Dick Smith Warns of Halal Certification Extortion-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Emails and social media posts claim that Dick Smith, the owner of the Dick Smith Foods franchise in Australia, warns that halal certification amounts to extortion by the Islamic Council of Australia.
Dick Smith has not warned that halal certification is extortion.
A series of forwarded emails and social media posts called “A Warning from Dick Smith” that first surfaced online in 2014. The emails and posts claimed that Dick Smith warned that the Islamic Council of Australia was extorting businesses by charging fees to use the halal logo on food labels, but that’s not true.
Dick Smith Foods, an Aussie grocery chain, posted a statement on its website back in 2014 that explained its stance on halal certification. The company said it had decided not to pursue halal certification because of extra inspections and costs associated with it, not because it was extortion:
We have received a number of letters from people asking if we will be putting the Muslim Halal logo on our food.
To acquire Halal certification, payment is required to the endorsing body and involves a number of site inspections of both our growers and processors in order to ensure that our practices comply with the conditions of Halal certification. It is important to note that this does not reflect the quality of the food being processed or sold – it only means that the products are approved as being prepared in accordance with the traditions of the Muslim faith.
We are aware of an increasing number of large companies both in Australia and overseas, such as Kraft and Cadbury, who have obtained accreditation to use the Halal logo. We don’t believe they have done this because of any religious commitment but rather for purely commercial reasons. Perhaps these large organisations can afford to do this. While we have a choice however, we would prefer to avoid unnecessarily increasing the cost of our products in order to pay for Halal accreditation when this money would be better spent continuing to support important charitable causes where assistance is greatly needed.
Shortly after the Aussie grocery chain posted the message (which appears in its entirety above), someone added statements to make it appear that Dick Smith Foods warned that halal certification was extortion. Here are the parts that were falsely added to the original statement:
We point out that we have never been asked to put a Christian symbol (or any other religious symbol) on our food requiring that we send money to a Christian organisation for the right to do so.
Others would add that money paid to ANY Muslim ‘organisation’ (and you had better believe it: these people ARE ‘organised’) can easily find its way into the hands of Islamic extremist-fanatics and murderers, irrespective of assurances to the contrary. What other assurances do we accept from Muslims? Oh, that’s right, ‘Islam is a religion of PEACE’!
How less Australian can companies get, than to place money into the hands of those who seek to exploit us?” This is an example of how the leaders of Muslims in Aus/NZ are bullying large commercial organisations (especially in the food industry) into paying what is no more than blatant extortion money. The amazing part is that these weak-kneed organisations (Cadbury/ Schweppes/ Nestles/ Kraft etc.) actually pay the large sums demanded by these self-appointed religious bureaucrats. Of course, the manufacturers promptly pass this levy on to unwitting consumers as cost increases. Next time you buy a block of Cadbury’s chocolate, look for the Halal Certification seal on the wrapper. So, regardless of your own religious faith, you end up subsidizing Islam.
The Council also controls the Muslim voter bloc which, as yet, does not have sufficient critical mass to make a difference – but give them time.
Several state jurisdictions are under pressure to adopt or permit Sharia Law in Marriage, Family and Property matters and some, under the delusion that they are being progressively liberal, are permitting this. This has already happened in some local authorities in the U.K.
Google the U.K. Education Department’s current investigation into the conduct of Muslim-run schools in the Birmingham area of England.
After the false Dick Smith warning went viral, Dick Smith released a statement clarifying that “hoax” social media posts and emails had misrepresented the company’s views on halal certification:
Please be aware that there is a hoax email being distributed on social media networks. It has been circulating for some time now and although most people are aware that it is hoax. There are others who believe it to be true and keep sharing it. Our view on Halal certification is as stated above only. Please help us put a stop to this hoax by advising anyone who shares it that it is not Dick Smith’s view on the subject. Thank you.
TruthorFiction.com previously investigated rumors about Australian food companies using Halal certification.We found a claim that said anyone who buys halal certified foods supports terrorism to be false.
Companies that choose to label certified halal products typically pay an annual licensing fee to use the certification logo, an ABC affiliate in Australia reports:
Processed food companies, who generally pay a set yearly fee for halal certification, were more willing to talk, but few would disclose exactly what this costs.
The Byron Bay Cookie Company said its annual halal certification fee was around $1,500 a year.
This represented about 0.003 per cent of its total cost of doing business, a spokesman told Fact Check.
Geoff Hutchinson, a director of the Fleurieu Milk Company, which forfeited a $50,000 contract to supply yoghurt to Emirates airlines after a sustained anti-halal social media campaign, says halal certification for the contract cost about $1,000, or two per cent of the contract.
A spokeswoman for Nestle said the fees the company paid were negligible in the context of its total business.
“They do not influence the price at which we sell our products. We don’t pass this cost on,” she said.
The point of Dick Smith’s initial message about halal certification was that the company couldn’t pursue it without passing large costs along to its consumers. So, the company’s decision not to pursue certification was not a stand against the so-called “extortion” of halal certification, as the rumor claims.