Food packaging laws could be changed amid halal confusion

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The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is to consider introducing new legal measures regarding the packaging of kosher and halal meats.

A spokesperson said that the government body has been working on an EU study into the idea of compulsory labelling and will review its options once this is completed later this year.

Faith leaders in the UK have called for clearer packaging after it was found that a number of supermarkets and restaurant chains have been selling foods which qualify as halal but aren’t labelled as such.

According to packagingnews.co.uk, Dr Shuka Shafi from the Muslim Council of Britain and Henry Grunwald of religious slaughter campaign group Shechita UK said in a letter to the Telegraph: “Consumers should be informed whether an animal has been mechanically stunned before being slaughtered and whether it has endured repeat stuns if the first attempt was ineffective.

“They should also be told the method of slaughter: captive bolt shooting, gassing, electrocution, drowning, trapping, clubbing or any of the other approved methods. Comprehensive labelling should be supported by faith communities and animal welfare groups alike.”

Five of the UK’s biggest supermarket chains have been forced to defend their selling of unlabelled halal meat, bbc.co.uk reports. The group of retailers – comprising Morrisons, Marks & Spencer, the Co-op, Tesco and Waitrose – says that all animals are stunned prior to being slaughtered and that the only real difference is that some are blessed during the process.

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