Halal supplier responds to federal investigation
Nov. 29, 2012
by Meat&Poultry Staff
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Midamar Corp., the halal food supplier that is facing a federal investigation into whether the company falsely labeled meat products as being halal, or processed in compliance with Islamic law, issued a response to its customers.
Officials with the US Department of Agriculture and the Internal Revenue Service raided the company's offices in October. During the raid, officials seized a bank account and other records under a search warrant. The Associated Press reported that the government seized more than $454,000 from the company last week. US District Judge Linda Reade upheld the seizure.
Reade also ruled that the affidavit supporting the warrant can remain secret so as not to jeopardize an ongoing investigation.
Midamar issued the following response:
“Over the past 38 years, Midamar has built a solid reputation as a global supplier of premium quality Halal foods. Recently, Midamar facilities were raided by government agencies and a business account was frozen. Midamar was not informed of the purpose or the cause of the investigation. Some media outlets have speculated that government agencies are investigating Halal compliance issues and linked the current investigation to a USDA investigation in 2010. The 2010 investigation on alleged misbranding of establishment numbers had no bearing on the Halal integrity of Midamar products. Midamar took action and its voluntary export services were reinstated.
“There is no evidence that Midamar’s Halal integrity has been compromised by either investigation.
“Midamar products are Halal compliant. Midamar was questioned about Halal definitions and processes, and correctly responded that Halal and Kosher compliance is regulated by religious authorities and is not the domain of the federal government. Halal compliance is based on Quran, Shariah and scholarly interpretation. If the government is pursuing action against a brand on the basis of its Halal status, this is a violation of the first amendment of the US Constitution which guarantees the separation of church and state.
“Furthermore there have been no charges or alleged offences by the government against the company. Midamar is cooperating with authorities and has not been informed by the government about the nature or purpose of the investigation. The authorities have not responded to the company’s repeated requests to explain the reason for the investigation.”
Midamar further explained that the company will continue its operations and obligations to its customers, vendors, and stakeholders during the investigation process.