In a strict muslim country like Malaysia where obtaining Halal certification is difficult and involving many procedures, some factories in the country have resorted to an easy avenue of selling food products using fake Halal logos.
Interestingly, some of these fake halal food originated from China, India, Thailand and Malaysia. The most recent case being a snack packaging factory near Selangor which imported products from China and was raided after receiving complaints from consumers. “Our checks on the products found that they were produced by a local company and another company from China, which used false Halal logo,” said a spokesperson from JAKIM, Malaysia’s halal certification agency. Over 20 types of snacks including sweets, preserved fruits and chocolates worth RM14,000 (US$3,400) were seized from the factory. The factory was also ordered to immediately stop production of products with the fake Halal logo.
JAKIM has also sent samples of the seized products for laboratory tests to identify if the gelatine used in the products came from swine or bovine sources.
Malaysian consumers are often alerted to a fake Halal food when they see that the Halal logo looks different, or when a 5-digit Halal registration number is missing from the packaging. It must be noted that Halal logo used across all states in Malaysia had been standardised since 2003.
To prevent fake Halal certificates from circulating, the Malaysian authorities have also implemented the Trade Descriptions Act 2011, a departure from the Trade Descriptions Act 1972, where any private organisation and company could issue certificates when they registered Halal-related companies. The new Act has curbed the issuance of fake Halal certificates to zero.