Under the framework of the Food Safety and Halal Food Program of IOFS, the second Expert Group Meeting for Food Safety and Halal Food, held on July 28, 2021, at the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University, Almaty, Kazakhstan, with the participation of academic scientists, researchers, and representatives from Central Asia countries, such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan to discuss and improve the Food Safety and Halal Food Methodology Action plan to promote the methodological base of the concept “from Gene to Fork modality”, including harmonization, integration, as well as including specific regulation of halal in countries. The meeting was facilitated by the Manager of the Program Dr. Shahlo Atabaeva jointly with the head of the International Technical Committee of Halal in KazNUR, Dr. Sericova Asiya.
In the first Expert Group Meeting Food Safety and Halal Food conducted on June 21, 2021, the IOFS presented its “Gene to Fork” modality for review by halal and food safety experts. The concept promotes a food production process that fully excludes components and/or manufacturing methods that do not comply with the halal standards, starting at the selection of gene/seed level till the consumer. One of the aims of IOFS under the framework of the program is merging food safety and halal food standards and unified the methodology of halal quality identification for all member countries.
This document identifies key specific thematic areas of cooperation in the domain of Food Safety and Halal Food to enhance Food Safety and the Halal Food ecosystem in the OIC Member States. Also, the Food Safety and Halal Food Methodology Action plan is a framework to provide a systematic approach to promote cooperation among the member countries in this area for development and specifies the resources needed for anticipated changes. It outlines a guideline for the future development of Halal Food Methodology in Central Asia countries.
Based on countries' specifics and experience, recommendations and comments on the development of the draft Action plan were discussed and formed. Participants noted the timeliness of the activity and an amended version of the document will be shared among the participants. Also, participants of the meeting identified primary indicators to determine the progress of the program in the region for a short-term period.
It should be emphasized that the IOFS platform of the Food Safety and Halal Food presupposes the integration of countries' interests on mutual recognition of national standards. To achieve this goal, the availability of a clear and scientifically based methodology is extremely overdue.
The updates and approval by member countries Action plans will be submitted to the IOFS General Assembly for consideration.