Nanotechnology within Halal Legal Framework: Case Study of Nano-Based Food Products

  • Muhammad Nizam Awang Institute of Halal Research and Management, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia
  • Zalina Zakaria Institute of Halal Research University of Malaya (IHRUM), Universiti Malaya
Keywords: nanotechnology, food, Halal, regulation

Abstract

‘Halal’ is currently being pursued in many consumer products, including those that containing nanomaterials or regular materials manipulated at nano-scale level. As the governor of Halal affairs in Malaysia, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) is responsible to ensure regulatory approval for nano-based products must be consistent with the Halal parameter set out under Syariah law. Despite Halal certification in this area also remains low in Malaysia, there is a need to investigate the approach to regulating nanotechnology products in order to see if protection of consumers is guaranteed; and whether Halal and safety mechanisms for consumer products are vigilant enough.  In realising these aims, this paper takes nano-based food products as a case study. Through analysis, this paper provides an original perspective of how can the existing Halal legal framework adequately covers nanotechnology products. It will involve, firstly, the discussions of the Trade Description Act 2011 or TDA 2011 (as well as the Trade Description (Definition of Halal) Order 2011 and the Trade Description (Certification and Marking of Halal) Order 2011) and legislations governing the two specific sectors. Secondly, it examines whether the existing Halal legal framework is capable of dealing with more complex and sophisticated technology-based products like foods that contain nanomaterials or using nanotechnology. In setting out the parameter of whether the existing regulation is adequate to protect consumers, it highlights legal and regulatory issues relevant to safety regulation of nano-enabled food and cosmetic products. The paper finds that the current Halal legal framework has covered all consumer goods and products, including nano-based products. Indeed, the products are also subject to specific Halal monitoring and enforcement similar to other Halal approved products. This is also in tandem with the concept of Halal Thoyyiban that permits any goods for consumption as long as they are safe and do not cause harm. However, within this it should not be forgotten that such products/technology remain the subject of considerable research as this technology is relatively nascent and the safety/ risk threshold has not been fully ascertained.

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Published
2019-07-29
How to Cite
Awang, M. N., & Zakaria, Z. (2019). Nanotechnology within Halal Legal Framework: Case Study of Nano-Based Food Products. Journal of Fatwa Management and Research, 16(1), 29-43. https://doi.org/10.33102/jfatwa.vol17no1.3
Section
Articles