French Halal Meat In Doubt – for Aug. 19, 2010

The lack of a central body in France to oversee the authenticity of halal meat has made some experts doubt that animals have been slaughtered following the correct Islamic procedures.

Estimates of the amount of meat labelled halal that does not meet the strict religious standards range from 40 to as high as 80 per cent.

France has Western Europe’s biggest Muslim population and producers are battling for a piece of the 5.5 billion euro ($7.05 billion) halal meat market.

According to Islamic law, halal meat must come from animals blessed by a short prayer and slaughtered facing the holy city of Mecca. The animal is traditionally killed with a cut to the throat to allow the blood to drain out, with a view that the meat is cleaner.

The halal market is twice as large as that for organic foods in France.

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