Previous Halal Digests
Biopharming & Farmaceuticals

Halal Digest Header DECEMBER 2002
ISSN 1533-3361
In This Issue
Eid Mubarak 'Biopharming' and 'Farmaceuticals' Food News Iron - An Essential Mineral New Halal Certified Products

Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam. Nut is a shell
Eid Mubarak Greeting As we near the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid-ul-Fitr, IFANCA would like to wish everyone a Blessed Eid. May ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, accept our fasting, our salat and our deeds and reward us all with the highest level in Paradise, the Firdaws. During these last few days and nights of Ramadan, don't forget those less fortunate than us in your dua. May ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, guide us all to the Straight Path, now and on the Day of Ressurection. Ameen!

If you would like to learn more about Eid-ul-Fitr, please visit Eid-ul-Fitr. Nut is a shell

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Bioengineered corn injection Biotechnology is bringing us many new developments. Some of these appear to be quite beneficial while some may be more suited to science fiction. Even the beneficial developments can get out of hand as the following news item shows.

Scientists are now engineering crops to produce medicines and vaccines, what some are terming ëfarmaceuticalsí. In this incident, corn had been bioengineered to produce a vaccine against Montezumaís revenge, or travelerís diarrhea.

Researchers inserted an E. coli gene into the corn. The corn then develops a substance that protects against travelerís diarrhea. The vaccine material grows in the corn and is extracted after the corn is harvested. Quite ingenious. Apparently this ëmedical corní was grown in test plots in Nebraska and Iowa during 2001. This year, regular (non-biotech) soybeans were grown in the same fields. All the bioengineered corn was thought to have been removed, but apparently a few seeds were left behind. The corn seeds sprouted and grew among the soybeans. When the soybeans were harvested a few bioengineered corn leaves and stalks were harvested with the soybeans.

Apparently 500 bushels of this bioengineered corn were found among the 500,000 bushels of soybeans. The soybeans were intended to produce salad dressing and animal feed, but government inspectors stopped the shipment, the soybeans were impounded and the entire lot will be destroyed.

Some biotech companies are using corn, barley, rice and tobacco to grow insulin, cholera vaccines and industrial enzymes.

Proponents of ëbiopharmingí stress the promise of lower cost drugs. Farmers see ëbiopharmingí as a way of supplementing sagging earnings. Opponents see ethical questions and danger to public safety.

Bioengineering has brought us pest resistant crops, larger animals and products that grow and mature much quicker than normal. The use of plants to grow pharmaceutical products is a newer application of bioengineering.

The food industry has been stung by bioengineered crops that were not approved for food use, such as the StarLink corn that caused the recall of taco shells in 2000. They are not interested in going through similar problems again.

Biotech companies voluntarily agreed not to grow bioengineered corn in the Corn Belt states, where the risk of contaminating food crops was highest, beginning in 2003. Some are questioning whether the USDA has adequate safeguards to protect the food supply from genetically modified products. Farmers are concerned their ordinary crops will be contaminated with bioengineered crops, causing them to lose their harvests.

There are still many questions facing this promising technology. The biotech companies, consumer advocates, government regulators and farmers need to work together to develop and implement a safe strategy to proceed with bioengineering, before a real disaster occurs.

(Extracted from an article on 'Modified Crops' from on November 18, 2002.) Nut is a shell










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Grain Canadian scientists have developed a pastry wheat that is resistant to the wheat disease, Fusarium Head Blight, which reduces crop yields and can affect livestock. The new wheat has been approved by the Canadian Cereal Crops Committee. (Reported in on November 19, 2002.)
Questioning GMO foods Oregon voters said no to requiring labeling on genetically modifed foods. Supporters have not given up, promising to put the Measure on the 2004 ballot. The food industry lobbied against the measure. The grocery industry estimates that 70% of processed foods contain some genetically modifed ingredients. In Europe, labeling is required on foods containing 1% or more genetically modified ingredients. (Reported in on November 6, 2002.)
Newspaper, News Item The English Football Association is conducting a study on the hazards of head inuries in soccer. A coroner has recently ruled that 'persistent heading of a heavy, wet, leather ball in the 1960's and 70's led to the death of former England striker Jeff Astle at 59'. The chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association suggests there may need to be a warning on footballs that too much heading may be bad for your health, similar to the warnings on cigarettes packs. (Reported in on November 12, 2002.)
Bacteria It seems the bugs are fighting back or at least, learning to survive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the use of a drug to fight bacteria in poultry has increased the resistance of that bacteria to the drug when taken by humans to combat food poisoning. (Reported on on November 21, 2002.) Nut is a shell

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Iron, an essential mineral Iron is an essential mineral that is important for oxygen transportation and metabolism. Hemoglobin contains most of the iron in the human body. Hemoglobin is the protein in the red blood cells that carries the oxygen to the tissues. Some iron is found in proteins that carry the oxygen to the muscles. Most of the iron in the body is part of the proteins involved in metabolism and oxygen transport while some is kept in reserve in case iron intake is low.

