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Sunday, 24 February 2008

Philippines to launch first guideline book for making Halal food

MANILA, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines will launch its first guideline book on making Halal food in accordance with international standard, in order to promote the country's food industry, the official Philippines News Agency quoted Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap as saying on Sunday.
Yap said there is a huge international market for Halal food, so the country must promote the production of the food for both home and foreign consumers, said the report.
The fundamental concept and practices of Halal, which means "lawful" or "permissible" as a broad term used to describe how a Muslim must conduct his life, are embodied in the Muslim holy book Quran, Hadith, the Shariah law, as well as other Islamic jurisprudence, according to the report.
The requirements for Halal products across the globe are estimated to be more than 200 billion U.S. dollars annually.
Yap said the guidelines will provide food processors, traders, exporters and marketing logistic operators with the necessary information in preparing, packing, labeling, and handling of Halal foods.
Hence, people can rely on Halal certification as a seal of food safety and quality assurance, he said.
Muslim religious scholars and leaders in the Philippines have also formed a board that will accredit Halal certifiers to ensure the strict implementation of the Philippine General Guidelines on Halal Food, according to the report.
The Philippines has 10 million Muslims, most of them living in Manila and Mindanao.

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