Parliamentary enquiry finds Halal certification does not fund terrorism

Over the last year it seems there has been more talk than ever about Halal certification and what it means.

Over the last year it seems there has been more talk than ever about Halal certification and what it means. The little symbol can be found on thousands of food products in Australia, including Cadbury chocolate and Vegemite, and now a new parliamentary inquiry has put to bed any public concerns over sales profits and whether they fund terrorism.

At its most simplest, something that has a Halal certification means it is fit for consumption by Muslims, and does not contain traces of alcohol, blood or pork (all forbidden in Islam). Halal also applies to the way an animal is slaughtered. Still, outrage has been rife in the general community about why this is on our favourite foods.

The committee received more than 1450 submissions about a range of third party certification issues, said the main concern was about Halal food certification.

“A number of submitters employed language and arguments which could be described as inflammatory, derogatory, and, in some cases, even obscene,” the committee said in the report. “In the interests of fostering an open dialogue and allowing submitters to have their opinions heard on what is clearly a contentious issue, the committee decided to accept and publish as many submissions as possible.

“Nonetheless, the committee is sensitive to the nature of some of the material in question, and some submissions were not published.”

So where is the money going? The committee said they understood that Australians have a right to mistrust the industry over something so foreign, they reiterated there was no evidence the certifiers were “masquerading as a type of charity” to fund organisations that had strong links to criminal activity such as terrorism.

To further their argument, even the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Crime Commission said they could find no direct link between halal certification and terrorism.

Even still, the report made mention that a number of people who submitted were unconvinced.

The committee said dismissed any connection between increased prices and the certification, reports the Courier Mail.

Another issue for submitters was that they felt Halal certification meant they were having religion imposed on them – the committee pointed out that the majority of submissions were not about kosher, despite it also being a religious food certification, albeit for the Jewish religion.

Also, the committee found that many of the submissions in the inquiry confused the term “halal” with the process of halal certification, saying certification was “purely a commercial exchange”.

“Certification does not require a religious ritual, nor does it in itself make food any more or any less halal. Products are either halal or they are not — certification merely verifies the fact,” the report stated.

“It cannot be asserted that the act of certification imposes religion on consumers. In the committee’s view more could be done to explain what halal certification entails — this would assist in clarifying prevailing misconceptions”.

The inquiry acknowledged there needed to be more transparency into the certification of all third party labelling.


Tell us, does this new information but your mind at ease at all? Do you think Halal certification is fine?


  1. Editor note: Please read the article before commenting as we will not tolerate nasty comments that put down a race, religion or person. Starts at 60 is a safe place for everyone, and we simply want to encourage debate. We will not hesitate to ban if upsetting comments are made. Thanks so much!

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    • Sadly this website needs a censor from time to time, the name calling and bullying by a few is sometimes appaling, I aplaude you SAS

    • So SAS is now gagging us ?? I’m extremely disappointed. Not worth a comment if I’m going to be censored anyway. Let’s not have an opinion for fear it may offend !

      • pitchag  

        Absolutely right no worth commenting if free speech is censored, why have a comment section if we cannot express our opinions, I’m out of here for good

    • not trying to ‘gag’ anyone Nina Garratt 🙂 we just get messages letting us know there are some inappropriate comments and from time to time we do need to mediate. if your comment is not blatantly offensive, you needn’t be worried about censorship

    • Thanks Emma. I am happy to read this as over the last few days there have been hate filled comments on some posts. I am happy to have healthy discussion but there have been some nasty people on this site.

    • Nita Crompton thanks for letting us know 🙂 it can be hard to moderate over 70,000 comments sometimes but we do try and we do listen! x

    • The sad thing to me is when they start attacking because you have a different opinion.

