1. The Issue
The United States exports cattle beef all over the world. With the global tendency toward the liberalization of trade, this US beef export will increase more and more. Today, like other countries, the Federation of Malaysia is one of the importers of the US beef. On the other hand, here are strong cultural factors affecting the beef trade between them, and they function as a kind of regulations against the tendency toward liberalization. This cultural factor is Islam and Islamic restrictions on food in Malaysia. The following will mainly mention official requirements for cattle beef trade between Malaysia and the US. At the same time, this case study will focus on the unique relation between the beef trade and Halal: Islamic restrictions on food.
In Islam, there are mainly two terms that mean Islamic prohibition or restriction on food: Haram and Halal. For example, Muslims are prohibited from consuming pork and alcohol because they are regarded as Najis (unclean) in Islamic thinking, and they are the examples of Haram. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) As another example, for Muslim consumers, beef and poultry products must be certified as Halal, and they must originate from slaughterhouse that follow Islamic slaughter practices. (Fleck, 1998) Therefore, the religious affiliations of the 20.7 million population have an important impact on food consumption in Malaysia because it is a quite multiracial nation. (Fleck, 1998) For example, the 60% of the population are the Malay, and they are mostly Muslims. The following will focus on the Halal beef trade between Malaysia and the United States. First, the concept of Halal will be introduced, which is including the Koranic source of Halal, the appropriate way of slaughter and the brief mention of Halal food market in the world. Then, mainly, the U.S. official requirements on the beef export into Malaysia will be described with Halal aspects. Finally, mainly, Malaysian official requirements on the beef import will be explained with Halal aspects.
In Islam, like prayer and other religious activities, eating is regarded as a matter of worship of God. Muslims eat to maintain good health in order to be able to contribute their knowledge and efforts for the welfare of society. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) Therefore, all foods are considered lawful unless the Koran or the Hadith (Islamic bible and textbook) prohibit specific products. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) As state above, according to the current Islamic thinking, some food such as pork and alcohol are completely prohibited consuming, and they are called Haram. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) On the other hand, Halal foods are those that
- "free from any component that Muslims are prohibited from consuming."
- "free from anything considered Najis (unclean) according to Shriah (law)."
- "processed or prepared with apparatus or equipment free from things considered Najis."
- "free from contamination while prepared or processed with anything considered Najis."
Specially, beef cattle and poultry should be slaughtered in an Islamic appropriate way, and Muslim consumers can have these products if some respectable authority stands behind the claims of these Halal products. (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
a. The Koranic source of Halal
Islam is not only a religion but also a way of life. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) Islamic rules and manners govern the individual Muslims, and they reflect Islamic ideas and values. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) Originally, the concept of Halal derives from the statements in the Koran and the Hadith. The Koran is the word of God, and the Hadith is the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. (Godlas, 1998) Muslims believe that God revealed the words to Muhammad over a twenty-two year period. (Godlas, 1998) It is said that the Prophet received the first revelation in 610 in the Cave of Hira at Mecca. (Godlas, 1998) On the other hand, based on what Muhammad said, several versions of the Hadith were compiled by several great Islamic scholars around 9-12c. (Godlas, 1998) From this information, the concept of Halal seemed to be systematized around 12c. while it has been mentioned since 7c. The following are some quotations about eating from the Koran.
- "O you people, eat of what is on earth lawful and good, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan, for he is to you an avowed enemy. 11:168" (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "Forbidden to you for food are: carrion, blood, the flesh of swine and that on which has been invoked the same of other than God, that which has been killed by strangling, by violent blow, by a headlong fall or by being gored to death; that which has been partly eaten by a wild animal unless you are able to slaughter it (in due form), that which is sacrificed on stone (alters); (forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety. This day have those who rejected faith given up all hope of your religion: So fear them not, but fear me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, God is indeed oft-forgiving most merciful. V: 4" (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "Why would you not eat of (meats) on which God's name has been pronounced when he has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you except under compulsion of necessity? But many do mislead (men) by their appetites unchecked by knowledge. Your lord knows best those who transgress. VI: 119" (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "But Say not for any false thing that your tongues may put forth: this is lawful and this is forbidden so as to ascribe false things to God. For those who ascribe false thing to God will never prosper. (in such falsehood) is but a paltry profit but they will have a most grievous penalty. XVI: 116,117. " (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
Pay attention to the first sentence of the second quotation from the Koran. It is clearly stated that pork is Najis: Haram. That is to say, pork cannot be Halal meat anyway. Moreover, the following sentences describe the prohibited ways to slaughter other animals. To put it the other way around, meat slaughtered by none of the ways described there can be Halal meat. As a whole, we see that the deep relations between the concept of Halal and the Koran.
