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DOUX "halal" Poultry: ASIDCOM and WMCO interpellate Terrena and Gastronome

ASIDCOM and WMCO interpelate Terrena Group and its affiliate Gastronome about their "halal" products (Doux and others).


Directeur Général Groupe Terrena
La Noëlle – BP 20 199

M. Christian VIGNAUD
Directeur Gastronome
Zac de l’aérôpole –
36 impasse Louis Blériot
44150 Ancenis

June 29, 2015
Subject: Doux “halal” poultry
Dear Directors,
As Muslim consumers, we are dependent on the commitments of the Terrena Group and the implementation of its charter in the production of its halal products (Doux and others). We are particularly concerned with Terrena Group with respect to religious standards used for the halal slaughter, the meaning of the Group’s halal warranty, and its participation in the efforts to secularize the standardization of halal practices in France and all of Europe.

Indeed, Muslim consumers are demanding halal slaughter that complies with their religious prescriptions (i.e., a manual slaughter without the interference of any kind of pre-cut or post-cut stunning). As consumers, we are aware of the extra cost of truly halal compliant production. But that extra cost would be acceptable to consumers in exchange for respect for their religious beliefs? In this connection we quote Olivier Andrault (UFC-que choisir [what to choose] – National Consumer Organization): "It therefore seems to me that consumers would pay more for better quality and a guarantee of origin, provided that the price difference is reasonable.” [1]

The AFCAI (Finistère Association of Arab-Islamic Culture) relies on an outdated fatwa to justify the practice of mechanical slaughter with prior stunning, which is what we understand is being practised in Doux “halal” slaughterhouses. This does not surprise us. Actually AFCAI is a translation association. It was the subject of a television documentary by Canal+ [2]that exposed practices that were poorly accepted by Muslim consumers. The reliability of its certificate (testimony) is regularly challenged by the Alkanz online Muslim consumers’ magazine among others. In September 2010, ASIDCOM published an English version of its investigation into the halal certification bodies in France. Then in January of 2011 JAKIM (Malaysia) withdrew its approval of AFCAI.

The AFCAI and Doux are represented on the AFNOR commission for ’Halal Food’. Religious slaughter is a central point of any halal standard. But the AFNOR and CEN standardization systems are expected to lead to a definition of religious slaughter based solely on industry practices. The aim of the commission is clearly to implement the Decree of 18 December 2009, as it amends Article R214-70 of the French rural code. But please note that these changes are the subject of a referral to the State Council by ASIDCOM [3]. Indeed, the definition of religious slaughter based on industrial practices is illegal in several respects. It is particularly discriminatory against Muslim consumers who wish to practice their traditional religious beliefs. Moreover, the project of secular halal standardization is being strongly challenged by the French, European and international Muslim consumers. Promulgation by a number of prominent Muslim organizations around the world has been recently published [4].

We urge Terrena and its affiliated Gastronome to consider establishing a proper halal slaughter that respects Muslim consumers’ needs. Also, any efforts you provide to avoid interfering with Muslim rights through the over-reaching of the formal European “halal” standards process are welcome and will be much appreciated.

Best regards,

Dr. Ibrahim Abd El-Rahim
Umm Al-Qura University – Makkah Al-Mukaramah, Saudi Arabia
World Muslim Consumers Organization (WMCO)
20 allée des maisons Russes
93340 Le Raincy

Hanen Rezgui Pizette
Maison des associations de Lille
74 Rue Royale
59000 Lille

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DOUX "halal" Poultry: ASIDCOM and WMCO interpellate Terrena and Gastronome

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