Two of Australia’s biggest cereal makers, Kellogg’s and Sanitarium, are no longer halal certifying their products but deny the decision came from customers concerned the monies were funding Islamic activities.
Instead both manufacturers said their product range met halal certification anyway, so there was little need to pay and display halal certification.
To be halal certified, a product must not contain any pork products or contain alcohol.
Sanitarium – a company owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church – has said its products already meet all the requirements of halal.
“As far as Sanitarium’s position on halal certification we do not use meat-based ingredients or alcohol,” a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia. “This means our products are suitable for people choosing halal or kosher foods.”
Neither Kellogg’s and Sanitarium pay to show the Kosher symbol either.
There has been ongoing concerns from some quarters as to what the halal certification was funding. One Nation’s Pauline Hanson has been a particularly vocal opponent of the idea and questioned why Australians would want religious symbols all over their groceries. Hanson has called it an Islamic tax.
Hanson has questioned why we need the Halal certification when only about two per cent of the Australian population is Muslim.
“Australian’s don’t handle religion being forced upon them at the best of times. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Christian preacher spruiking the word of god down the Queens Street Mall or Jehovah Witness knocking on your door over the weekend. Australian’s don’t like it,” Hanson said.
“Could you imagine if we imposed the blessing of all foods with holy water on Islamic countries? There would be outrage.”
In Easter this year, chocolate firm Cadbury also felt Hanson’s wrath for its halal-certified Easter eggs, instead spuriking non-halal variants made by the likes of Lindt or Darrell Lea.
“If you want to actually support these companies, do it,” she said.
“Go and buy some non-halal Easter eggs and chocolate – and have a happy Easter everyone, and a very safe one.”