Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has banned the production, storage, distribution and sale of food products with halal certification with immediate effect while exempting products manufactured for export.
In a statement, the state government alleged “malicious attempts” to discourage the use of products lacking a halal certificate not only seek “unfair financial benefits” but also form part of a “pre-planned strategy to sow class hatred, create divisions in society, and weaken the country” by “anti-national elements”.
Strict legal measures will be taken against any individual or firm engaged in the production, storage, distribution, buying, and selling of halal-certified medicines, medical devices, and cosmetics within Uttar Pradesh, the statement said.
“Unrestrained propaganda is being disseminated within a particular section of society to discourage the use of products lacking a halal certificate,” the statement said. This harms the business interests of other communities, it added.
There are also fears that the “unfair advantage” is being passed onto “anti-social or anti-national elements”, the government said.
However, products manufactured for export will not be subject to the restrictions, it said.
According to the statement, the UP government recently received information which indicated that products such as dairy items, sugar, bakery products, peppermint oil, salty ready-to-eat beverages, and edible oils are being labelled with a halal certification.
“Additionally, certain medicines, medical devices, and cosmetic products are reported to feature the halal certificate on their packaging or labelling,” the statement said.
“However, there are no provisions for marking halal certification on labels in the government rules related to drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics, nor is there any mention of halal certification in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and its related rules.
“Any direct or indirect mention of halal certification on the labels of medicines, medical devices, or cosmetics constitutes falsification under the said Act, making it a punishable offence,” it said.