b. Halal manner of slaughter
According to Islamic law, there are the conditions required for Halal slaughter of animals and birds. (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "The abattoir or factory and must be under the close and constant supervision of a Halal certifier." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "The premises, machinery and equipment must be cleansed according to Islamic Sharia (law) before any production takes place." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "The slaughterer must be a mature pious Muslim of sound mind who understands fully the fundamentals and conditions relating to Halal slaughter, and be approved by the religious authorities." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "Only acceptable live animals and birds can be slaughtered." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "The slaughter must be done manually using a stainless steel knife." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "Facilities must be available for rinsing the knife after each kill." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "The slaughterer must sever the respiratory tract, esophagus and jugular vein." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "The animal must be completely dead before skinning takes place." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
- "Only Halal animals and birds are Halal Slaughtered." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
As a whole, from these conditions, it is obvious that Halal manners are determined in fine details, and that the slaughterer has to be careful to clear all of Halal steps. It is true that some religions prohibit eating specific food such as beef in Hinduism. However, few religions mention the way of slaughter and preparation of food. From this standpoint, the concept of Halal in Islam is quite unique in the world.
c. Halal food market
Today, wherever there are Muslim consumers whose tastes and preferences are governed by Halal rules on food specification, Halal food market exists. In this market, the technique of processing and handling the ingredients is always approved by Islamic law. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) On average, the world's Halal food trade is estimated about US$150 billion per year. In other words, there are great economic opportunities in this Halal food market. (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
C. The US beef export into Malaysia with Halal requirements
Malaysia is one of the rapidly developing Southeast Asian countries. For example, Malaysia has had an average annual growth of more than 8 percent, and per capita income grew from $3,144 in 1992 to $4,600 in 1996. (Fleck, 1998) In other words, Malaysia is the very potential market for foreign developed countries. Although three-quarters of Malaysia's imports from the United States are bulk commodities, the US exports of consumer-oriented foods have exhibited rapid growth in the early 1990s. (Fleck, 1998) For example, the value of these exports has jumped from $53 million in 1991 to $105 million in 1996. (Fleck, 1998) According to the best sales prospects for food items from the United States, meat and preparations, such as beef, premium processed meats and frozen turkey are promising as well as fresh fruits and daily products. (Fleck, 1998) On the other hand, there are strict export requirements for Malaysia, and these requirements are deeply related to Malaysian Islamic nature and Halal. The following is the extract of the export requirements by United States Department of Agriculture. Note that the points related to this case study: beef export and Halal are only extracted for convenience.
EXPORT REQUIREMENTS for MALAYSIA by FSIS
(Food Safety and Inspection Service)
(Peninsular, East--which includes states of Sabah and Sarawak)
- a. Fresh/frozen beef, veal, and lamb/mutton carcass, primal cuts, as well as processed products from Malaysian- approved meat plants are eligible for export to Malaysia.
- b. Meat and meat byproducts, e.g., livers, spleens, hearts, brains and other edible parts are eligible for export provided Halal identity is maintained.
- c. Beef lungs are eligible to be exported provided.
Slaughter must be performed without stunning; however, use of mushroom stunning devices is acceptable provided the brain is not penetrated. (Animals will be rejected if brain is penetrated.)
A. Permit Requirements
Exporters must obtain a permit through the importer. The permit is issued by the Malaysian Department of Veterinary Services, permitting the importation of meat and meat byproducts and poultry and poultry byproducts into Malaysia. (It is not necessary for the USDA inspector to verify the permit.)
B. Certification Requirements
- 1. Obtain FSIS Form 9060-5. All FSIS Form 9060-5 certificates must:
- a. Be dated and have the signature and title of an FSIS veterinarian with degree and title (such as DVM or equivalent degree) printed or typed after the signature.
- b. Be accompanied by a veterinary certificate on USDA letterhead stating:
- (1) Foot-and-Mouth disease has not existed since 1929, and Rinderpest has never existed in the United States.