    • So you have made yourself the arbiter of free speech. Politically correct rubbish. You are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    • Cameron Thornton I have been coming here for a long time and SAS puts the articles out, it is up to us to all behave like sensible adults but in many instances that is not happening, I have been called more names in here for simply having an opinion that I have in my whole life. If you respond to these articles in an adult way without insults and name calling then you won’t have a problem

  2. Disgusting. The public knew nothing of this until it was all done and dusted. Where are our rights as consumers?

    • There was ample notification about it in every mainstream media outlet including Murdoch press. Those who do not to see or hear will not see and hear.

    • Graeme Chesterfield Read the comments Graeme, its a way that food producers are able to sell and export their products. Its a win win situation really, farmers, manufacturers, employees etc.

    • Graeme Chesterfield No one’s held to ransom, Dick Smith doesn’t have his food halal certified. It’s their business, it’s their choice.

    • Jenny Gericke-Ramsden
      That’s a load of crap. This enquiy has been going on for a ling time and was well advertised on social media, newspapers and TV. If you failed to hear about it, don’t blame everyone else.

    • Angie Wood I don’t think they gave out personal notifications. This is no different to other senate enquiries. It was greatly publicised in the leadup.

    • Graeme Chesterfield I suppose for the same reason they are ‘held to ransom’ to get the healthy heart tick, kosher certification, gluten free certification, low fat, sugar free etc. etc.

    • Dawn Bruce. Do you think Cory Bernadi will be convinced? did not know he was one of the instigators.

    • “To further their argument, even the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Crime Commission said they could find no direct link between halal certification and terrorism.”
      The evidence given by these bodies was that they did not trace Hala certification funds leaving the country because that was outside their powers. They said they could find no direct link because they were not looking for it.

    • Yvonne Jackson NO he wasn’t convinced , as he didn’t get an answer on why we have no idea where money goes overseas. , there have been rumours about Indonesia, It is BIG money we are talking about Paid by companies, Trouble is it wasn’t brought up till too late & was rushed through with Govt saying it would regulate .have to wait & see outcome if anything is done.

    • Graeme Chesterfield , there is a facebook page and website that will tell you what is and isnt the halal crap

    • There has been a lot of transparency about it and was widely publicised, including on social media. I have read quite a lot about it. I support Halal certification. Australian businesses benefit from it because they are able to export goods and normal, everyday Australian Muslims have a wider choice of foods. We have Kosher, the Heart Tick, Low GI, etc. for those concerned about diet, so what not Halal Certified?

    • Dawn Bruce it generates over 2 trillion,l yes trillion dollars every year, it should be banned all together not just labelling, it is against our democratic right just for a start, and there is a class action against it

    • Peter Benn
      How about some facts to back up that claim. And don’t bother pointing me to any anti islam hate sites.

  3. Personally I don’t care if has Halal or Kosher certification, its the sugar and fat content that worries me. I have researched both and no neither funds terrorists. No we are not paying a tax because they are Halal certified.

    • In a way it will make the product cheaper as they are opening up a wider sales base – more call for a product, usually lowers the cost of manufacturer. Also I don’t begrudge a couple of cents if it helps employ more people. Also if you think that way, don’t buy goods manufactured by tax free religions (eg Sanitarium).

    • Sorel Sanders Good point about Sanitarium. I don’t think I’ll stop eating Weetbix because I don’t agree with the SDAs.

    • Don’t have much choice these days , everything is Halal , now you say Sanitarium tax free. & Halal so I don’t buy, We are left with buying very expensive products from small companies. My eating habits have changed , no variety any more & bill is higher,

    • It’s not about employing more people. It’s about supporting a religion and has become a bit of a rort when they charge a fee to certify dog food, tampons and a whole list of things that shouldn’t require certification. And no I don’t buy Sanitarium products.

    • Sorel, how can you have “researched” when even the governing body stated they can’t track the funds once they leave Australia?

