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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

Belgium Curbing Religious Freedom With Ban on Kosher Slaughter, Top European Rabbi Says

June 22, 2020 - from Arutz 7 :

"One of Europe’s top rabbis has warned that Jews on the continent may no longer be able to consume kosher meat because of legislation targeting “shechita” — the Jewish method of slaughtering animals for human consumption."

"'Shechita is a vital religious practice within the Jewish faith that forms an inherent part of our religious identity, without which Jews would be deprived of the ability to eat meat,' Rabbi Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt — president of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) — said in a statement on Monday."

"Goldschmidt was speaking ahead of a hearing at the European Court of Justice in July that is expected to rule on the legality of the ban on Jewish and Muslim slaughter methods adopted by Belgium in January 2019."

"The hearing had originally been scheduled for April 21, but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic."

"Goldschmidt said that the supply chain of kosher meat in Europe was not strong enough to rely solely on imports."

"'In recent months, and particularly over the recent Passover holiday, which of course came at the height of the pandemic in Europe, the supply chain was simply not robust and many communities in Belgium — and indeed throughout Europe — suffered a shortage of meat due to the lack of supplies,' he stated. “The experience of Passover served as a stark reminder that Jewish communities cannot rely entirely on the international supply chain … Quite frankly, the option to import kosher meat into Belgium is unsustainable and the ban on the practice of religious slaughter is ultimately too restrictive.”

"If the ban was to be upheld, Goldschmidt remarked, the 'message would be clear: Jews are not welcome.'"

"He continued: 'Such a notion is abhorrent and so I implore the judges to look at the evidence in front of them and do not allow the processes to be hijacked by intolerance under the guise of a concern for animal welfare regulations.'"


Highest EU Court to Hold Hearings on Belgian Kosher Slaughter Ban

March 6, 2020 - from Arutz 7 :

"The European Court of Justice is to open hearings into the legality of measures adopted by Belgium’s Flanders and Wallonia regions effectively banning Shechita — the Jewish method of slaughtering animals for meat consumption — the main Belgian Jewish representative organization announced on Friday."

"The court — the supreme authority on disputes concerning European Union law — will hear parties to the appeal on April 21 in Luxembourg, the Coordinating Committee of Belgian Jewish Organisations (CCOJB) said in a statement.:
EU legislation allows exemption on religious grounds for non-stunned slaughter provided that they take place in authorized slaughterhouses."

"The CCOJB said it would present its position during the hearings. The court will be asked to address issues concerning the competence of national governments to supersede EU legislation, freedom of religion, the neutrality of the state and fundamental rights.

"The ban, initially legislated in 2017 to prevent both Jewish and Muslim methods of animal slaughter, has been in effect since Sept. 1, 2019."

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