1 – No delay: Indonesia will not be postponing compulsory halal label deadline
Indonesia’s compulsory halal certification and labelling will start on October 17 this year as planned, says officials, despite reports suggesting there could be delays
Head of Halal Product Assurance Agency (BPJPH), Sukoso, told Salaam Gateway that the reports were ‘misleading’.
The compulsory halal labelling law is part of Indonesia’s Islamic economy masterplan, which is scheduled to launch on March 26.
This plan will complement Indonesia’s 10-year Islamic finance masterplan, which was announced in 2016 to drive the growth of the country’s Shariah-compliant financial sector.
The goal, said Islamic financial education and research director Sutan Emir Hidayat, is for Indonesia to become a ‘prominent’ epicentre for the Islamic economy.
In order to achieve this, compulsory halal certification and labelling need to begin as scheduled.
2 – SenzaGen and CHNALT team up to introduce new animal-free testing method to China
Swedish company SenzaGen is collaborating with Guangzhou Chn-Alternative Biotechnology (CHNALT), to introduce its GARD genome-based animal-free testing method in the country.
According to SenzaGen, GARD can provide important safety information about the risk of chemical substances causing allergies in humans.
“To replace a test animal, which is clearly a complex system with blood and organs, you need a more holistic approach to model the entire allergic response within the body,” said Anki Malmborg Hager, CEO of SenzaGen.
A holistic view means looking at the entire human genome to see what reactions cause the allergy, Hager explained.
“In the case of skin sensitisation, we have identified that 200 relevant genes are used and because we are looking at so many parameters within the test, the results are very reliable. Looking at the whole human genome and combining it with the power of AI to train your method, is that it is much more accurate than animal testing,” Hager concluded.
3 – Health group calls for swift government action after discovering mercury-laden creams for sale in Manila
Philippine-based health group EcoWaste Coalition has urged authorities to impose a ban on cosmetic products containing mercury being sold in Quiapo, Manila.
The group claims it found six unregistered whitening creams with mercury concentrations that ranged from 1,246 to 24,100 parts per million (ppm) being sold for as little as P60 ($1.15).
The six products — Glow Glowing 5-in-1 Beauty Skin, Feique Herbal Extract Whitening Anti-Freckle Set, Goree Day & Night Whitening Cream, Collagen Plus Vit E Day & Night Cream Temulawak Day & Night Beauty Whitening Cream, and Erna Whitening Cream – were purchased by the group and screened for mercury using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device.
4 – FDA shuts down outlets peddling unregistered cosmetics in the Philippines
Two retail outlets have been shut down by the Food and Drug Administration for allegedly selling unregistered cosmetic products.
According to a statement, the outlets were owned by Misumi Direct Sales, a local cosmetics distribution company.
Two of its outlets in Antipolo City and Davao City were shuttered following a raid by the FDA.
The Davao City branch was shuttered after it failed to produce a valid license to operate (LTO) to the FDA.
It was also found to also be selling the unregistered skin whitening product, Bihaku Aha Blue Booster with Blueberry Fruit Extract.
The FDA seized P220,560 (US$4,226) worth of cosmetics from the Antipolo branch, including Bihaku Whitening Lotion with SPF60, Bihaku Aha Blue Booster with Blueberry Fruit Extract and Seoul Beauty Pore-Feet Powder Infuse with Snail SPF45.
5 – Indonesian authorities raid four illegal cosmetics factories in Jakarta
The Indonesia Food and Drug Monitoring Agency has raided four illegal cosmetics factories producing billions of rupiah worth of products in West Jakarta.
The investigative team secured evidence from the four locations that were estimated to have an economic value of over Rp30bn ($2.1m)
The Indonesia Food and Drug Monitoring Agency’s Civil Servant Investigator Team (BPOM PPNS) suspected the four locations to be the site production and distribution of cosmetics illegally.
The factories were located the Taman Surya housing complex, a Daan Mogot Baru shophouse, Citra Business Park and the Surya Molek Park complex. The individual who owned all four factories has since been detained.
Raw materials for cosmetics, packaging materials, finished cosmetics products, production equipment, vehicles and as well as documents, were among the confiscated materials.
According to the Jakarta Post, the BPOM confiscated over 600,000 cosmetic products such as soaps, lipsticks, powders, whitening creams and hair growth serums.