SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
WASHINGTON
A US food supplier is accused of marketing its products as halal to Muslims worldwide, when its meats were in fact not produced in accordance with strict Islamic standards.
Federal prosecutors allege that Midamar Corp. sold about $4.9 million in beef to customers in Malaysia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates under the false pretence that its cattle were slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law, according to media reports. The corporation has strongly refuted the allegations and called them a “religious matter” that the US government has no right to regulate.
The lawsuit contends that Midamar told customers that Muslim slaughtermen killed its cattle by hand, while reciting prayers. But the prosecutors said that Midamar’s main beef supplier was a Minnesota plant that was not certified to export to Malaysia and Indonesia.
The company employees would then remove the labels on the Minnesota plant’s beef using nail polish remover, before putting on false labels saying the meat originated from another plant that has certificates to export to Malaysia and Indonesia, the prosecutors said.
The company would then place the false information about the beef’s origins in export forms and certificaties handed over to the US Department of Agriculture for approval, prosecutors said.