The European Union’s highest court just ruled that halal and kosher meat cannot be labeled organic if the animal involved has not been stunned before death.
The judge’s ruling states that products marked with the official EU organic label must have been farmed with the highest standards in farming welfare. Religious slaughter, which for kosher meats involves using a sharp knife to swiftly slice open an animal’s trachea and esophagus in a motion designed to be as painless as possible for the animals, is no longer able to be considered organic. Both the Quran and the Torah stipulate that the animal must be in as little pain as possible.
For products to receive the organic symbol on their packaging in the EU, they have to fit several specifications: no GMOs, no chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, severely restricted use of antibiotics and crops that must be rotated. In a government survey, 72% of EU dwellers revealed that they believe food with the organic label to be of better quality and 70% they were safer to consume.
The next and final decision on whether European kosher food can ever be organic will go up to the Court of Appeal in Versailles, France.
Shira Feder is a writer. She’s at firstname.lastname@example.org and @shirafeder