Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Consumer Rights


The Wrong Food Pyramid

A very informative and good friend of mine recently told me that he is at war. Apparently, in between our dialouge sessions via Yahoo Messenger, he was in the middle of writing a letter to the directors of Giant.

What the hell for? I asked him.

"For their stupidity," he replied. "I discovered that Giant have been mixing non-halal goods with halal ones."

What??? I shop there! But I don't recall seeing any pork items...

"Halal is beyond the pork issue," he typed back. "You see, the Japanese instant noodles are non-halal and are stocked right next to your beloved Maggi. This is not right."

"And by the way," he added. "Haven't you noticed that there isn't a halal logo on Colgate or even on Pringles?"

Erk???

How the hell can this possibly be happening? How can non-halal goods be placed next to halal ones? How can everyday consumer goods like chips and toothpaste not carry the halal logo? Sweet God, how serious is this country with the halal issue?

First, it was IKEA's sausages. Last time I heard was Wrigley's Chewing Gum. Sigh, it's like I am shopping at Wal Marts all over again...

32 Comments:

Blogger Rostam78 said...

At least there are some that realise it and doing something about it. There are so many non halal things out there.

Cheap leather shoes... look inside, chances are its pig skin.

Paint brush, great chance it is made of pig bristles... and remember some of us use to put it in our mouth when we were young! Ermmmmm......

10:04 PM  
Blogger Foxybabe said...

Walmart is great! U'll find almost everything there.. even Mc Donalds!!

10:07 PM  
Blogger kepala_angin said...

Halal is not just based on logo, coz there are cases of pirated logo. You still have to check the ingredients used. I do buy things that do not have the halal logo if the ingredients are alright.

I don't buy Pringles originating from the US. But now I saw ones with the label "Sale for in ASEAN countries only", I think this one is ok, because no E471 as one of the ingredients.

Still look at ingredient when I buy things, old habit of shopping at Wal Mart or K Mart, die hard.

10:10 PM  
Blogger lissa said...

rostam, man i was one of those kids...

hehe (u must've done it to recall yourself)

anyway, one alert consumer that i know of is no other than my own mother...

i've known that there's a non approved product in margerines call E sumtinsumtin, so we muslims can eat that since like i was in form 5.. it can get pretty pain in the neck looking for the right margerine with no emulsifier using pigs lard in a giant hypermarket..so u guess..she was practically strict to buy me a horsehair paintbrush instead.. so that i can rest assured

its a matter of choices (isn't life full of it).. would u rather lead a simple life and pejam mata in some issues.. and tawakkal or strictly draw the line and settle nuthin less..and confident bout it..

i bet u were quie confident using colgate before.. now after knowing that surely it made u think twice..

10:15 PM  
Blogger A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

icky issue ... a non-halal item that does not have pork, i believe, can be consumed by muslims? am i wrong? but then again, the issue of halal is not confined to pork, it also includes other issues such as preparation whatnot.

and what about restaurants that are pork-free but do not have the halal certificate?

12:00 AM  
Blogger Pojan said...

Every month, I will receive atleast 1 forwarded email regarding things that I thought were halal that weren't halal actually. By the rate that this thing is going on, I must have JAKIM on speed dial whenever I want to eat outside or shop for groceries.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Frankensteina said...

This happened to me...was at a shoe store...picked up a slip on and found out that it was made of pig's skin and there was NO WARNING LABEL whatsoever on or around the shoes. I was really angry. Spoke to the store manager to get a warning label up immediately. I had to get some soil to samak right after that.

12:25 AM  
Blogger random-girl said...

this reminds me of a funny thing that happened to me once. (well it's funny now but it wasn't funny then)

i can be pretty fussy when it comes to hairbrushes and once i was complaining to my then b/f about how i could no longer seem to find my favourite hairbrush manufactured by Lady Jayne.

later that year for christmas the sweet boy surprised me with a Lady Jayne hairbrush.

after happily brushing my hair with it i remember thinking "wow. this hairbrush is softer than my old LJ hairbrush. i wonder what its made of" (fyi: my old LJ brush was synthetic bristle)

so i checked the label of my new hairbrush and it was made from BOAR bristles.

oh, i had one hell of a mental fit! my poor sweet matsalleh b/f, he tried so hard to console me. kesian dia juga... he had good intentions.

1:51 AM  
Blogger Elina said...

This gets irksome, sometimes. People pick on the nitty-gritty tapi halal/haram yang besar tak peduli.

7:59 AM  
Blogger thingsaboottogetvaryinterestinghear said...

your friend, is he complaining about the fact that the plastic package that has the non-halal content touching the plastic packaging of his beloved maggi? cos i believe most people actually read the contents of food items they're not familiar with before buying them.

oh, and also to repeat what elina said. she's a smart girl.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Dade Ghost said...

