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Europe is a leading exporter of food products, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to Muslim countries in Asia and the Middle East. Unlike Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand, the halal standards in European countries do not organise their safety standards. While Muslim countries are introducing new halal standards and strengthening their certification requirements, exporters in European countries are increasingly facing difficulties in complying with the new halal regulations. European governments have regarded these new regulations as barriers to their trade with Muslim countries. Does this reflect their lack of understanding of halal, or do they have a valid argument?