Meat slaughtered without stunning animals not organic: EU court

The case came to the EU court of justice after a French association promoting animal welfare in abattoirs, called for a ban on t
The case came to the EU court of justice after a French association promoting animal welfare in abattoirs, called for a ban on the labelling of such meat as organic

Halal meat from animals slaughtered by religious ritual without having first been stunned cannot be labelled organic, on animal welfare grounds, a top European Union court ruled Tuesday.

The way the meat is slaughtered "fails to observe the highest animal welfare standards", said the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

The case came to the after the OABA, a French association promoting animal welfare in abattoirs, urged the agriculture ministry to ban the labelling of such meat as organic.

French courts initially dismissed the OABA's case before passing it up to the CJEU for a definitive ruling.

"The Court recalls that scientific studies have shown that pre-stunning is the technique that compromises animal welfare the least at the time of killing," said an CJEU statement Tuesday.

Producers have to meet the highest animal welfare standards to qualify for the EU's , the court noted.

So while the ritual slaughter of animals was allowed on grounds of religious freedom, if they were not first stunned then that did not meet the highest standards.

The meat from such could not then qualify as organic.

The case will now go back to the Court of Appeal in Versailles, France, for a definitive ruling.


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Feb 26, 2019
Completely arbitrary decision. Organic means it is based on carbon. Any other meaning is meaningless and has more to do with the peoples feelings then it will ever have to do with the quality of the food. Paying more because something is labeled organic is just deluding yourself.

Feb 27, 2019
Responder Jeffhans 1 is somewhat out-of-touch with how the term "organic" is applied to agriculture standards of food production. To qualify for labeling food as being organically produced, production must comply with requirements that address such things as the use of chemicals, e.g. pesticides or fertilizers. The decision to include the abuse of an animal slated for slaughter also has a chemical basis. If you've ever driven past a slaughter yard, you know that the animals lined up for slaughter know exactly what is about to take place. The fear that they are experiencing generates chemical production that is not the best for consumption. These chemicals will remain in the meat that will be used. Reducing fear levels in the animal prior to slaughter is more humane and should be rewarded. Bottom line is, if you don't believe that organic food production which reduces environmental impacts on air, water and land and is therefore worth a higher price, you don't have to buy.

Feb 27, 2019
"cannot be labelled organic,"

"Organic food" is what you define it to be to attract customers, but I note the Irony that it derives from the pseudo-religious (and pseudo-science) "biodynamic" notions of anthroposophy.[ https://en.wikipe..._Steiner ] - the EU standards even include homeopathic fertilization procedures! (Take a cow horn, put half dung and half mineral fertilizer into it and bury it in the field under a full moon.)

In Sweden it was relabeled "ecologic food" but it has the same problem that we have known since the 60s. In metanalysis it has on average a much larger environmental footprint (obviously, since it substitute effective methods for such that increase land and fuel use).

But I was much heartened to see that now simply choosing greens over meat - which is very efficient food production - is leaving the snakeoil 'organic' product diversification in the dust here in Sweden. If you care about the Earth, don't buy 'organic'!

Feb 27, 2019
I like the facts:

"The common perception that organic food is by default better, or is an ideal way to reduce environmental impact is a clear misconception. Across several metrics, organic agriculture actually proves to be more harmful for the world's environment than conventional agriculture."

"The relative difference in land use and greenhouse gas impacts between organic and conventional systems is typically less than a multiple of two. Compare this to the relative differences in impacts between food types where, as shown in the charts below, the difference in land use and greenhouse gas emissions per unit protein between high-impact meats and low-impact crop types can be more than 100-fold. "

[ https://ourworldi...ironment ]

Again, 'organic' is snake oil. Seeing how AGW is the largest problem - admittedly reducing pesticides is good for the environment (insects), a problem for modern food - we should "go green" instead.

Feb 28, 2019
I can only suggest the the commenters defer to documented policies as to what exactly constitutes organic growing. It is clear from the comments that they view organic food production as some sort of Capitalist prank instead of an agricultural conservation strategy that includes the soil and the fact that it is an invaluable ecosystem in the determining an organic standard.

It's a real pity that there is so little understanding of how food gets the nourishment people depend on. Plants can only get this from the soil and if the soil is bereft of its microbial community and the physical structure needed to provide a growth positive environment, the plant cannot provide the nutrients we need and think are there. That's the reason food produced organically is superior. It has more nutrients and, at the same time, reduced chemicals in the environment, resulting in better quality air, water and land.

Feb 28, 2019
Organic means it is based on carbon

No. That is "organic chemistry".

Words can have several meanings. They are listed in dictionaries. if you willfully misconstrue the meaning by applying a definition that's not appropriate in a given context then that's your fault.

The ruling applies to the notion of what kinds of food products (animal or vegetable) may have the 'organic' label. The standard does include animal welfare standards at all levels (e.g. how much space a given animal must be afforded, use of antibiotics, etc. ). Since these animal welfare standards are there to make sure the animals are not unduly put under stress it is only fitting that the way they are slaughtered should be made as painless as possible.

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