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Cablegate: As a Secular Country, France Does Not Officially Certify

VZCZCXRO5955
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #3348 2211356
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091356Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9396
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 2721
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 0270

UNCLAS PARIS 003348

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

BRUSSELS PASS USEU FOR AGMINCOUNSELOR
USDA/OS/JOHANNS/TERPSTRA;
USDA/FAS FOR OA/YOST;
OCRA/CURTIS
OSTA/CHEN-MOULEC
EC/PPDED/TABOR
FAA/YOUNG/SCHAYES
EU POSTS PASS TO AGRICULTURE AND ECON
GENEVA FOR USTR, ALSO AGRICULTURE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD EU FR MY
SUBJECT: AS A SECULAR COUNTRY, FRANCE DOES NOT OFFICIALLY CERTIFY
HALAL PRODUCTS

REF: WASHDC 684861

1. In response to reftel, FAS Paris confirms that the Governement of
France (GOF) has not signed any agreement, nor is currently in
negotiation with, Malaysia regarding any halal related issue. As
halal is perceived as a religious attestation and not a
phytosanitary requirement, France has no government-established
standards for halal certification. France is a negligible meat
exporter to Malaysia, with less than 100 MT of meat exported
(poultry meat and beef offals) in CY 2006.

2. Halal food producers can choose to have their products certified
as halal by a private organization of their choice or of their
customers' choice.

3. France primarily exports poultry meat to Muslim countries such as
Saudi-Arabia, the UAE, Iran and Yemen. An Imam usually paid by the
French exporter, and approved by the importer, certifies that the
plant has been prepared according to religious precepts and ensures
that the slaughter is performed under Muslim ritual by a swift cut
of the throat. France allows by derogation, that animals slaughtered
under halal rites (as well as under kosher rites) are not stunned
before slaughter. Outside of plants which only process halal meat,
most slaughterhouses limit their halal slaughter to a few days or
hours per week.

Pekala

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