Kazakhs warned to beware of false halal food

Kazakhstan Political Map 2000ASTANA – Some Kazakhstani consumer groups are warning customers to beware of food that improperly bears the “halal” label, Tengri News reported August 5.

Entrepreneurs use the label to attract customers and increase profits, Armangazy Muratov, a corresponding member of Legacy of Our Ancestors’ Traditions, a consumer-rights NGO, said. Ninety percent of the time in Kazakhstan, the label is unjustified, he said, noting that his organisation had found pork by-products in supposedly halal meat products and chewing gum in the past.

Svetlana Romanovskaya, president of the National League of Consumers of Kazakhstan, also expressed concern about halal food, but said it was up to Kazakhstanis to decide for themselves the accuracy of the term in food they buy.

Kazakhstan has one international (Malaysian) and two national halal standards operating simultaneously, Tengri News reported. The government officially does not associate the halal label with food safety requirements, according to the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies. Therefore, it doesn’t require food producers to issue halal certification.