The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will host its first international conference on Halal food in Riyadh on February 12, 2012.
Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) Chairman Mohammed Al Kanhal said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz would patronise the event.
Stressing the importance of the event, Mr Al Kanhal said, “There are about 1.8 billion people in the world consuming Halal food. The global market for Halal is valued in excess of SR 5 trillion ($NZ 2.95 trillion),” he said.
Outlining the importance of the conference, he said SFDA was keen to bring scientific and religious scholars on to a common platform to explore ways and means of improving the global Halal industry.
“We should put in place a mechanism to maintain a uniform check on the quality as well as the regulations adopted by the local authorities to ensure that the food consumed is Halal,” he said.
Mr Al Kanhal said the forthcoming Conference would also provide opportunities to several international organisations and private institutions to analyse the issues and recommend measures to enhance global trade and harmonise Halal food requirements, conditions and control methods.
“The Conference aims to clarify the concept of Halal food and specify its requirements from an Islamic perspective and present technical and economic aspects in view of growing world demand for Halal,” he said.
According to him, besides boosting public and private sector cooperation in the relevant food industry at national, regional and at global levels, the Conference would also be an ideal platform for exchange of experience in the supervision and control of Halal food.
Among the subjects that would be discussed at the forthcoming Conference are Halal food in the light of the teachings of the Holy Quran and Islamic traditions, recommendations and regulations for Halal certification, detection methods of forbidden substances of Halal food, stunning and automated mechanical slaughter and lawfulness of food additives.
The Conference is open to all irrespective of their religious faiths.
Those interested in presenting technical papers should submit their works on or before January 14, 2012.
“SFDA aims to ensure safety of food, safety, quality and efficacy of drugs and the safety and effectiveness of medical devices by developing and enforcing an appropriate regulatory system,” Mr Al Kanhal said.
The above article, which appeared in Arab News (Riyadh), has been reproduced here with the permission of its Editor-in-Chief Khaled Al Maeena.