Muhammad M. Chaudry
IFANCA was founded in 1980 and registered in the State of Illinois, USA as a “not for profit”, Islamic organization with the mission to promote Halal food and the institution of Halal. Initially, IFANCA published lists of Halal and haram products. IFANCA recognized that such lists were only a temporary aide in helping Muslims select Halal products. In 1984, IFANCA started the Halal Certification Program, to supervise slaughter and food production, screen and verify ingredient sources and certify the appropriateness of food products for Muslim consumers. IFANCA adopted the Crescent M symbol to indicate, “Fit for Muslim Consumption”.
IFANCA was quickly recognized as a Halal certifier and an arbitration agency in disputes concerning Halal production by government bodies and agencies. Some of these agencies include the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS); Rabitat Al-Alam Al-Islami (World Muslim League) in Saudi Arabia; Majlis Ulama Islam Singapur (MUIS); the Islamic Affairs Division of the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Department; Majelis Ulema Indonesia (MUI); the Philippine Halal Association; the Islamic Committee Office of Thailand and several other organizations.
As IFANCA has grown to supervise Halal food production in 5 continents across the globe, we continue to focus on making Halal foods conveniently available; introducing the institution of Halal to food companies and institutions; creating awareness of Halal among consumers and providing Halal solutions to consumer needs. IFANCA is working to address the new challenges facing the Halal and non-Halal consumer. Bioengineering; genetically modified foods and ingredients; products of cloning; animal feeds; disease; the proliferation of alcohol and gelatin and others are some of the issues facing the Halal consumer. IFANCA is working with Islamic scholars, food scientists and food manufacturers to determine how these issues affect Halal production and Halal certification.
Some of the other IFANCA milestones include: published the book ‘Islamic Dietary Laws and Practices’ in 1983; developed the Halal Slide Guide in 1985; began publishing the Islamic Perspective newsletter in 1983; instrumental in getting steel manufacturers to switch to non-animal based lubricants in 1992; wrote specifications to bring Halal MREs to the US military in 1994; established the IFANCA website, www.IFANCA.org in 1997; developed Halal teaching materials in 1999; developed the Halal Shopper’s Guide and began publishing the web-based Halal Digest newsletter and the Halal Consumer magazine in 2000.
IFANCA also sponsored many Halal Food Conferences throughout the world, which included 1999 in Chicago, 2000 in Los Angeles, 2001 in Paris and 2002 in Toronto.
With your help and Allah’s Blessings (INSHALLAH) IFANCA will continue to work on both fronts, namely; consulting the food industry to make the products certified Halal and to increase the awareness about Halal among Halal consumers, suppliers, regulators and information workers (MMC)