I found this quote in a viral email:

"In Australia, and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft have the halal emblem just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation's shores"

In Legacy: The True Inglorious History of President Obama, this quote is attributed to "Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist", presumable referring to Emanual Tanay.

It can also be found repeated in comments on various videos.

I don't think it's true, but can't find info on it.

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    A lot of American food has one or another Kosher certification (hechsher), which for some reason has set anti-Semites' teeth on edge for years. I guess another religion is taking a turn now. May 10, 2019 at 18:30
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    I know this is fairly common in Canada, but not because of some "priviledged minority", just because companies are trying to sell their products and want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Same reason they put "made in a peanut free facility" and the kosher symbol and all the other marketing stuff they throw on there. May 10, 2019 at 19:04
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    "just to appease the privileged minority" Well there's some fact-free rhetoric right off the bat. May 10, 2019 at 19:29
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    I think this question can be reworded to make a good question, The problems are that it's pretty vague, and also not really remarkable. What constitutes "commonly consumed" and what constitutes "many?" Also an email forward isn't really noteworthy. But the text is actually a quote from the book Legacy: The True Inglorious History of President Obama by Irene Petteice, and there has definitely been some controversy in Australia over halal labeling in recent years
    – barbecue
    May 10, 2019 at 20:47
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    I'm also not sure why anyone would be surprised that foods would be labeled like this. Nobody thinks it's controversial that labels tell us when there's chicken or tomatoes in a product.
    – barbecue
    May 10, 2019 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


Halalsquare maintains a list of Halal-certified foods in Australia. To appear on their database food has to be either certified by a certification company, or intrinsically Halal-safe, based on ingredients. The overseeing authority is the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

Many manufacturers want their food to be Halal certified, for several reasons:

  1. Without Halal certification, Muslims will be hesitant to purchase it, even if it is inherently Halal safe. Muslims make up about 2.6% of the Australian population (2016 Census), so they are not an insignificant market.
  2. Many products are by default Halal certified, because they do not contain any ingredients that might cause Halal issues. In that case, adding the Halal certification does not cost the manufacturer anything.
  3. Many Australian manufacturers sell their products not only in Australia, but also overseas to neighbouring countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as Saudi Arabia and others. It is easier for them if they can use the same labels for all. And, even when different labels are used, one certification covers all Muslim countries.
  4. Halal certified food, like Kosher food, is perfectly palatable to western tastes, so the certification has no negative connotations. However, right-wing groups, with websites like BoycotHalal, have prompted some companies like the Fleurieu Milk & Yoghurt Company to stop producing Halal foods.
  • I started to post a similar answer with reference to Halalsquare. I hesitated because I couldn't close the gap between (a) is Halal, (b) is Halal certified, and (c) displays the Halal certification on the label. While I think the vague claim about "many of the most common" is arguably true, I couldn't convince myself that I had shown that with the evidence of Halalsquare. [FWIW, an anecdotal sampling of my pantry revealed 1 of 14 items I checked had the logo. Is that "many of the most common"? Kinda.]
    – Oddthinking
    May 11, 2019 at 5:26
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    re point 4 there is (at least in UK) large groups (e.g. RSPCA who find Halal meat unpalatable and definitely with negative connotations as they say it has been killed inhumanely. They also object to kosher meat so it is not anti-Muslim
    – mmmmmm
    May 12, 2019 at 12:36
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    Inhumane killing is the only reasonable objection. Anti-halal groups raise it here as well.
    – hdhondt
    May 12, 2019 at 23:30
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    Funnily enough, my understanding of kashrut and halal rules is that, at the time of their creation, they were the (more) humane options. They just haven't been updated everywhere to reflect modern slaughtering methods (though whether any form of slaughter can be truly humane is also a problem for some people, hence the vegan movement and such).
    – JAB
    May 16, 2019 at 19:40

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