    • Sorel, the difference with Sanitarium is that (e.g.) if you don’t want to buy Weet Bix then you can buy Vita Brits. Halal tax is across the board – very little choice

    • Michele if you read the report, properly they did research with what happened to the money, it was not what the Senators wanted, they wanted to prove the money went to the terrorists, but found that it did not. it went to various charities yes some Islamic, but also others, eg used for homeless and other charities. Re the Sanitarium bit, I was replying to those who said that the Halal tick was a tax and I pointed out that if they want to go down that track they needed to not buy goods manufactured by religious groups eg Sanitarium. Yes they can buy Vita Brits, I don’t care what they buy personally thats their choice but to not buy a product because they think they are paying a tax because of the halal certification and not take into non taxing religious groups like the Seventh Day Adventist (who are among those that annoy me by invading my privacy – never had an Islamic follower knock on my door to preach their religion) is stupid. I prefer to pay a couple of cents per item if it will keep someone in a job and if we are lucky employ some more people. So to all those silly people going on and on about Halal products – they have been in Australia way before you or I were born (like Kosher), Like the Catholics eat fish on Friday although I believe that is rare these days. It a personal choice if you wish to follow a religious way of life, just don’t carry on about it and make trouble for other people.

    • PS – I eat neither weet bix or vita brits, even rats and mice leave those foods alone.

    • But that’s the problem Sorel, there’s very little choice these days. All meat and chicken on the shelves in Coles is halal certified, even though it is not labelled as such. It’s very hard to find a cheese that’s not certified. People have a right to informed choice, therefore all products halal certified should be labelled as such. Whether their objection is because they don’t want to pay a religious tax on food (call it a fee if you must) or whether it’s because they are a practising Christian and it is therefore against their religion to eat food sacrificed to another God, people are entitled to enough information to enable them to make an informed decision on their food choices.
      As for your comment that the money doesn’t support terrorism, AUSTRAC actually said they had no way of tracking the money once it has left Australia. The Islamic Council of WA actually stated in their annual report that their donations to Syria were made through the charity al Imdaad to “ensure no recriminations”. al Imdaad has been linked to Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood both by UK and Canadian authorities

    • Vicki, I am a atheist, about the only religions I have any respect for are the Buddhists and Hindus, unfortunately even those religions have fundamentalists who don’t follow the main teachings. BUT I have never in all my years heard of a main Christian sect who only ate Christian food. (Seventh Day are vegetarians because of blood thing they take it a step further than Jews) . I have read the Bible and again except for the blood thing cannot remember anything about only eating certain foods (except for the Fish on Friday and I believe that was brought in to help the fishing industry in the middle ages by the Catholic Church). You have therefore given me something to think on and research. But as the Christian/Jewish/Islamic religions all came from the same melting pot in the middle east from the same roots, you may be right and Christians have their own eating code that the rest of us have had the sense to forget. I can understand if you live in a hot, dirty place without the means to store food that you needed to be careful what you ate and how you prepared it. So perhaps Halal food is Christian food after all. I agree Austrac did say that, but I remember one of the ABC programs did do a lot of the work Austrac said they could not do and they found nothing. It was either Four Corners/Foreign Corr/Lateline or one of a similar vein. After I have research you statement about Christian food I will have a look for you. In fact they called out one of the Aussie organisers who was earning a good income from it. Also even as an ex Gov employee, these days I have very little faith in Gov agencies due to massive funding cuts and the politicizing of higher levels of Gov employees. (Jobs for the boys).

    • this link from Wikipedia does state some rules – eg the blood (same as Halal) and the meat free day and that some sects have become meat free but most of their bans are in relationship to over indulging in drink which I am sure everyone with brains would agree with. I don’t take wikipedia as gospel, so will add more as I go. this one is one made up by one of the American media preachers if you want to follow it (mainly Jewish) This is a good one – If you want more just google Christian foods – apparently if you are a Christian and know it has been offered to a Pagan God, you decline – so to all you Christians you had better become vegetarians or better still vegans, just think how many animals that will save from being killed, how much we will save in the health budget and how the environment will benefit from the less animals bred to kill. A win win all around.