- (2) The meat covered by this certificate originated from animals slaughtered in Est. (This statement is required only for bovine and ovine meat and meat byproducts which require a Certificate of Islamic (Halal) Slaughter).
- (3) Swine Fever (hog cholera) has not existed in the United States since 1978 (this statement is required only for pork and pork products).
- 2. Correct production and expiration dates must be verified by inspection prior to certification.
C. Certificate of Islamic Slaughter
1. In addition to FSIS certification, the exporters must obtain a Certificate of Islamic (Halal) Slaughter from a member of an approved Islamic Center or Islamic Organization. A Certificate of Islamic Slaughter is a certificate issued by a member of a Moslem organization recognized by the importing country to provide this service; the certificate states that animals were slaughtered according to Moslem religious requirements. This certificate must accompany products labeled "Halal." The certificate must be endorsed by an approved Islamic Center.
2. Pork products do not require a Certificate of Islamic (Halal) Slaughter.
3. Poultry/poultry products may be imported without Halal certification, but may not be marketed as Halal.
Halal meat must be maintained separate and apart from non-Halal meat. Product shipped from a slaughter plant to a processing plant must be identified, segregated, and accompanied by an Islamic Slaughter (Halal) Certificate. Slaughter plant management furnishing Halal meat to processing plants have the responsibility of informing the plant recipients that the meat must be kept identified and segregated from non-Halal meat.
Plants Eligible to Export
1. All Federally inspected plants are eligible for export of pork and pork products.
2. Bovine, Ovine and poultry slaughter and processing plants must be approved for export to Malaysia. Requests for plant approval must be submitted to the FSIS Technical Service Center, Omaha Nebraska, (402) 221-7400. When there is sufficient U.S. industry interest, an inspection trip will be organized.
3. Malaysian religious authorities must conduct the original inspection and certification of the facility.
4. Routine follow-up inspections can be made by authorized Islamic authorities based in the U.S.
5. The current list of plants eligible to export to Malaysia is available in the Export Requirements Library which is published on the Internet, or contact FSIS Technical Service Center, Omaha, NE for further information or a printed copy.
As a whole, in addition to the general safety requirements, there are distinctive requirements for exporting to Malaysia. These distinctive requirements are observed in "Certification of Islamic Slaughter" in documentary requirements and "Other Requirements." They show Islamic strong impact in Malaysian society and economy. Therefore, it is obvious that the US meat export to Malaysia, usually beef export, is greatly affected and regulated by Malaysian cultural aspect: Islamic Halal concept.
D. Malaysian beef import regulations
At the same time of export requirements to Malaysia in the US, in Malaysia, the exported beef has to meet regulations of the import of beef cattle into Malaysia. The following is the copy of import regulations of beef cattle in Malaysia based on Animal Importation Order, 1962.
REGULATIONS for the IMPORTATION of ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS into PENINSULAR MALAYSIA
Bone meal/flour, meat meal, horn, hoof, feather or blood meal of bovine, caprine, ovine or avian origin
B Country of Export:
Animal feeding / Industrial use
D Regulations for Importation:
1 Veterinary Certificate
Each consignment of products shall be accompanied by a veterinary certificate dated within 14 days of import signed or endorsed by a Competent Veterinary Officer of the government veterinary authority of the country of export giving details of the consignment (consignor, consignee, quantity, type and origin of products) and certifying to the effect that
- 1.1 the country or part of country or state of origin was free from Foot-and-Mouth disease, Rinderpest, anthrax and bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the preceding 12 months prior to export
- 1.2 the products were derived from a farm that has been certified to be free from peste des petits ruminants and lumpy skin disease in the case of products originated from ruminants; and New Castle disease and Marek's disease in the case of products originated from poultry
