Tom's of Maine Announces Halal Toothpaste for Muslim Customers

July 28, 2006

Source: The Boston Globe

On July 28, 2006 The Boston Globe reported, "Tom's of Maine, a company that makes personal hygiene products free of additives such as sweeteners and artificial flavoring, plans on targeting the growing market among U.S. Muslims by having its products certified as 'halal.'

An Arabic term, halal means simply lawful or accepted. Much like kosher products preferred by some Jews, halal foods and products must meet certain requirements. Almost any vegetable or product derived from plants and devoid of additives is halal, as are animals accepted by Muslim tradition -- the pig being the most famous exception -- that are slaughtered by having all their blood drained from the neck after a reference to God, in Arabic, is uttered.

Saar Aswar, a food scientist with the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, the Chicago group that confers Halal credentials in the U.S., said Tom's products qualified because the company uses no animal products. His group will conduct a review of Kennebunk, Maine-based Tom's production processes yearly. Tom's is owned by the Colgate-Palmolive Company."