Make halal certification for hotels mandatory

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) views with concern recent media reports that a majority of hotels in Malaysia still do not have halal certificates from the Department of Islamic Development, Malaysia or JAKIM.

A news report in a Malay daily yesterday (Aug 18, 2010) said the Ramadan buffet food served at 70% of the hotels in the Klang Valley are not halal, and in some instances, even alcohol is used in preparing the food.

After 37 years, cancer-causing agent still in food


rhodamineThe Ministry of Health is making a mockery of the Food Regulations as the use of Rhodamine B in food is still rampant in spite of it being banned.

CAP first detected the presence of Rhodamine B in belacan in 1973 and since then tests conducted in 1983, 1993, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2008 have still found this dye to be present in belacan and other foods.

Corporations rule our food rules: WHO/FAO Compromises International Food Standards


codexWho decides on what can be added to our food or what food is considered safe for consumption? Whether in Malaysia, China or Australia, Governments have to follow the Codex Alimentarius, rules set up by the WHO and FAO which are policed by the WTO (World Trade Organisation). This is supposed to facilitate free trade.

But the Codex Alimentarius which is supposed to protect consumers with safe food standards is unduly influenced by corporate interests — to the detriment of the health of consumers around the world.

CAP welcomes Polystyrene ban In Penang


altThe Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) welcomes the Penang State Government’s decision to enforce a ban on polystyrene starting 1st January, 2011.  The ban is expected to cover all food premises and temporary hawking sites owned by local councils in the State.

The ruling is indeed laudable because the biggest environmental health concern associated with polystyrene is the danger associated with styrene, the basic building block of polystyrene. Styrene is classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Horrors in our markets


bloody-rubbishThe Consumer’s Association of Penang (CAP) urges the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP) to immediately clean up and beautify all wet markets in Penang which are in deplorable conditions of filth and poor hygiene.

In a survey of wet markets carried out by CAP in Chowrasta, Central, Bayan Baru, Ayer Itam, Pulau Tikus, Jelutong, Riffle Range, Taman Tun Sardon, Padang Tembak and the old Jetty in Butterworth, it was found that cleanliness and hygiene was indeed a pertinent issue to be dealt with.