Malaysia: Food Analyst Council Should Work With JAKIM

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 (Bernama) – Several members of parliament Tuesday proposed that the Food Analyst Council work with the Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) to determine the halal status of food products.

Datuk Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin) said cooperation with the council to be established under the Food Analyst Bill 2010 will protect and ensure safety of food products in the country.

“This will instill confidence among foreign countries as it shows that we take food safety and quality seriously. It will also expand Malaysian food abroad,” he said when debating the bill at Dewan Rakyat here Tuesday.

Ahmad also urged the Health Ministry to analyse herbal products to ensure that they were not harmful to consumers.

Datuk Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) who also supported the proposal said it should not be taken lightly as Muslims took the halal issue seriously.

“The council should analyse the halal status of not only food products but also medicine,” he added.

Datuk Dr Mohd Hayati Othman (PAS-Pendang) said food analysts appointed should have the expertise to determine the halal status of all food products.

The bill was drafted to provide for the registration of food analysts and regulate food analyst practices.

Registered food analysts must have a nutritional science, food technology, nutritional science and technology degrees from universities approved by the Food Analyst Council.

They also need to have at least two years experience in food analysis for the first degree in nutritional science, or four years for those with degree in science related fields.

Earlier, parliament passed the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Bill 2010. The session continues Wednesday.