Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Frito Lay and the Muslim's Special Treatment Brigade

From Arabisto: Frito-Lay Products Containing Pork Seasoning ‘Chip’ off Muslim Consumers Worldwide

In the wake of corporate scandals, the “War on Terror” and increasing globalization in this post-9/11 world, most multinational corporations are finding it increasingly difficult to compete worldwide in marketing their products and services to potential buyers and sellers with America’s tarnished image abroad.

(Oh really? Sez who? Typical leftie ploy - not wanting to confuse things with the facts.)

One American company, Frito-Lay, a United States company that markets a variety of chips and snack foods internationally, has recently drawn much criticism and concern from its Muslim consumers and non-consumers—not for “anti-American feeling,” but for not informing them of pork enzymes contained in some of its products they consume.
(oh, and for not kissing their a$$ in Macy's window.)

(FYI -
PepsiCo International (PI) - Frito's parent reported their 1st qtr profits increased 29% on strong snacks and beverage growth. Their division covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa showed a 12 % growth rate in their profit from snacks. Tarnished image and all.)

From around the world, Muslims have been calling up Frito-Lay, inquiring about their products after learning of possible pork enzymes in their cheese seasonings. Muslim students and professionals, in response, started email campaigns, wrote on their blogs, and some even created groups on the popular college-networking website,
Facebook. One group on Facebook, “Fight Against Pork in Frito-Lay Products,” has already accumulated over 1,810 students globally. Its moderator urged its members to “call whether [they] are for or against the change” and for them to inform Frito-Lay of their concerns.

Some Muslims, however, have opted out of the “contact Frito-Lay” bandwagon and have instead questioned their fellow Muslims’ concerns and actions. On one
blog, one Muslim woman wrote on April 3, 2007, “I wonder how many of those people who called Doritos called their local congressman about their opinion of the war? Or to have a fair trial for Dr. Sami Al-Arian? How many of these thought to affect change on more important matters? I mean, if the food is not permissible to eat, I would like to know. But the reaction and the larger context really irks me.”

One Muslim man responded back to her on that same blog, “The reason people are worked up…number of us have been eating Frito-lay products since we were little kids.”
(It hasn't hurt you yet, has it?)

Muslim American Hussam Kubtan, an Industrial and Systems Engineer, who admitted he does not consume Frito-Lay products, told me, he is not sure if this process is “not halal.” Kubtan added that “unless those enzymes are coming from meat (versus bones or some other non-meat part), and unless they are retaining their properties as a substance, even after the cooking / preparation process is complete, there is inconclusive evidence to suggest that it is haram.”

I spoke to Frito-Lay spokeswoman Aurora Gonzalez to get the record straight. She informed me that Frito-Lay has been aware of this discussion and are “respectful” of those who do not consume pork enzymes. She told me, “Most cheeses are made using enzymes as part of the process to develop unique flavors, and depending on the flavor, enzyme sources may include vegetable, microbial and/or animal. Pork enzymes may be used in the milk that makes the real cheese for some of our cheese seasonings. However,” she said, by the time the cheese seasoning arrives at Frito-Lay, the animal enzymes have been physically changed by heat to be inactive long before being added to our snacks.”

According to Princeton University’s Muslim Chaplain Khalid Latif, he told me, it really depends. For some Muslims, he said, whether or not the pork enzymes have evaporated, they still view it as “problematic.” Latif explained that his students at Princeton have also called Frito-Lay inquiring about its seasonings.

Gonzales from Frito-Lay told me, “While some snacks do contain enzymes from porcine sources, many do not.” She was kind enough to supply me with a list for U.S. citizens of Frito-Lay products that do not contain pork-related ingredients.

Dhimmitude or Gimme-tude?
Now that it is clear that Frito-Lay does contain pork enzymes in the cheese seasoning of some of its products, the bigger question is whether or not Frito-Lay will cater to its Muslim consumers given this public outcry. Could there be a new market for Muslims in the near future? Will Frito-Lay’s manufacturers and importers consider placing a halal logo on its snack foods that do not contain pork enzymes for its Muslim consumers? If its products contain animal substances, will Frito-Lay consider becoming halal certified by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (or

According to some young Muslim students and professionals I spoke to, they feel, Frito-Lay is neglecting a large market of Muslim consumers who do not consume any of its products that contain animal enzymes (let alone its pork-enzyme-containing products).

Muslim-American Seton Hall University student, Ibrahim Khaddash, in New Jersey, told me he feels “paranoid” ever since he heard about Frito-Lay’s pork-enzyme-containing products and said, “Muslims need to somehow let these big organizations know that if they want our business then they must obey our dietary laws.”


makes me want a Frito Pie.