- 1.3 the products were manufactured in a factory approved and registered by the authority of the country of export
- 1.4 the products referred in the certificate have been subjected to one of the following methods of sterilization (stating which method was adopted):
- subjection to a dry heat of 140 C for not less than three hours
- subjection to moist heat under steam pressure of not less than twenty pounds per square inch (1.4 kg per cm 2 ; 1.3 atmosphere) for fifteen minutes
- treatment of the bones, after they are broken with the vapor of benzoline boiling between 95 C and 115 C for not less than four hours, live steam to be there after admitted for one hour
- 1.5 after treatment that necessary precaution has been taken to prevent contamination with potential source of pathogens
- 1.6 the products were packed in the factory direct into sterilized bags
2 Other Condition
- 2.1 products of pigs/pork origin WILL NOT BE PERMITTED
- 2.2 every packing/bag shall be labeled as "contain no pig or pork products"
3 Import License
Each consignment shall be accompanied by a valid import license issued by the Director General or the State Director of the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia permitting the importation of such products into Malaysia
4 Import Fee
Import License = RM 3.00 per consignment
(Department of Veterinary Services, 1995)
Moreover, in the case of import of living cattle, based on Animal Importation Order, 1962, the following fees are payable for each consignment of cattle imported into Malaysia:
(i) Import license: RM 5 per head
(ii) Quarantine fee: RM 4 per head
(iii) Quarantine certificate: RM 2 per head
(Department of Veterinary Services, 1995)
As a whole, in addition to the general safety requirements, the distinctive requirements for importing are observed in Malaysian regulations. The example of distinctive requirements is the statements about absolute exclusion of pork, which shows Islamic strong impact on Malaysia. Moreover, anyhow, beef cattle exported by the US have to meet the several Halal requirements by FSIS. Therefore, it is obvious that Malaysian meat import and beef cattle importation are greatly affected and regulated by Malaysian cultural aspect: Islamic Halal concept.
To conclude, the beef cattle trade between Malaysia and the U.S. are deeply affected by Malaysian cultural factors: Islamic religious concepts of food. Due to this Halal concept, in the trade, Malaysia tends to require more than non-Islamic countries do, and the exporters into Malaysia must meet more requirements than the ones into non-Islamic countries. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture requires the exporters to get the certification of Islamic slaughter. Also, Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia requires the importers to make sure to exclude haram products such as pork. These extra requirements based on Halal concepts surely regulate the beef cattle trade between the Federation of Malaysia and the United States. Thus, in the case of the beef trade between Malaysia and the U.S., the strong cultural impact on the international trade is obvious.
3. Related Cases
All of these TED cases are about animal meat trades deeply affected by cultural factors.
4. Draft Author:
Shiwo Nagase, August 9, 1999
5. Discourse and Status:Discourse: AGR
6. Forum and Scope:Forum: Malaysia
7. Decision Breadth: 2 Countries: Malaysia and the USA
8. Legal Standing: Law
9. Geographic Locations
a. Geographic Domain: North America
b. Geographic Site: West North America
c. Geographic Impact: Malaysia
10. Sub-National Factors: No
11. Type of Habitat: TEMPERATE
12. Type of Measure: IMSTD
All of the details about import regulations are mentioned on the description. As stated in the description, basically, there is the import standard of beef trading in Malaysia.
Also, both the tariff and the import license are used to regulate imports, and they function as significant barriers to the US export.
13. Direct v. Indirect Impacts: IND
14. Relation of Trade Measure to Environmental Impact
a. Directly Related to Product: Yes/ Meat
b. Indirectly Related to Product: No
c. Not Related to Product: No
d. Related to Process: Yes/ Culture
15. Trade Product Identification: Meat
16. Economic Data
There is no specific data about Halal beef trading between Malaysia and the U.S. However, U.S. exports of consumer-oriented foods have exhibited strong growth in the early 1990s. The value of these exports has jumped from $53 million in 1991 to $105 million in 1996.
