As I write this it is now 826 days since the Economics Reference Committee handed down sensible and practical recommendations from the Third Party Certification of Food Inquiry.
The recommendations were a result of bipartisan agreement that would benefit all consumers and would not hinder Australian businesses.
Over a period of six months the senate inquiry received almost 1500 submissions, which is a very large number for any inquiry, held three days of hearings and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars all at tax payer expense.
Why has the government has ignored the findings for 826 days?
Why does the government show such contempt to Australian consumers and Australian businesses?
The recommendations are clear and simple:
3.19 The committee recommends that food manufacturers clearly label products which have received third party certification.
3.1 The committee recommends that the government, through the Department of Agriculture, consider the monitoring and compliance of halal certification of meat for export; and becoming the sole signatory on the government halal certificate.
3.60 The committee recommends that the government, through bilateral and multilateral forums, promote greater acceptance of a 'whole–of-country', government-led halal certification system.
3.78 The committee recommends that the government consider requiring certification bodies to register their operations under certification trademarks.
3.79 The committee recommends that the government consider requiring that halal certification of goods in the domestic market comply with the standard agreed for export.
3.80 The committee recommends that the halal certification industry consider establishing a single halal certification authority and a single national registered certified trademark.
3.96 The committee recommends that meat processors clearly label products sourced from animals subject to religious slaughter.
These are not divisive. They are clear, simple and reasonable recommendations that would allow consumers to have a choice and businesses to have far more freedom by not being subject to an unregulated mess that is currently the halal certification industry. Muslims can still access halal certified products without it being imposed on all consumers. Profiteering and racketeering would be reduced if not eliminated. The Australian meat exporters would have their concerns about monopolies and price gouging addressed and corruption would be greatly reduced. Everybody wins.
Please ensure you enter all of your details correctly, including your address, so that the petition is valid and can be submitted to Parliament.