News From : DagangHalal.com (25 Mar 2010)
Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei can be the pilot towards creating an awareness model on swine-based food and products for the region, a Malaysian expert said yesterday.
Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid, Education division chief of Pulau Pinang Consumer Association in Malaysia, said, “We should have our own regional cooperation model to increase awareness and united action for Asean countries and in the regional arena especially in disease outbreak prevention.”
Mohd Azmi was in Brunei as a speaker for the National Seminar of Islamic Scholars and Experts on Influenza A (HIN1) at the International Convention Centre, which began on March 23.
Dr Azmi said the Sultanate’s “effort in conducting the seminar, which I believe is the first to be done in any Islamic country, is indeed an impressive achievement”.
He added, “Since Brunei organised this seminar, why not Brunei be the focal point for a regional meeting to discuss Muslim action against H1N1 and other diseases?”
Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Setia Raja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Hj Suhaili Hj Muhiddin, Deputy State Mufti supported the call, saying, “The suggestion is a valuable one and Brunei will work towards achieving this.”
Dr Azmi addressed the issues of gelatin use in the major industries such as food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics in his working paper entitled, “Awareness on Swine-based Food and Products”.
“Gelatin use become an issue because in its production, protein source from pigs are used compared to proteins from other animals as it is cheaper and easily available,” he said.
“There are two types of gelatin: Gelatin A and Gelatin B. Gelatin A is derived from the pig’s skin, whereas Gelatin B originated from bones and skins of other bovine animals such as cattle, goats and buffaloes,” he said.
He added, gelatin become a hot (heated) issue for the global population including Muslims, Jewish, Buddhist and vegetarians, when they know that the gelatin was source from animal skins and bones.
Gelatin is commonly used as a coagulating agent in food, pharmaceutical, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Common examples of foods that contain gelatin are gelatin desserts, ice cream, marshmallows, chocolate and confectionery.
“For Muslims, even though the source is from animals that is halal, we have to make sure that the animals are slaughtered by Muslims and according to Islamic law,” he said, adding, “The problem is we don’t know whether the products used to produce the gelatin is halal or not.”
He added that 80 per cent of the gelatin produced in Europe is made from pig skin and IS per cent from bovine skin. The remaining five per cent is produced from bones of pigs, bovines, fish and poultry.
“Ninety per cent of the world gelatin producers (bovine and porcine) is not halal,” he said adding that Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia recognise only halal gelatine sourced from Pakistan and China.
“Most people take this matter lightly, but we see this as a big issue. Food producers do not include the gelatin source in food labels,” he said.
Dr Azmi also suggested, “Legislate united policies to take care of the people’s health, by combining aspects of Islamic law, consumerism, science-health technology, culture, education, economy and regulation,” he said, adding there was also a need to increase efforts in scientific research, that is intertwine with Islamic teaching solutions in handling disease outbreak.
Written by Rasidah HAB — Courtesy of The Brunei Times