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Project Aiming to Identify Products Containing Pork

by 5m Editor
8 August 2011, at 10:57am

BRAZIL - A bill in the Lower House aims to oblige food producers to place a message on the label of their products informing that they contain pork in their ingredients.

The bill was developed by representative Lincoln Portela and, he explained, in an interview to ANBA, that the decision was taken due to health and religious matters. The objective is to simplify the life of those who, for example, are allergic to pork or whose religion does not allow them to consume pork.

Among those to whom consumption of pork is restricted, the politician mentioned the Muslims, Jews and some Christians, like the Adventists. "We must respect people’s religious and health matters," said Mr Portela, who is a Baptist. "As religious liberty is included in our Constitution, it is also important for us to concern ourselves with those who, due to faith, decided not to ingest pork or its products," states the bill.

Brazil houses a great Muslim community, mainly due to Arab immigration, very strong in the country. Brazilian industry, in fact, exports halal food, produced according to Muslim regulations, to the Arab world. According to Lincoln, the project does not, however, forecast that the warning also be included on export products. "It is not contemplated in the project, but that is a good suggestion," said Mr Portela, who is concerned with consumption. "People need to know what they are eating," he said.

The bill is numbered 767/11 and was presented by the congressman in March this year. It has already been approved by the Consumer Protection council and should now go to the Constitution and Justice Commission in the Lower House. If approved, it should not require approval on the plenary but should go straight to the Senate for later approval by the Executive Power. The proposal forecasts penalties to those who do not comply with the law, including a fine, confiscation of the product and repealing of the registration for operation.