Body quells fears of pork de­riv­a­tives in Flora

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - LEILA SAMODIEN

A HALAAL cer­ti­fi­ca­tion body has quelled fears that cer­tain Flora mar­garine prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured in South Africa con­tain pork de­riv­a­tives.

The ru­mours stem from an e-mail that orig­i­nated in Aus­tralia and has been passed on re­peat­edly.

South African Na­tional Halaal Au­thor­ity (SANHA) spokesman Ebi Lock­hart said the mat­ter had caused “con­ster na­tion” within the Mus­lim com­mu­nity, who made a flurry of in­quiries to the body.

The e-mail, he said, was a re­sponse from Unilever Aus­tralia to a con­sumer con­firm­ing that the com­pany uses gelatin de­rived from pork in its Flora Light and Flora Ex­tra Light prod­ucts.

“With the speed of the in­ter net and in bor­der­less cy­berspace, this news has led to nu­mer­ous queries on the sta­tus of the lo­cally man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts.”

But he as­sured con­sumers that the lo­cal prod­ucts did not con­tain any pork de­riv­a­tives.

On the Flora web­site, www.lovey­our­heart.co.za, the con­sumers are also guaran- teed that there are no pork prod­ucts in their mar­garines.

“There­fore, Flora prod­ucts made in South Africa are both halaal and fit for veg­e­tar­ian con­sump­tion,” a state­ment said.

Unilever SA, which owns Flora, re­in­forced the state­ment. “We wish to cat­e­gor­i­cally state that the al­le­ga­tion does not ap­ply to Flora prod­ucts man­u­fac­tured in South Africa,” the com­pany said.

Lock­hart said that traces of porcine prod­ucts were found in Flora prod­ucts years ago, but that the for­mula has since changed.

“Al­though sev­eral years ago SANHA had un­cov­ered the use of in­gre­di­ents of porcine ori­gin in cer­tain Flora prod­ucts, the present Flora prod­ucts in SA are for­mu­lated dif­fer­ently,” he said.

PIC­TURE: HENK KRUGER

TWO-TONE: A canola field near Her­mon on the R44. Flora says it does not use an­i­mal prod­ucts but rather veg­etable oils, such as sun­flower and canola oils af­ter con­cerns were raised that a cou­ple of its prod­ucts are not halaal.

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