Just wondering.... if anybody can confirm, to what minutes of particle is a pig product become non-halal? What I mean is, if it is so small an amount compared to the whole product is it non-halal? Why I asked? Well if it is non-halal, then we must not shake hand with non-muslim! How r we to know they just eat pork or not? Or be careful while touching any railings or anything at the public area... it might just be smeared with someone hands that just handle pork!
And if I am not mistaken, touching non-halal product which is dry, we do not need to "samak". Please double confirm with some reliable ustaz.....

5:45 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

Rostam78 :

Thanks for dropping by! :)

Its true. I am heavily intrigued at how far my friend is pushing at this issue. And its amazing that its something that we take for granted, which at the end of the day, resumes us to become victims of consumer malpractice...

And I remember them paintbrushes. Damn, and they were so much softer to use...

Foxybabe :

Hey, thanks for dropping by! :) And yes, Walmart is amazing! It's like Disneyland or Mecca for consumer goods. And the goods are sooooo competitively priced, its amazing. Didn't I tell you its amazing? haahahah...

Kepala Angin:

I thought about that...the whole logo issue. To push for all consumer goods to bear the halal logo could push some to use pirated ones, which then doesn't help anybody at all. So, will it always be a double edged sword?

And wow, you still have the energy and the sight to read the ingredients of your bought goods. I applaud you!!! ;) As for me, left that old and tiring habit the moment I stepped onto KLIA...hahahaha

5:51 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

Lissa Karina Lee Abdullah :

I totally agree on you with this. I am a type of consumer that would like to put much faith onto the people that provides me goods: that they are safe to consume, rightly priced, say what it is, and (as in a Muslim's case) halal or not.

And I don't think that Colgate is an issue. Or Pringles. There must be some Muslims in Procter and Gamble or ColgatePalmolive. I put much faith in them that they provide me "good" goods...

But my friend investigated with these conglomorates and asked why their products don't bear the halal logo, just to provide confidence. And till today, he hasn't receive a straight answer...

the babe :

Yeah, the technicalities behind what is 100% authentic halal product is amazing. I remembered that when I was in the States, a few of my Muslim brothers said I should not eat at Wendys (a fast food joint) because they serve pork. But I was like "I'm only eating their salad?". They were like, "No, you can't..."

This whole technicality thing is so damn frustrating...so what I am trying to say is, in our country where the majority is Muslim, I would like to have this peace to eat at any place I desire...

pojan :

and yes, what is JAKIM doing about this issue? I've read in several articles that many foreign countries, such as France and China, wanting to use Malaysia as an example in promoting halal goods. But if our supermarkets doesn't reflect this merit, its incredibly sad that our nation is promoting false claims...

I believe that we can do it. But I guess we are not doing enough...

6:07 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

Frakensteina :

Argh, the frustration! I mean, I have nothing against shops selling pig-skin lined goods. Our nation is indeed multiracial and multi-religious, so those goods are catered to the non-muslims. But when they fail to notify, its so damn unethical. Consumers have the right to know, and if we had strong consumer laws, you could have sued that shop's ass off...

Random Girl :

Hhahahah...poor your ex! yeah, i bet he has good intentions, but boar fur? No offense to some people, but Ewwwwwwww...

Elina :

Hey, welcome back!!! Having a great summer huh? :))

Anyway, exactly what other halal/haram issues that are greatly overlooked? In my humble opinion, I believe that consumer goods is essentially the first halal/haram issue that should be emphasized and taken very seriously.

Eradicate the religious elements, and it is clear that it boils down to a simple consumer rights issue.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

thingsabouttogetvaryinterestinghear:

I think my friend meant that the placement of non-halal goods next to halal goods is the issue. There is no object in having these supermarkets selling non-halal goods, but it is best that they seperate the halal ones from the nons. It's for identification purposes...

I guess you are one of the better and smarter consumers who read before purchasing. Unfortunately, many simply put faith in the supermarket and just purchase without much thought. And even if it reads 'Chicken Soup' from an imported brand, it does not guarantee its halal. The chicken for instance might not be slaughtered the right way...

dade ghost :

I am the wrong person to refer to with this issue. But its clear that many Muslims still do not fully understand the guidelines for what constitutes as halal. In that case, how can we blame the non-muslims for not understanding?

Shit, the more I think about it, the more frustrated I become. I think I am going to strangle my friend for this...hahahaahah!!!

6:34 PM  
Blogger KaiserSoze said...

You know what, you're right roadie. I wrote to carrefour a few years back when they mixed non-halal snacks with the halal ones...like beef flavoured tortilla from mexico next to your mamee for instance. They sent me a letter of apology for their oversight (and RM 100 voucher for highlighting it to them), the next time I went to carrefour they did rearrange the stuff, but am not sure how things are now as I rarely shop there anymore..

8:15 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

Kaisersoze :

Oh wow, congrats! Your letter sure did make quite the difference, and I bet the other shoppers would appreciate it.

Btw, the name's Muddy. Roadie's on the pink blog. hahahaha...;P

8:58 PM  
Blogger Pantani's 2nd Cousin said...

A group of malay guys in a pub in Subang Taipan during happy hour.

