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Halal Easter eggs and cat food: where big money meets religion
by Paul Sheehan
Cadbury will sell a mountain of chocolates this Easter, as it does every Easter. It has been careful to make sure that its products are certified as halal, even though it is not necessary. Hundreds of companies in Australia do the same. Halal certification has become a big business.
The essence of halal is that any food is forbidden to Muslims if it includes blood, pork, alcohol, the flesh of carnivores or carrion, or comes from an animal which has not been slaughtered in the correct manner, which includes having its throat slit. Food labelled as halal invariably involves the payment of a fee. It does not extend to chocolate but Cadbury lists 71 products which are halal, ranging from Dairy Milk to Freddo frogs to Red Tulip chocolates. The website also states: "We do not have any kosher-certified products."
"Cadbury also pay for halal certification on the Easter product range, even though Easter is a Christian celebration and nothing to do with Islam," says Kirralie Smith, who runs a website called Halal Choices. The website lists 340 companies in Australia that pay for halal certification, including Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Franklins, Kellogg's, MasterFoods, Nestle and even Kraft's Vegemite.
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