LUCKNOW, India – The authorities in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh have banned the distribution and sale of halal-certified products, including dairy, garments and medicines, saying it is illegal.
Bakery products, sugar, edible oil and other products that are labelled as “halal-certified” by the companies manufacturing them will be banned from distribution and sale, a state government notification said on Nov 19.
“Halal certification of food products is a parallel system which creates confusion regarding the quality of food items,” the notification said.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the country’s apex body in charge of determining standards for most food products sold in the country and determines the standards food products should meet.
Uttar Pradesh, which is ruled by firebrand Hindu monk Yogi Adityanath, who belongs to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is India’s largest and most populous state.
Both Yogi Adityanath and his government have been accused by critics of having a divisive agenda against the state’s sizable Muslim population, which they have consistently denied.
“Religion should not be brought into food. There were many items such as garments, sugar, etc which were being branded as halal, which is against the law,” state BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi told Reuters on Nov 20. REUTERS