OIC nations should have common Halal certifying body

By Farah Ahmadnawi

Darhim Dali Hashim from Malaysia receiving a token of appreciation from the organising committee

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

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 OIC 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-OIC countries for example, USA and Australia.

He said five factors are considered in the development of Global Halal Standard, which include the five
‘mazhab’, 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

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