd of Chennai, Jamiat Ulama Hind Halal Trust of Delhi, Halal Counselling of India and Jamiat Ulama of Mumbai, Maharashtra as well as some unidentified people. Strict legal action will be taken against an individual or firm engaged in the production, storage, distribution, buying and selling of halal certified medicines, medical devices and cosmetics within Uttar Pradesh, said the state government. The halal certification is operating as a parallel system and it creates confusion regarding food quality, violating government rules in this regard, it said.

The government has taken a serious note of products such as dairy items, sugar, bakery products, peppermint oil, beverages, edible oils, some medicines, medical devices and cosmetic products being labelled with halal certificates. The state government has banned production, storage, distribution and sale of halal certified products in the state with

immediate effect. Only export products will be exempted from this ban, said FSDA Commissioner, Ms. Anita Singh. Elaborating on the issue, she said; earlier, halal certification was only confined to meat products. But today all types of products like oil, sugar, toothpaste and spices are being issued halal certificates. The state government pointed out that all acts related with certification of food products were scrapped and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was introduced as the sole body to issue certificates for edible products.

Except the FSSAI, no agency or body can issue certificates to products. Earlier, halal certificates were confined to meat products. But today they are being issued to all kinds of products such as toothpaste, sugar and oil to name a few, said Singh.