Alhamdulillah was-salatu was-salaamu 'ala rasoolillah. All thanks and praise is to ALLAH, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, and we ask that HIS blessings and peace be upon HIS Messenger, Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam.
The food industry has been very busy over the past 12 months. While consolidation continued in the ongoing effort to reduce costs, increase market share and maintain a competitive edge, severe weather affected the growing season, impacting crop production and prices. Bioengineering activities continued to progress as nations struggled to develop policies and rules for products containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). And who can forget all the livestock destroyed due to ëfoot and mouth diseaseí in Europe, the record recalls of meat and poultry in the United States due to E. Coli and the food safety issues that worried consumers and regulators alike.
During this time, the industry introduced a number of new products, including Totally Teal Ketchup, Vanilla Coke, Pepsi Blue and no crust bread!
We learned that drinking too much water can cause illness and even death and that frying may produce acrylomide, a cancer-causing chemical. The McDonaldís "frying oil" lawsuit was settled and other lawsuits were filed by consumers who felt misled or wronged by food companies.
And consumers expressed concern over animal feeds and the use of antibiotics on cattle and poultry, causing many to embrace organic food products.
All these events should lead to greater interest in Halal products and Halal certification, and this was reflected in the increased activities and demands on IFANCA.
Over the past 12 months, IFANCA certification increased as we welcomed over 20 new companies to the family of IFANCA Halal certified product producers. These new certified products expand the IFANCA certification program to appetizers; candy; salad dressings, condiments and oils; fruit juices; snack foods and soups. They also add additional products in the bakery; dairy; nutritional supplements; fruits, nuts & seeds and poultry categories.
Once again email and other inquiries increased over 20%. The popularity of the IFANCA Shopper's Guide with Halal consumers remains high and it was necessary to get a reprint of the Guide. Distribution of the Guide and other literature remains a free service of IFANCA.
Last April, IFANCA sponsored Halal Food Conference 2002, continuing the popular series of conferences IFANCA has sponsored the last 4 years. Under the theme, CURRENT AND FUTURE ISSUES IN HALAL, food industry professionals gathered in Toronto, Canada to learn more about Halal opportunities, listen to the challenges facing Halal producers and learn about the rewards and accomplishments of their colleagues. This was also an opportunity to meet the Muslim community of Toronto and enjoy their hospitality over a delicious Halal dinner.
As in past years, IFANCA again participated in IFT Food Conference and the Muslim American Society Convention.
On the publication front, IFANCA continues to publish the web based newsletter, Halal Digest, and the print magazine Halal Consumer. We are proud to receive many complements on both publications. These publications help answer consumer and producer questions; shed light on new issues, provide an additional focus on health and nutrition and present some of the industry highlights.
Over the past 12 months, a number of colleges initiated Halal meal programs and the State of California passed a Halal Food Law.
As consumers get more concerned about GMO, animal feed and food safety, we expect to be even busier over the next 12 months. Islam stresses the need to consume 'pure' foods. Organic products are a major step in the direction of Halal. Of course, this is not surprising, since the source of the Halal laws is the same source that created man and knows what is best for him. Technological advances continue to build more evidence of this and we see the results in more people embracing Islam and Halal products.
Despite all the advances and accomplishments in the industry, the world community continues to face strife, war and hunger. It is time for the Muslim leadership, lead by enlightened scholars, to lead the way for the salvation of the human race. It is clear that despite our ingenuity and technological advancements, it is easier to destroy or alter life than to nurture and preserve it. It is time to adhere to the Divine Guidance, to devote more time in worship and contemplation and to extend a hand rather than a fist to our fellow human beings.
"Verily, this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood, and I am your LORD and Cherisher: therefore serve ME (and no other)." Al-Anbiya-92
The United States and China have signed a Protocol on Cooperation in Agriculture and Technology. The protocol is to encourage cooperation in areas like biotechnology, food safety dairy production and agricultural product processing. (Reported in the IFT Newsletter.)
The EU inaugurated a network of 45 genetically modified organism (GMO) laboratories to develop methods to detect GMO in foods. (Reported in the IFT Newsletter.)
The Mexican lower house voted to keep the value added tax on soft drinks containing high fructose corn syrup. (Reported in www.foodingredientsonline.com on December 12, 2002.)
Burger King has been sold to a consortium of US investors including Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Bain Capital and Texas Pacific Group for $1.5 billion. (Reported in www.foodingredientsonline.com on December 12, 2002.)
Look for higher prices for Hershey and Mars chocolate bars. Both companies announced increases of around 10% due to rising cocoa prices. (Reported in www.just-food.com on December 12, 2002.)
For the second year in a row, the meat and poultry programs of Texas A&M University and Iowa State University have been rated 1 and 2 by Meat and Poultry magazine. Congratulations to both programs. (Reported on www.foodingredientsonline.com on December 2, 2002.)
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is important for normal muscle and nerve function; maintaining a steady heart rhythm and strong bones; energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Magnesium is mainly stored in the cells of tissue and organs and in the bones. Very little magnesium is found in the blood stream.
Magnesium is found in green vegetables, nuts, seeds and some whole grains. However, the magnesium content of most foods is low so one should eat a wide variety of foods to assure they obtain sufficient nutrients and minerals. Water may also contain magnesium with hard water containing more than soft water.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 400-420 milligrams (mg) for males over 14, 310-360 mg for females over 14 and 350-400 mg for pregnant women. The RDA for lactating women is also 310-360 mg.
The most common cause of magnesium deficiency in the United States is excess losses due to gastrointestinal disorders or a chronically low intake. Some medications may increase the loss of magnesium through the urine, as does alcohol consumption. Magnesium deficiency can cause confusion, disorientation, muscle cramps, numbness, coronary spasms and seizures.
There do not appear to be any health risks associated with too much dietary magnesium intake. However, high doses of supplements can promote diarrhea and even magnesium toxicity. Magnesium excess can cause nausea, muscle weakness, breathing difficulty and irregular heartbeat. The Institute of Medicine has set the tolerable upper intake level for supplementary magnesium at 350 mg.
The following are new additions to the IFANCA Halal Certified Products. For more information, check out the entire listing of retail IFANCA Halal Certified Products. Please note, not all the products produced by these companies are certified Halal. Only those listed below are certified Halal.
The retail Halal Certified Product Additions are:
Available In These Markets
Dr. Chen Bella Dietary Supplement Herb Concentrate Dr. Chen Men's Formula Dietary Supplement Herb Concentrate