Halaal Row Turns into Religious Feud

March 9, 2008

Author: Suthentira Govender

Source: The Times


A National consumer organisation has slammed halaal certification bodies, accusing them of exploiting and misleading South African consumers.

Tony Naidoo, head of the Concerned Citizens Council (CCC), claimed on SAfm’s AM Live show this week that consumers were “unknowingly footing the bill for the exorbitant certification fees” food conglomerates pay to carry the halaal endorsement.

Muslims may consume only food and drink deemed permissible and wholesome in accordance with Islamic regulations.

“We conducted a survey over a four-year period and found that a large proportion of basic food products are halaal, which means that every time we buy a halaal item, we pay a surcharge on the item that accrues to the certification bodies. These are hidden costs which the consumers have to bear,” Naidoo told the Sunday Times Extra.

He also questioned whether the certification fees, which run into millions of rand a year, were being used to fund international Muslim organisations.