Public trust towards the Malaysian Islamic Religious Department (Jakim) and its halal logo has increased,‎ despite the recent controversy over the Cadbury chocolates, said Jakim’s Halal Hub Department assistant director Muhammad Naim Mohd Aziz. Naim said that Jakim’s system of surprise inspections had helped strengthen the integrity of its…
Public trust towards the Malaysian Islamic Religious Department (Jakim) and its halal logo has increased,‎despite the recent controversy over the Cadbury chocolates, said Jakim’s Halal Hub Department assistant director Muhammad Naim Mohd Aziz.
Naim said that Jakim’s system of surprise inspections had helped strengthen the integrity of its logo.‎
“Consumer confidence towards the halal logo has never faded, but instead has been increasing because our halal certificates involve periodic inspections.‎
“We always conduct surprise inspections to assess whether a company has complied with our guidelines. If they do not, we will inform the public,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider in Putrajaya recently.‎
“This means that the halal certification process is transparent and has integrity. And even though they hold a halal certificate, if they make a mistake, we will disclose it publicly,” added Naim.
He said there were 56 types of halal logos in the Malaysian market for products‎ imported from 33 different countries.
He said the logos were from 72 Islamic bodies and national religious enforcement agencies which cooperated with Jakim.
“Their functions are almost similar to us (Jakim), the only difference is that they carry out their responsibilities in their own countries and issue halal certificates.”
But he said only Jakim and state Islamic authorities had the right to issue halal certificates for Malaysian products.
The issue of halal certification came under scrutiny after the Health Ministry found that several Cadbury chocolate products contained traces of pig DNA.‎
Several quarters blamed Jakim and questioned the credibility of its halal certificates.
But Naim said all halal logos out in the markethad also been certified by Jakim. He said the staff would evaluate the foreign agency’s inspection methods as well as run its own vigorous tests on the imported products.‎
“InSoutheast Asia,we haveonehalallogoeach fromThailand, Indonesia,Singapore,andVietnam. The Philippines hastwologos,while Australiahas several different logos.”
He urged consumers to examine the logosto preventabuse.
“We need to checkwhetherthelogoisrecognised or not.”
Besides theCadburychocolates, other products found to contain pig DNA include Pure CreameryButter-GoldenChurnbutterusedin Sarawak’s layer cakes.
The Sarawak Islamic Religious Department’s discovery onJuly 19, 2011 left a huge impact on the industry. The butter’s manufacturer, Switzerland-based BallantyneFood,admitted its products contained pig DNA.‎
Later, Ballantyne Food cleared the air and its product was certified halal again.
Naim saidhaving Jakim’s halalcertification was not mandatory, and manufacturers applied for it voluntarily.‎‎
“But it does not mean that if there is no logo, it is not halal. Any party can apply, and if they apply for it, they aresubjected toour laws,”he said.
Originally Published on http://news.malaysia.msn.com