Halal certification

News Excerpt:

The UP government has ordered a statewide ban on products being sold with halal certificates with immediate effect.

About Halal:

  • Halal, an Arabic term that means 'permissible' in English, is used to distinguish between lawful and unlawful food. It is associated with Islamic dietary laws.
  • It refers to the slaughtering technique used by Muslims, which involves a single cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe with a sharp knife.
    • During the process, recitation of prayers is prescribed.
  • Vegetarian food, fish, and shellfish are considered halal unless they contain alcohol.
  • Consumable items can also be halal or haram, depending on their production in accordance with Islamic law.
    • For example, medicines often use animal byproducts to create casings or capsules, which are considered halal if they do not contain pig-fat gelatin.
  • Halal considerations also apply to personal care products, packaging materials, and animal feed.

Halal certification:

  • Halal certificates are a form of food safety that indicates a product's halal status without mentioning the presence of meat.
  • India lacks an official regulator for halal product certification, but various certifying agencies offer certifications to companies, products, or food establishments.
    • The legitimacy of these certificates is based on their recognition among Muslim consumers and by Islamic regulators.

Why cosmetics and pharmaceuticals are halal-certified?

  • Halal certification is required for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as they use animal by-products, such as alcohol and pig fat, which are considered haram according to Islamic laws.
  • The products, which are halal certified, do not contain anything prohibited for followers of Islam, ensuring they adhere to Islamic laws.


  • Some companies have started certifying products as halal to increase their sale among a community, thus toying with the public’s faith.
  • The cost of the products that are halal certified increases as the certification process is not free of cost. Also, to get a halal certification, several modifications need to be made in the making process.
  • In several sectors, employment opportunities for non-Muslims are unavailable– Halal Slaughterhouse. Halal certification is a discriminatory process towards non-Muslims.
  • There’s no standard halal certification process to date. This means halal-certified products from one country may not be recognised in another.
    • For example - Halal India, a certification company, is recognised by three countries, i.e. Qatar's Ministry of Public Health, UAE's Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development.

Way forward:

  • There is a need for an official regulator for halal certification to silence controversies and prevent companies from exploiting religious faith.