IFANCA in the News
Halal Consumer Magazine
Muslim Dietary laws have a lot in common with Jewish precepts. Based on centuries’ old practices, “Our guidelines predate FDA’s rules, “says Muhammad M. Chaudry, Halal Administrator and President of the Islamic Food & Nutrition Council of America. Prohibited, for instance, are pork products, alcohol, and blood. Animals must be slaughtered according to religious custom. Chaudry, who has a Ph.D. in food chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, says not all cheeses are Halal. When cheese makers curdle milk using enzymes such as pepsin and trypsin that are pig-derived, they violate prohibitions against pork products. “Today,” Chaudry says, “purified chymosin is manufactured through genetic modifications of microorganisms when the chymosin gene from a calf is duplicated and inserted into microbial cells.” To unravel these and other intricacies, Chaudry says, “all my Inspectors have a background in food and chemistry.”
(Ref. “Food Chemistry, Religiously” by Marc S. Reisch. C & EN Northeast News Bureau, published in C & EN magazine, April 21, 2003 page 18)
Since the immigrant population in the United States will continue to grow, so will the demand for goat, said Muhammad Munir Chaudry, spokesman for the Chicago-based Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America. He said U.S. markets often seek goats from Australia and New Zealand to meet demand, because “there is a shortage of goat and lamb in this country.” Bonnie Dunning, President of the Tennessee Goat Producers Association, said her organization plans to promote the meat to non-Muslims as a healthy meat choice, and Chaudry expects mainstream supermarkets will start selling goat.
(Ref. “Growing immigrant population boosts goat production in Tennessee” by Russ Oates. KnoxNews.com on March 8, 2003)
Devout Muslims must eat food prepared in accordance with Islamic guidelines – it’s called Halal. But there is no way to ensure that food labeled Halal really is. Now a handful of states are making it a crime to sell food falsely labeled as Halal. California and Michigan recently joined New Jersey, Illinois and Minnesota in passing a Halal Bill. During an interview, Dr. Muhammad Chaudry exchanged his thoughts with a representative of The American Communication Foundation. He highlighted the importance of consuming only Halal foods. Commenting on the business who sell non-Halal as Halal, Dr. Chaudry said, “you feel it’s wrong, you feel betrayed, you feel your body and spirit have been contaminated in some way”. According to estimation six to eight million Muslims in United States and only two million Muslims look for Halal meat. Dr. Chaudry further stated, “Halal is an universal code for a Muslim that regulations come from the Holy book Al-Quran”.
(Ref. The Osgood File, April 2003, ACFnewssource. American Communications Foundation, Mill Valley, CA)