100% of agar-agar is imported from overseas. 67.96% came from China.
The HALAL status of agar-agar strip sold in our market presently is questionable. We make this claim based on 2 factors which our HALAL certification authority fails to realise:
1. Seaweeds (Gracilaria) normally being cultivated either along the beach or at the river mouth. At the same location they (Chinese farmers) also rear pigs where their waste being directly discharge on to the sea. The pigs waste act as fertilizer to the seaweeds grown at the locality. Due to the change in charasteristic of the pigs waste, we consider it is only makruh for Muslim to consume.
2. Most of agar-agar strip producers in China is cottage industry whereby the production takes place at the backyard of their houses. During the thawing process, the agar strip is laid on the open ground at the front of their houses. Most Chinese houses in the rural areas, rear pigs, dogs, chicken, duck and other animals in their house compound. It is common that those animals throw their waste at the same place where agar-agar strip being sun-dried. The dried agar-agar strip then being send to their regional marketing centre for export.
What makes a product halal?
All raw materials and ingredients used must be halal. This means there is no inclusion of non-halal ingredients such as the meat of prohibited animals, reptiles or insects.
Animals such as cattle, goats and poultry must be bred and slaughtered according to Islamic rites.
The halal ingredients must not come into contact with non-halal materials during processing, packing, storage and transportation.
Please download article from Yellow Pages Malaysia if you are interested to know more about HALAL issue in Malaysia