17. Impact of Trade Restriction: Big impact
18. Industry Sector: N/ FOOD
19. Exporters and Importers: Case Expoter: the USA
Case impoter: Malaysia
"Major competitors for the import market are Australia and New Zealand. Australia is the market leader in fruit and meat imports due to competitive prices, lower flight costs and shorter shipping times. New Zealand and Australia have taken the bulk of Malaysia's sizeable dairy import market for the same reasons." (Fleck)
"Both countries have also started to invest more time and money in market development activities. The Australian Horticultural Corporation has developed "Australia Fresh," a national umbrella brand for fresh Australian horticultural products, to promote sales in Asia. Australia's market development efforts have been aided by the ability to promote a fairly wide range of products, including chilled and processed meats, fresh fruits and vegetables and processed foods. The Australians have intensified their promotional efforts in
supermarkets, and they are advertising their products in local newspaper and regularly conduct food festivals at hotels and restaurants." (Fleck)
"South American countries such as Chile, Brazil and Argentina are making inroads into the market for fresh fruit and meat. The establishment of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and South Africa has stimulated imports of South African fresh and canned fruit." (Fleck)
20. Environmental Problem Type: Culture
21. Name, Type, and Diversity of Species
Name: Beef cattle
Type: Land mammal
22. Resource Impact and Effect:Impact: HIGH
23. Urgency and Lifetime:Urgency: Low
Lifetime of Species: About 4 years
24. Substitutes: LIKE
IMITATION PORK PRODUCTS:
"Bacon and ham are traditional products made from pork. As
such, they are clearly Haram. However, these products can also be
made from beef, veal and lamb products and are made to resemble
the original pork versions." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
"Vegetable protein (TVP) made from soy bean can be added as
partial replacement for meat. However, there is also available
burgers made from only TVP. Although TVP can be made from other
sources, it is more commonly made from soybean. This is
generally known as meat alternates. However, those which
completely replace meats are called meat analogues while those
which are used in combination with meat, they are called meat
extenders. Meat analogues can be made by three methods and in
almost all cases the starting material is soy protein in one form
or another. The first uses an extruder cooker, the second
requires the use of a spinneret and the third method is by the
fabrication of a soy protein lipid film." (El-Mouelhy,1995)
"Apart from the plain meat analogues, several products can also
be made from the meat analogue with the addition of color,
flavor, stabilizers and other ingredients with heat and pressure
applied to form the simulated meat. The mass formed can be cut
into slices, cubes, bits or granules and can be cooked, baked,
broiled or smoked to form products such as simulated minced beef
or chicken nuggets, even strip-like bacon! The last product is
made by laying randomly spun isolate fibers and binding together
with a binder. To simulate the appearance of bacon, alternate
layers of uncolored and red colored fibers are put together to
give the lean and fat look of a strip of bacon. After pressing
and heat setting, the product can be sliced like ordinary bacon." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
"In South East Asia they have their own versions of simulated
meat. However the starting materials are usually from soy
protein-lipid film they called "fucuk" and wheat
gluten. Starting from fucuk, several types of simulated meat can
be fabricated. In most cases, the process involves the addition
of color, spices and sugar in combination with heat Example of
these products include vegetarian duck, vegetarian chicken
drumstick and even salted fish. From wheat gluten, which is
obtained by thoroughly removing the starch by repeated washing,
simulated meat made include spiced meat." (El-Mouelhy, 1996)
25. Culture: Yes
Obviously, cultural factor is Islamic concept of Halal. In this case, Halal functions as the regulator of international trading. Most of the details about Halal are mentioned on the description. As a supplementation, in the world, Islamic Halal concept deeply takes root in the muslim society, and it is same among Islamic states because none of the general principle of faith can be changed. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) However, the legal application of Halal on international trading differs according to the circumstances of each Islamic state. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) For example, strictly speaking, Halal should be applied to both flesh meat and processed food as malaysia does. However, according to the document of FSIS, unlike Malaysia, some Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and Indonesia permit importing processed products without Halal certification. As a whole, although Halal concept is basically same among Islamic states, the legal application of Halal is different among them.
26. Trans-Boundary Issues:No
Halal can be human right problems because Muslims are sometimes forced to bend Islamic rules against his will. Here are two examples of the problem. First, in the case of non-Muslim countries with a few scattered Muslim communities, Muslims have difficulties in receiving Halal food products. In many cases, it is difficult for them to get Halal food through dealers because there are usually only the scattered small retailers. (El-Mouelhy, 1996)The labor cost is so high that the price of Halal food will become uncompetitive compared to the same product that lacks Halal attribute. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) Thus, in the non-Muslim countries, this distribution problem is very serious. (El-Mouelhy, 1996) Second, in the case of prisoners, they are supposed to eat Halal meat if they are Muslim. However, the government and the public cannot afford to prepare Halal meat only for them. Even in Muslim countries, it is sometimes difficult to provide Halal meat for Muslim prisoners. Thus, the prisoners cannot but eat non-Halal meat. As stated above, Muslims are not supposed to eat non-Halal products. Therefore, these situations are considered as one of the human right problems.
28. Relevant Literature