|Dr. Ir. Saidatul Idiyah, MP, bersama peserta World Halal Forum (WHF) di Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
The Chief of Biotechnology Centre University of Muhammadiyah Malang, Dr. Ir. Saidatul Idiyah, MP, said that the current Islamic scientists should be able to prove their expertise in biotechnology. It was a big challenge because of the food products consumed by Muslims should be guaranteed halal. Moreover, foreign products now had penetrated this country.
Ida told her experience while following the World Halal Forum (WHF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last May. The event was to discuss the global halal industry. From Indonesia, not only Ida, there was a representative from Sea Fast Jakarta, Dr. Ir. Purwiyanto. Indonesia was not the only country participating in that event, but also other countries, such as Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Kuwait, United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, France, New Zealand, Switzerland, China, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.
The event opened by Prime Minister Dato Sri Mohammad Najib was quite important for the development of world halal products. "Because the main activity was to find solutions for industrial products, good food, drug, cosmetic, or other. It was including the results of engineering biotechnology, conducted around the world, can safely be consumed by Muslims around the world meet and considered halal," said Ida. A product was considered halal if it had the criteria ofhalal ingredients, halal processing, and halal product.
Ida explained that there were important decisions made in Malaysia. From the sessions on biotechnology, the forum had at least succeeded in making a decision. First, engineered biotechnology plants and food products had been tested extensively in terms of safety for humans and the environment. It should be also acceptable to the Islamic world as halal products, as long as they made from halal sources. Second, biotechnology was a strategy to build awareness that would encourage and enhance community participation in decision-making process on issues related to biotechnology. And, third, awareness of biotechnology and biotechnology-based educational programs should be established by private parties with communities to improve the perception of biotechnology in a country.
"The role of Islamic scholars or ulama in scientific discussions, involving the development of biotechnology especially the production of foods derived from transgenic crops, should be increased," said she. As a follow-up of Ida's participation in that forum, she would be more intense again to review the biotechnology through the institutions, especially about halal food. (nas/t_ris)