IPOH: Muslims consumers have been urged to exercise their buying power by staying away from imported meat, especially beef, until the trust issues affecting the halal status of imported meat is resolved.
Perak Deputy Mufti Datuk Zamri Hashim said Muslims could use their buying power to push sellers and manufacturers to do the right thing, which would create a momentum that would force an investigation to be conducted as soon as possible.
“Muslims can continue to buy local beef. Apart from its halal status being assured, this can also help the local beef industry.
“The wave created by consumers can also ensure that the import process in the future is done in accordance with halal standards,” he told Berita Harian.
He said if Muslims had doubts about the halal status of their food, Islam, as per the hadith of Prophet Muhammad, required them to avoid the food.
At the same time, Zamri said, people should rely on verified information and not trust claims that have yet to be proven.
“The authorities must name the brands that have been found to have falsified their halal certification and ensure that the culprits face justice.”
Johor Mufti Datuk Yahya Ahmad said the authenticity of a product’s halal status, especially meat, was something Muslims must prioritise.
He said falsifying halal certification or mixing halal meat with non-halal meat was a sensitive matter that was unacceptable to Muslims.
Consumers, he said, play a key role in the effort to tackle this issue and they must exercise caution when buying imported meat by identifying whether the products bear Malaysia’s halal logo or one that was accredited abroad.
He said consumers were within their rights to ask sellers about the halal status of their products for assurance.
He said restaurants and traders must ensure that they buy genuine halal meat before serving them to their customers.
“Diners have no way of establishing whether the meat they are eating is halal, save for the halal logo displayed in restaurants. The traders are responsible for the food served.
“It is hoped that with this approach, it will reduce the room for any syndicates to take advantage (of consumers) by falsifying their halal status.
“Stern action by the authorities is necessary.
“Action against the culprits as well as those who work with them will act as a deterrent against those out to reap profits via immoral means.”
Source: New Straits Time