Norway: Politicians ask for state clearance of Halal meat

The government must ensure neutral clearance of halal meat, said Fremskrittspartiet (Progress Party / FrP) politicians. The current arrangement gives millions to the Islamic Council of Norway (IRN).

‘Halal certification should be a government responsibility in the same way that we have the official Swan eco-label’, said Oskar J. Grimstad (FrP), a member of the Standing Committee on Business and Industry, to Vårt Land, indicating that this will be a topic in the parliamentary group.

Two years ago, the meat producer, Nortura, entered into a partnership with the Islamsk Råd Norge (IRN), in which the Council receives one kroner for each kilogram of halal meat slaughtered.

Nortura sells nearly 1,000 kg of halal meat a year, and a number of restaurants and other meat producers are voluntarily linked to the same scheme. According to the newspaper, this brought the IRN organization an income of 2.4 million in 2015.

Grimstad believes this has created a kind of monopoly, which he wants to liquidate. How it will be implemented in practice,he believes, the Muslim communities should determine themselves.

He is supported by committee, and party colleague Sivert Bjørnstad, and by the NHO Reiseliv (Norwegian Travel) Director,Kristin Krohn Devold.

The leader of the Industry Committee, Geir Pollestad, of Arbeiderpartiet (Ap), however, disagrees.

‘In my view, it is not a government task to conduct quality assurance of halal meat’, he said to the newspaper.

Trustee of Rabita Mosque, Basim Ghozlan, warned earlier this week that his mosque, and up to seven others, are considering creating a competitor to the IRN.

He denied, however, that they will compete with the IRN in terms of halal certification. On Thursday, Nortura said that they will continue to cooperate with the IRN.

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today