'i'm hungry. lets order some chicken wings'
'err.. cannot lah. it is not halal'

9:48 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

Theroadie :

Hahahaha...so that's where you go for happy hours? Orang subang, I see. hehehe...

2:01 AM  
Blogger chick arse said...

reminds me of an incident when me n mah gurls went window shopping in Sgpore,we went into an All-girls accesories shop and tried on some hairpieces.There were tons of really kewl wigs, from marilyn monroe to Cher,and we were busr trying them on (cos apparently they allowed this unlike some other places)...and well.. apparently,(i furgot how) my frend found out later that the hairpiece's insides were actually pig skin!most of them were at least...jeepers!how in d world do u samak ur head?

2:41 AM  
Blogger lissa said...

easy peasy mah...
have a mud bath.. chich arse...
settle

heeheh..i'm not helping by commenting, am i...

3:35 AM  
Blogger Elina said...

People worry about consumer products to the E-th component but when it comes to the 5 main pillars of Islam or the other big harams, not everyone is as fastidious. That's what I meant by big halal/haram issues.

6:40 AM  
Blogger aeyya said...

you have Yahoo Messanger??and you never chat wimme??how dare u amad!!

ahaks back to this Halal issue..
wat i can comment bout this very sensitive issue?lemme see!!since im here in UK,this thing had been the major prob...but to think back Islam alwiz give the Umat simple ways as it never will Force us.So take the moderate way...as for ma concern if ppl claims "THIS IS HALAL" and if its not,i wont get the DOSA coz i am aware of the Halal thing but othr ppl take advantage. How far u'r sure that the ayam&meat sell in Msia market is 100% Halal??

7:40 AM  
Blogger KaiserSoze said...

oppsss..I did write roadie..sorry mudster dude..thousand apologies ;)

5:29 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

Chick Arse :

Huhuhuhu...never knew that wigs would be an issue! But, hmmmm...good question. Are there any mud-based shampoo in the market? A friend of mine resorted to using her face mask (made of china clay or something like that) to samak. She justified it is made of mud, so why not? hehehehe...

lissa karina :

Woohoo, mud bath! I have never understood the concept, but would really like to give it a try. Thought about dumping sand into my bath tub to try, but then again, that would just be a tad messy, wouldn't it? ;P

Elmo :

Wow, you are right. The five pillars of Islam must remain the focus of a muslim's life, but some only see the roof and not the foundation. Wow, I sound so serious...hehehehe

7:42 PM  
Blogger Muddy said...

Aeyya :

Hey, miss you like crazy babe! Like craaaazzzzyyyyyy!!!

Anyway, you are right. How certain are we that everything we eat or touch is halal? All we can do is to have faith, because the dosa is carried by the deceiver, not by us...

Kaisersoze aka Sifu :

Sifu, it's ok. You're working/studying too hard. I understand...huhuhuhu...:)

7:45 PM  
Blogger random-girl said...

elina makes a good point. as theroadie also points out (drinking beer tapi ayam halal tak makan) there are bigger issues that a muslim should pay more attention to. the only thing worse than a bad muslim is a hypocritical muslim right?

but i agree too with muddy that this particular issue boils down to consumer rights. how an individual decides his practice of religion, whether it turns out hypocritical or sincere, is between himself and God. No supermarket or halal label is going to judge you for that.

as far as the supermarkets are concerned, if the demand is to clearly label and separate the non-halal items, then they should do it. just like if more and more people carry credit cards, supermarkets then accept credit cards. business is business - cater to meet demand or lose out to some competition that acts quicker than you.

whether or not we agree with these people on their sincerity of their practice of religion is insignificant.

the only big issue i see here is respect. and when i say respect, i don't just mean other people respecting those who choose to be very careful about the halal items he consumes. i also expect these very people to also respect the choices of those who choose to not concern themselves with such details in their practice of religion too.

9:18 PM  
Blogger random-girl said...

oh man i'm sorry. i'm rambling. did i make any sense?

9:21 PM  
Blogger kepala_angin said...

in my opinion, nothing should be considered as too small of an issue when you talk about being a practising muslim. it is the small-small things that will make up the big things.

If our foundation is not solid how can we uphold the pillars?

2:21 AM  
Blogger Elina said...

Well said, Random-girl!

Kepala-angin: Depends on what you consider to be the foundation. If 'small-small things' consist of a woman wearing the tudung but who doesn't really keep to praying 5 times a day, how important is the former relative to the latter?

7:10 AM  
Blogger Muddy said...

Random-girl :

Woohoo, you sure did get it off your chest! But yeah, totally agree with you. It boils down completely to respect, and how people should respect how people live...and eat.

Kepala Angin :

Even the tiniest seed grows into the tallest trees...

Elina :

Aiyo, the tudong issue is whole another topic which can cause a whole new debate here...heheheh...but yeah, good point there. :)

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tips of the day:
at Giant look for halal logo..
at Wal-Mart look for vegitarian-safe foods..

4:18 AM  

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