March 29, 2013
Russia detects pig DNA in halal meat plant
Although it does not necessarily mean that the products actually contain pork, pig DNA has been found in sausages and ham produced at a halal meat processing plant in Moscow.
"The DNA traces that have been discovered may be a result of contact with raw meat consisting of pork or pork products," said Boris Gutnik of the Gorbatov All-Russian Meat Research Institute.
He said that the discovery did not necessarily mean that the products should be prohibited under the halal law, saying that the PCR analysis that was used to conduct the tests could be "inexact."
Gutnik called for checks to be conducted at the slaughterhouses, saying that if cattle were slaughtered in the same place as pigs, which could explain the presence of the pig DNA in the halal products.
The institute spokesman said that all the facilities and equipment that Moscow's Tsaritsino meat processing plant uses to produce halal meat are "completely separate from other processes."
Additional tests for the presence of pig DNA in the meat products will be conducted at three independent testing centres in Russia and one centre abroad.
Moscow's Tsaritsino meat processing plant has been supplying halal meat products to the Russia Mufties Council's International Centre for Halal Standardisation and Certification since 2007.