Australia: Submissions to Parliamentary inquiry into Halal claim it’s a scam

By Trenton Akers – The Courier-Mail – 20 May 2015

THE first submissions to a parliamentary inquiry into halal food have been made, claiming that various certifications such as halal are jacking up the price of the weekly food bill, are a scam, and questioning why religious certification on food is in Australia in the first place.

Liberal senator, Cory Bernardi initiated the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into what he calls a “racket” of certification.

Senator Bernardi has in the past explained his concerns about where the money received from halal foods ends up.

The inquiry will also investigate the use of other certifications such as kosher, organic and genetically modified food.

Senators voted 34 to 30 in favour of the inquiry that will last for six months.

The first submission is from a diabetic who is calling for more transparency in the certification process.

It calls for clear labelling and for a scheme where an accredited body can certify foods.

The second submission is calling for the whole halal certification to be abolished “and recognised as a scam”.

This submission demands to know where the money for halal certification goes.

“I would like to know how much is passed on to the consumer and, if we do buy

halal certified because we have so little choice, will we be able to get a tax

refund from the government as this tax does not apply to us?” the submission reads.

Consumers are calling for clearer labelling on products.

Consumers are calling for clearer labelling on products.

The third submission to date asks the question why a country like Australia has any kind of religious certification.

“We understand that there is a need for certain certifications to be applied to foods so that customers know whether the food is edible or to the standards for them and their personal beliefs,” the submission reads.

“What we do not understand is what any religious certification is doing on any food item in this country.

“There should be equality of food for all people regardless of religious identification. If a company want to say their food abides by religious laws then they should be free to say so without paying for certification.”

All three submissions can be read at the Parliament of Australia website.

ARTICLE TWO – 21 May 2015

Charlie Pickering hilariously busts the myths of halal certification

In the last few years, Charlie Pickering has become a champion of progressive media in Australia, with Channel Ten’s The Project going from strength to strength under his tenure as host. The former lawyer has now moved to the ABC to host his own show, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, and while many initially dismissed it as a cheap Aussie ripoff of Jon Stewart and John Oliver, it is quickly becoming essential viewing for anyone concerned about the issues effecting our modern Australian society.

Last night Pickering set his sights on the anti-halal movement, which is growing a disturbing amount of traction due to the likes of Senator Cory Bernardi joining the cause. Recently, Bernardi has launched an official Senate Inquiry into the ‘issue’ which is not only a massive waste of taxpayer money, but is also based on a number of myths which are entirely inaccurate.

As Pickering says in the segment, in six days (and an eight minute comedy segment) he manages to find the answers that will reportedly take the Inquiry six minutes to do. The anti-halal movement is nothing but a frightening offset of the current rise of Islamaphobia in Australian society, with a group of uninformed bigots pushing an agenda which only serves to ostracise a large portion of our population.

Hopefully those in the movement (especially Bernardi) will soon see some sense and end their pointless tirade before it goes too far. And as long as we have the likes of Charlie Pickering championing the cause of facts and common sense, there is a strong chance that many will have a change of heart.

The Weekly with Charlie Pickering airs Wednesdays at 8.30pm on ABC1. You can catch up on ABC iview.