Meat, a good source of heme iron Iron is normally only lost through bleeding so most people do not lose much iron. However, women with heavy menstrual bleeding can lose significant amounts of iron.

Iron is found in a number of foods. There are two forms of iron in foods: one form is easily absorbed by the body while the other is more difficult for the body to absorb. The form that is easily absorbed is called heme and is found in meat, fish and poultry. The more difficult to absorb form is called nonheme and is found in lentils, beans, spinach and iron fortified cereals.

Beans, a source of nonheme iron The absorption of iron in the body varies depending upon a number of factors, including the amount already stored in the body, the form of iron consumed and the diet. Vitamin C has a positive effect on iron absorption, and increases the absorption of nonheme iron. On the other hand, calcium and tea decrease the absorption of nonheme iron. Of course, a balanced diet is important for iron absorption and good health.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance of iron is 8 milligrams (mg) for adult males, 11 mg for teen males, 18 mg for adult females, 27 mg for pregnant females and 7-11 mg for infants and young children. It is interesting that normal full term infants are born with enough iron to last for 6 months, so there is no RDA for infants under 6 months old. It is noteworthy that infants easily absorb the iron in breast milk.

Seafood, a source of heme iron The World Health Organization considers iron deficiency the top nutritional disorder in the world and it affects almost 30% of the worldís population. An iron deficiency occurs when the hemoglobin level falls below normal. This is the result of insufficient intake and low stored iron levels. Vitamin A is important in mobilizing the stored iron so a deficiency in Vitamin A can result in an iron deficiency even if there is sufficient iron stored in the body. Iron deficiency is often referred to as iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency can cause one to feel tired and weak; decrease immune functiona and slow child development. It can also increase the risk of premature delivery in pregnant women. Individuals with iron deficiencies are normally prescribed iron supplements. This should be done under a physicianís guidance.

Too much iron results in excess iron being stored in organs and can cause liver and heart damage. Too much iron intake is also associated with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatalities in young children. The Institute of Medicine has set the tolerable upper limit at 40 mg per day for individuals below 13 years old and 45 mg for individuals above 13 years old. More may be administered under a doctorís care.

This information was extracted from the National Institutes of Health website. Nut is a shell







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Crescent M, IFANCA Halal Certification Mark The following are new additions to the IFANCA Halal Certified Products. For more information, check out the entire listing of retail IFANCA Halal Certified Products. Please note, not all the products produced by these companies are certified Halal. Only those listed below are certified Halal.


The retail Halal Certified Product Additions are:

Product Produced By Available In
These Markets
Accucaps Vitamin Blend 1R BASF Canada
Ontario, Canada
Sunflower Seeds
Yuhuan Bean
Peanut Kernel
Melon Seed
Chacheer (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
Aspartame Sweetener Holland Sweetener Company VOF
The Netherlands
(Dietary Supplement)
Dr. Diet Swiss Mocha
Dr. Diet Vanilla
Jason Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Maryland, USA
All Pure Spices Malabar Super Spice Company, Ltd.
Ontario, Canada
Halal Chicken
(with IFANCA Symbol or certificate)
Maple Leaf Poultry
Ontario, Canada
Chocolate Ice Cream Wafer D Handy Pack Norse Dairy Systems
Ohio, USA
McDonald's Plain Bagel (51850) Sara Lee Bakery
California, USA
Cloud 9 Cream & Strawberry Hard Candy
Cloud 9 Cream & Orange Hard Candy
Dynamite Mint Chocolate Center-filled Hard Candy
Shanghai Peggy Food Company, Inc.

In addition, the following ingredient and food service suppliers have been certified Halal:

A. Fakhry & Company
EKA Chemicals Inc.
Kemira Chemicals, Inc.
Nantong Acetic Acid Chemical Company, Ltd.
Omya Arizona, Inc.
Tillamook County Creamery Association
Wacker-Chemie GmbH

IFANCA welcomes these companies to the family of Halal Certified Product Producers. Nut is a shell






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