Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thai Government Supports Global Standard Halal Food Production

BANGKOK, June 4 -- The Thai government has geared up in encouraging Thai entrepreneurs to produce foods that meets international Halal standard to cater to the demands of growing Halal food market.
The Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) and National Food Institute jointly organised a study visit to the food production factory of IBF Halal Food Company in Samut Prakarn.
The factory is one of the main facilities in Thailand that produces food of high quality Halal standard.
The main purpose of this trip was to provide Thai food business owners with knowledge on how to produce Halal food products that meet global standards ahead of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration next year.
About 40 per cent of the ASEAN population, or 264 million people, are Muslim, and the TISI also believed that the market for Halal food could be as high as USD$80 billion and continues to expand.
Thailand is only exporting around US$1.62 billion of Halal food around the world, 80 per cent of which is produced from natural ingredients that do not require Halal food inspection and stamp.
TISI said, at present, there are 64,500 products from 2,188 Thai businesses which have requested to be certified by the Halal food standard.
Some 90 per cent of this figures are food products, and that the number of Thai entrepreneurs seeking Halal certification has a tendency to increase by about 20 per cent annually.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Halal Food: PPIM Proposes Formulation Of Halal Products Act

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Islamic Consumers Association (PPIM) on Wednesday proposed that the government formulates a 'Halal Food Act' to protect the interests of Muslims and the integrity of Islamic institutions in the country.

Its secretary, Datuk Dr Ma'amor Osman said the Halal certification system could be an economic sabotage and a disaster if issues concerning food such as the crisis on the discovery of the pig DNA in the Cadbury chocolate were not handled properly.

"We hope the government is serious and committed in protecting and empowering the interests of Muslims, the integrity, religion and institutions of Islam such as the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the state Islamic Religious Departments," he said in a statement.

A report recently quoted the Health Department as having detected porcine or the pig DNA in the milk and Hazel nut chocolates of the Cadbury products for the Cadbury product batch which would expire on Nov 13, 2014 and the batch expiring on Jan 15, 2015.

Two days later, Jakim however confirmed that the two chocolate product samples taken directly from the company's factory had been confirmed by the Chemistry Department as not containing the pig DNA.

Ma'amor said the PPIM also proposed that the government increased the number of accredited laboratories so that the confirmation of the presence of the pig DNA could be traced without any doubt.


Muslim community cracking down on fake Halal foods

TORONTO – Canada’s growing Halal food industry has made it an attractive target for fraud – something that leaders in Canada’s Muslim community hope to end.
“Halal is really important to uphold a Muslim’s spirituality, the acceptance of our worship in the eyes of God is dependent on it, that we’re only consuming Halal,” says Omar Subedar, a Toronto-area imam who serves as the secretary general and official spokesperson of the Halal Monitoring Authority.

Subedar says that the inability of meat producers and abattoirs to meet the rising demand for Halal meat, coupled with a lack of oversight opened the door for exploitation.
“As the Muslim community grows here in Canada, and specifically the GTA, you’re going to see a lot of people now demanding Halal products,” says Subedar.
” There are people that do feel they can take advantage of this.”
Subedar says he was first tipped off to the scams years ago by sources inside the meat producing itself.
At first he was skeptical of the information, thinking it was merely an attempt discredit the competition while promoting their own product.
After some initial digging, Subedar and his peers organized a task force that carried out several investigations over a four-month period in 2004.
“We came across a lot of things that made us lose our sleep,” Subedar says.
In one particular investigation, involved a quail abattoir that produced Halal meat exclusively for a single client.
Knowing this, a distributor began sticking his own “Halal” labels on non-Halal meat leaving the abattoir.
“He slapped it on and next thing you know, when we were doing our investigations in all of these supermarkets, which grocery stores that carry Halal products, lo and behold, that stuff is there and people are buying it.”
Subedar says that revelations from the investigation led to the formation of the HMA, which maintains a comprehensive listing of Halal-certified producers, brands and restaurants.
The next step for Subedar and his fellow imams is to create an official, national governing body to regulate the certification of Halal products.