Halal Law Being Made More Effective in Illinois

The Department of Agriculture (DOA), State of Illinois, held a public hearing meeting on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 in Des Plaines, Illinois. Ms. Margaret Vandijk, General Counsel of DOA, and Dr. Colleen O’Keefe, Division Manager of DAO conducted the proceedings. More than sixty concerned Muslim Illinoisans participated in the meeting. An overwhelming majority of the participants testified in favor of implementing the Halal Food Law.


The World Halal Forum Returns

The World Halal Forum is back for its second year. Last year, 730 delegates comprising the Halal industry’s key figures and business leaders attended. This year’s event is at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center on 7th and 8th May. The Prime Minister of Malaysia has confirmed his attendance. WHF brings together top international and regional executives to discuss current issues, challenges and trends in the global Halal market. Check www.worldhalalforum.org for details.


Test Your Halal Know-How

By Suzann Audi

Match the list of ingredients with their sources:

Ingredients Sources
1. Stearic Acid a. seaweed
2. Carageenan b. bones and hides of animals
3. Gelatin c. synthetic, duck feathers, or human hair
4. Vitamin D3 d. carob seeds
5. Locust Bean Gum e. synthetic or sheep wool
6. Cysteine f. vegetable oils or animal fats

Answers: 1f, 2a, 3b, 4e, 5d, 6c


True or False:

1. If the package says ‘halal’, then it is certified zabiha halal.

2. Only meat needs to be halal certified.

3. If a food is kosher, then it is automatically halal.

4. Choosing halal foods is easy.


1. False: Currently, in the USA any Muslim or non-Muslim business can claim its product to be Halal, without providing proof. However this may change, because several states including New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, California, Minnesota, Texas, and New York have passed halal laws, making it more difficult to falsify halal claims on food products. The Halal Food regulations in these states are at various stages of development, implementation and enforcement.

2. False: Many food products are made with small amounts of meat as flavor (ex. spaghetti sauce) or gelatin (ex. yoghurt and cream fillings in cakes) and many other ingredients from non-halal animal sources. One way to guarantee that the products are free from such questionable ingredients is to have them certified as halal by an independent, and knowledgeable certifying body.

3. False: While some aspects of kosher and halal are similar, not all rules are. Many foods, labeled as kosher, such as yogurt and desserts contain kosher gelatin or other Mashbooh ingredients. Kosher gelatin and kosher meat do not follow halal guidelines, and are not zabiha halal. Even wine and wine containing products are kosher but not halal.

4. True! Selecting halal foods is as easy as looking out for other areas of our health and spirituality, and is a valuable skill we can pass to our relatives, children, and brothers and sisters in Islam. You could look for Halal marks on the labels and/or familiarize yourself with the ingredients and choose your products with clean labels. Allah knows best of our intentions and actions.

To calculate your Halal-Quotient: Multiply your correct matches and responses by 10. If you answered all 10 correctly, your HQ is 100. You are a halal genius.