Labelling of halal and kosher meats is a matter for private industry and not something covered by specific government regulations, according to Defra director of food and green economy Neil Thornton.

Thornton was writing to attendees following a meeting between Defra, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and halal certifying bodies, which was set up to discuss the issue of trace contamination in halal products.

The meeting, which took place on 14 March, gave government the opportunity to brief the faith communities on its policy regarding trace contamination. Some at the meeting expressed strong concern about the levels trace detection was set at (1%) and said any level of pork or horse DNA was unacceptable.

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