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OIC Nations Should Have Common Halal Certifying Body

News From : DagangHalal.com (02 Aug 2009)

Bandar Seri Begawan – The certification of Halal standard for food products requires a lot of factors and elements according to the Islamic faith to be considered before the relevant authorities can do so. And there are also complications faced in meeting the standards in the industry.

These were discussed during a conference titled `Standards Development and the implications for industry’ on the last day of the International Halal Market Conference 2009 at the International Convention Centre yesterday.

Darhim Hashim, the Chief Executive Officer of International Halal Integrity Alliance presented his topic on the development of Halal Standards for the Organisation of Islamic Conference.

He presented his findings, which state that out of 57 O1C member countries less than five have Halal Certification Bodies, less than half of the countries have Halal import regulations and none has a domestic Halal Act.

However, he said Halal-related organisations exist in non-O1C countries for example, USA and Australia.

He said five factors are considered in the development of Global Halal Standard, which include the five `mazhabL science, industry, Ummah and Shariah.

He added that neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia have different lists of approved Halal Certification Bodies. Thus, this proves that there is no solid standard in approving any Halal Certification Bodies.

The OIC countries have no top governing body with regards to Halal standard and serve as a platform for the accreditation of the Halal Certification Bodies.

An International Accreditation Forum was suggested with the slogan ‘once certified, accepted anywhere’.

The second keynote speaker, Zubaidah Haji Mahmud,a Senior Scientific Officer from the Department of Pharmaceutical Services, Ministry of Health, touched on Brunei’s guidelines for manufacturing and handling of Halal medicinal products, traditional medicines and health supplements.

She said that the purpose of guidelines is to address the technical requirements for the manufacturing and handling of Halal medicinal products. The scope of the guidelines covers elements such as what factor applies as Halal in accordance to Hukum Syara in the certification and labeling of Halal medicinal products and to serve as a supplemental guide to Guideline Manufacturing Products requirements applicable in respective countries.

Zubaidah also said that Brunei’s guidelines require three steps for the medicinal products to get approved. The draft must go through seven departments from different ministries and later proceed to the technical committee involving nine departments from government sectors before being finally endorsed by the Brunei Religious Council.

There are a lot factors to be considered in the guidelines, which include that the equipment, products and ingredients should not, in any aspect, be mixed or contaminated with non-Halal products, according to Hukum Syara’.

Lastly, she described the criteria considered for the term Halal in medicinal products which comprise starting materials, slaughtering process, manufacturing and handling, hygiene and sanitation, conditions of use of machines and processing aids, labeling. of the products, as well as the legal and regulatory requirements.

Written by Farah Ahmadnawi
— Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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