Halal certification enables up to $13bn in food exports each year, according to Australia's peak body for food and drink manufacturers, which has criticised the "abusive anti-halal calls and mail" directed at its members by opponents of the certification scheme.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) also questioned claims that halal certification represents a "tax" on business, arguing the religious approval "creates more value than it costs", in a submission to a Senate inquiry on third-party food certification.

More than 700 submissions have been made to the inquiry, which was initiated by South Australian senator Cory Bernardi in May to "get to the bottom" of the halal industry, which he has previously described as a "racket".

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