Ohio Pork Industry Angered by Response to Muslim Suit

Ohio Pork Industry Angered by Response to Muslim Suit

10/22/2011

 

The decision of Ohio officials to remove pork products prison menus in response to a lawsuit filed by Muslim inmates angered the pork producers and processors located in the state.

Both made a promise action of their own, which includes a likely counter lawsuit, to address what is being regarded by the industry as an illogical and unfair decision.

According to Dick Isler, the Ohio Pork Producers Council executive director, such decision is not in the best interest of the entire prison system. “It seems like we’re letting a small group make the rules when it really isn’t in the best interest of the rest of prisoners,” said Isler.

He added that compared to other lean meats, pork is cheap and nutritious.

Ironically, the lawsuit filed by the inmates does not concern pork at all. The lawsuit is asking that non-pork meats, such as beef, come from animals that have been slaughtered in accordance with what is being mandated by Islamic law. But Ohio prison officials responded by simply taking off pork from the menu.

If the state of Ohio would provide inmates who are of the Muslim faith with pre-packaged meals just like what is being given to Jewish inmates, as the lawsuit demands, then it would not be necessary to take pork out of the menus. This was what David Singleton said when asked for his reaction. Singleton is the executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, which is suing on two inmates’ behalf.

Steven Huffman, the assistant prisons director, has already spoken with Isler, but the system is not changing its position, according to spokeswoman JoEllen Smith on Wednesday.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com