Hindu Society condemns ‘unethical’ labelling of meat products

2013-04-17 00:00

THE Midlands Hindu Society yesterday condemned as unethical the mislabelling of meat products.

“The society condemns this practice as it misleads the public into believing that the products are safe for consumption based on one’s religious or moral beliefs,” said society president advocate Ranjiv Nirghin.

Last month a study by Stellenbosch University found that nearly 60% of 139 meat products tested contained ingredients that were not listed on their labels, including donkey, water buffalo, goat and pork.

KwaZulu-Natal came off worst in the Stellenbosch study, with traces of pork being found in beef products and beef in mutton products.

The province has the largest number of Hindus in the country and the second largest Muslim population after the Western Cape.

For Hindus, beef consumption is prohibited by religious injunction. In the case of Muslims, the eating of pork is forbidden, as it is in Judaism.

Nirghin said the restrictions on the type of food that can be eaten by Hindus are regulated based on their spiritual growth and aspirations.

“There are many Hindus who are strict vegetarians and do not consume any products that have meat, fish or poultry and eggs … and many other Hindus who consume meat products but abstain from the eating of beef because of its sacred symbolism in the Hindu way of life.”

He said the findings of the study were disappointing because people who eat meat rely on the disclosure of the ingredients as being a true reflection of what is contained in the product to determine if it was safe to consume according to their belief.

Attempts to get comment from the Muslim Judicial Council were unsuccessful yesterday.

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