29 January 2021
1 On the 25th of January 2021, the Department of Syariah Affairs, Ministry of Religious Affairs (Brunei Darussalam) brought to Muis’ attention the discovery of porcine DNA in two (2) of Li Chuan Food Products Pte Ltd’s products – Li Chuan Fish Ball and Li Chuan Cuttlefish Ball - in random samples tested in Brunei. Li Chuan is a Muis Halal certificate holder.
2. Muis immediately launched an investigation into this matter. Muis officers conducted an inspection of the production plant and retrieved samples of affected products on 27th of January. The samples have been sent for testing in accredited laboratories. Muis will assess the appropriate follow ups once the investigations are completed.
3. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the company has agreed to Muis’ request to withdraw affected products from the Singapore market and halt overseas export of these products.
4. We understand that the discovery of traces of porcine DNA in the affected products was made during random DNA testing of products done as part of the Bruneian authorities’ routine testing. This practice differs from that of Muis for Halal certification, where our approach is to undertake random sampling of high-risk food products such as meat and meat-based processed items. Muis’ checks focus on the ingredients used, production and preparation processes, facilities and compliance records (e.g. invoices, recognised Halal certificates of ingredients used where applicable, etc.).
5. Presently, Muis does not adopt routine porcine DNA testing in its processes as we are of the view that DNA testing should be employed only when there is a robust understanding and framework developed, that is agreed upon by religious scholars and experts. Muis will continue to monitor the development of porcine DNA testing technology and assess whether it is necessary to include such testing as part of Singapore’s Halal certification process.
6. Muis notes that there are messages circulating on various social media platforms and networks regarding this matter. We urge members of the public to refrain from any further speculation until the investigation has been concluded.
7. Muis would like to reassure the community that it is fully committed to ensuring requirements for the dietary needs of the Muslim community continue to be met. Muis will update on the outcome of the investigation in due course.
MAJLIS UGAMA ISLAM SINGAPURA