Regulating Halal and Kosher Foods: Different Arrangements Between State, Industry and Religious Actors
16 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2011
Date Written: December 1, 2010
The Netherlands, like other Western countries, is a growing market for halal food products, that is, food products that comply with Islamic food laws. Halal food is becoming more visible as Dutch supermarkets, hospitals and schools decide to include halal food in their supply. This development has been criticised by animal protectionists and people who fear the ‘Islamisation’ of Dutch society. In this article, the regulation of halal food in the Netherlands is compared to the regulation of kosher food in the Netherlands and the United States. I will analyse the division of roles between state actors, the food industry, certification agencies and religious authorities in these regulatory arrangements. Contrary to expectation, the regulatory arrangements are rather state-centred in several US states (liberal market economy), whereas the Dutch corporatist welfare state plays a limited role by allowing religious slaughter and leaving the issue of halal and kosher certification entirely to commercial and religious organisations.
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