French Muslim Stakeholders Release about the CEN/AFNOR Halal Standard

| 25/04/2015 | Reply

Press Release

Halal is primarily a religious issue

AND a Matter for Muslim religious authorities

The signatories of this press release, met April 20, 2015 at the Grand Mosque of Lyon and agreed that :

· Any Muslim religious questions or definitions, or religious decisions are the exclusive prerogative of religious authorities of the Muslim community.

· Any accreditation, auditing, certification, and the control of all production that requires halal authentication are the exclusive responsibility of the competent Muslim operatings under the control of the accredited and recognized Muslim authorities and religious institutions.

· No standards for halal procedures used by the Muslim community may be owned by a non-Muslim organization.

Therefore, the signatories of this release forcefully denounce the current standardization project “Halal Foods” of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) which will be discussed shortly in Cordoba (from 28 to 30 April 2015).

This project and any resulting proposals are inconsistent with the rules and prescription of the Islamic religion and, therefore, the French Muslim community will not accept any such document.

Furthermore, a working committee of CEN, hosted by the French Standards Association (AFNOR), the three mosques (Paris, Lyon, and Evry) and French Muslim Worship Council (CFCM) were only asked to participate as “technical support”. This “secondary” role conferred on them shows the willingness of these standards bodies to deprive Muslims of their right to control an issue that is essentially religious.

For this purpose : the signatories below require the transfer of the working committee “Foodstuffs Halal” to the authority of the heads of Muslim religious institutions alone that are competent to deal with these problems that are essentially religious.

If this requirement is not completed by September 30, 2015, the signatories will leave the commission.

At this time they are suspending their participation in the work of this commission and no longer will participate in future meetings.

Signed by : CFCM (French Muslim Council of Worship), Grand Mosque of Lyon, Great Mosque of Evry, European Halal Services, ASIDCOM (Muslim Consumers), UFCM(Muslim Consumers), SIRAT(wholesaler), AVS (à votre service).

ARTICLE TWO

The Islamization of Food: A Demonstration of Fractures in French Society?
HalalFocus| 14/07/2014

ASIDCOM 8 July 201Asidcom4

ASIDCOM has learned about the contents of the first CEN (Committee of European Normalization) meeting in Istanbul in September 2013 as part of the work on a future European halal standard. ASIDCOM has asked to be a member of the AFNOR (Association Française de Normalisation, the French national organization for standardization) “Halal Foods” Committee.

ARTICLE THREE

JANUARY 2014: AFNOR STANDARDIZATION PRESS RELEASE REGARDING REPRESENTING FRENCH STAKEHOLDERS IN THE CREATION OF AN EU HALAL STANDARD:

From January 2014 – AFNOR Group, a member of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), has led an open-access standardization committee on Halal food. The goal is to represent the voice of French stakeholders in the framework of a draft European standard for voluntary application.

A draft European standard was initiated in 2009 following a proposal by Austria which had a national normative document. A European feasibility study was coordinated from 2009 to 2012. AFNOR participated in the study on the basis of expert input by a think tank representing the majority of French stakeholders. This study identified expectations for development of a European standard. It also highlighted the importance for France of actively contributing to this project conducted by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and led by Turkey.

The future European Standard will address all requirements relating to the Halal food supply chain [1] : rearing, slaughtering, processing, storage, transportation and conformity assessment of foodstuffs. For all religious matters, the CEN Technical Committee will consult an advisory group comprising representatives of European and international Islamic authorities proposed by member states.

Scheduled for publication in 2017, the standard will be a voluntary reference document applicable in the context of European legislation. It may be used by Halal food certification bodies in CEN’s various member states. The goal is to enable these bodies to adopt a common approach that is transparent for consumers.

As with all voluntary standards, it will be developed with the participation of all categories of stakeholders, including representatives of the Muslim community and professionals.

A standardization committee open to all legal entities

30 organizations representing interests in this subject currently make up this AFNOR/V06A “Halal Foods” standardization committee including public authorities, grand mosques, food manufacturers, research bodies, consumer organizations and animal welfare groups. All these participate in the working meetings driven by the desire to contribute to this European project.

The French standardization committee meets 3 to 4 times a year. The CEN / PC 425 technical committee meets twice a year with all the member states. The European standard will be published at EU level once the consensus reached.

Participation in this AFNOR committee is open to categories of interest concerned with the subject and that contribute to funding the work.

To join the committee AFNOR and participate in the European project … link

Learn more about the criteria for participation in standardization work … link

Learn more about the categories of interest for a standardization committee…http://www.afnor.org/en/core-activi…

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Category: EU, Europe, France, Halal Integrity, Media & Events, Shariah Issues

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