It is a fact that Emirates Airline have been gifting its 1st class passengers with Chocolates containing E 120-Carmine lately. We find a relaxed treatment of the Sharjah Municipality which has ironically described E 120- carmine as “synthetic’’ and ‘’pure’’ and hence is ok to be used.
To treat Carmine E 120 as synthetic is a mistake. This is not true and shows the lack of information and education of the various authorities in U.A.E.
The Oxford dictionary defines carmine:
A vivid crimson pigment made from cochineal.
Cochineal is an insect that lives on trees.
All the vegetarian societies of the world recognize the E 120 as a derivative of insect cochineal and also classifies it as *NON VEGETARIAN*: I quote from a famous veg society:
E120 – Cochineal/Carmine, this red colouring is isolated from crushed insects; Coccus cacti.
The industrial world admit that the E 120 is derived from insect cochineal.
So one and all should note that E 120 and Carmine is a red colour obtained by crushing the cochineal insect. And it is NOT a synthetic derivative.
The other argument brought forward is that E 120 is ‘’pure’’ and hence consumable. The answer is that it is true that insects are pure, but they are not eligible for consumption. They may be used in skin products and cosmetics but they cannot be in food items.
The reason for this is that Allah Ta`ala has said in the holy Qur-aan: ‘’(And Allah) makes lawful for them good things, and makes unlawful for them impure things.(7:157) Impure things are food considered as ‘’disgusting’’ according to fuqaha during the best of era: Sahabas and the two generations after them. Because these were the closest to the beloved prophet SAW.
Between the list of ‘’impure things’’ we find insects also. In fact the beloved prophet SAW used to open old dates to enquire whether they had insects/larvae and then would remove the insect/larvae from it. (Abu Dawood)
عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ
قَالَ أُتِيَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ بِتَمْرٍ عَتِيقٍ فَجَعَلَ يُفَتِّشُهُ يُخْرِجُ السُّوسَ مِنْهُ
Hazrat Annas r.a. says that when the beloved prophet SAW was brought old dates, then he used to open enquiring for insect/larvae inside the dates. Then he would take out the insect/larvae from inside the dates to eat it. (Abu Dawood)
This is a clear proof that we should avoid all food containing insects.
We advise muslims to be aware that international Airlines that are serving Non compliant food. We are aware that mechanically slaughtered meat/chicken are mostly being served aboard. Read in another article that mechanically slaughtered beef or chicken are not halaal.
We will soon publish a list of Airlines that respect the Halaal code lines, insha Allah.
In the meantime, choose the vegetarian menu. But do read ingredients of confectioneries.
Since the world has become a global village, then Abattoirs and Food manufacturers cannot rely on their local view or mazhab to cater for the international market. Care should be taken to satisfy the international norm. And the international Codex norm of Halaal prescribes that animals be slaughtered manually by a muslim pronouncing Bismillah and it also entails that insects, lices, flies, etc are not permissible for consumption.
*MUSLIMS BEWARE AND BE CAUSTIOUS!*