    • Sorel. With all your questionable research and quotations from dubious sources has it dawned on you reading is not understanding. If you like to read why don’t you have a read through the Koran and associated books, this is where the halal sharia law journey begins. This isn’t about religion despite all the effort to make it appear that way, this is about an ideaolgy and halal is about funding that ideaolgy. Until you read and understand that point. it’s all just hot air.

  4. Of course it funds terrorism…..if it funds the building of mosques where hatred of everything & anything not islamic is openly preached.

    • Joan Quill  

      Well said Bill, that is why I wonder why the truth is not given when asked where the money does go. They won’t tell us, seems suspicious to me.

  5. Don’t the manufacturers have to pay to put that logo on the jar?, if so WHY?.

    • From the Heart Foundation web site : Do food companies buy the Tick?

      The Tick is earned, never bought. Foods are independently tested and if a product fails to meet the standards, it will not enter the Tick Program.

      Food companies do pay a licence fee once they are approved to enter the program. The fees fund the team who develop the standards, as well as nutrition research conducted by the Heart Foundation. We’re a charity and not government funded. The Tick Program runs on a cost-recovery basis.

  6. Doesn’t bother me, I’m not stupid enough to stop eating vegemite because Muslims are given the OK to eat it as per their dietary rules.

  7. its simple mark all halal products prominently so muslims will know what they can buy and i will know what to avoid

    • Halal which is Arabic for OK as Kosher is in the Hebrew language….what Halal means is that there is no alcohol, no pork products and preservatives in them……… regards the meat Halal means it is fresh and not bruised, that it is top quality and all fresh vegetables and water are Halal…..the sign is only needed for processed foods so we know it is OK…and also with amount of production sold overseas to Muslim countries it means more work and money for Australia and most foods are made cheaper…….take away the Certificate and jobs will go plus foods will get higher in costs

    • halal slaughtering means the animal is not pre stunned so there is more chance of the meat getting bruised as the animal thrashes around as it bleeds to death . water and vegetables do not require certification

    • My girl friend in 2007 lived on Harbor married a Muslim ,she used to drive to Fairfield to buy his meat ,was always winging about it, Labels are NOT outside , don’t know how many times I have bought something & been tricked. Meat from Coles is NOT stamped t is delivered in a big box & that box is stamped, I suppose Woolies is the same , The Egyptian who runs the Major Company is very very wealthy & is very good at threatening people who make complaints .

    • Dave the animals are pre stunned in Australia. The requirement is that they are bled. They have their throats cut while alive but unconcious. Kosher has stricter requirements but I am not sure what they are.

    • the halal animals are not pre stunned or are what is called reverseable stunned which means they are concious when killed as for kosher there are very strict rules regarding what parts of the animals are allowed and how it is processed

    • You better not use anything that is connected to fuel industry then, Dave Deacon. But that would be everything wouldn’t it!

    • Dave Deacon “In Australia, the national standard for meat production requires that all animals must be effectively stunned (unconscious) prior to slaughter. The vast majority of halal slaughter in Australia (including at export abattoirs) complies with this standard, that is, all animals are stunned prior to slaughter.” (

  8. I don’t want food with traces of blood in it !! It has never bothered me any more than eating Kosha food would. I think it is all a load of rubbish

    • my point is that if it is certified with no blood in it, I probably would be more inclined to buy it as I don’t want added blood or anything else to my food

    • whilst kosher butchers make sure the meat they sell has no blood that is a very limited market from a small number of kosher butchers halal certification is different

    • Dave Decon we all have a right to buy what we want and at over age 60, I think we all know what we want to eat

    • Who else does, Everyone I know has an app on their phone to consult before they buy something, Everything that is Halal has had a tax paid by the maker .

    • But there are other religions who are forbidden from eating Halal – what choice do they have?

  9. Thank for the infostart 60,there are Muslims who are entiteled to what they want just as many other countries have there own taste iin food and are nnot challaged

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