Maqasid Shariah in Modern Biotechnology concerning Food Products

By Kashim, Mohd Izhar Ariff Mohd; Husni, Ahmad Muhammad | International Journal of Islamic Thought, December 2017 | Go to article overview

Maqasid Shariah in Modern Biotechnology concerning Food Products


Kashim, Mohd Izhar Ariff Mohd, Husni, Ahmad Muhammad, International Journal of Islamic Thought


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Foods is the most important requirement for humankind on earth. Therefore, people are willing to do different types of efforts to find good sources of food for their families. Individual and family efforts began to be forgotten when human civilizations developed. A wide range of modern technologies in the production and supply of food products that are more efficient already exists. Modern biotechnology is amongst the technologies currently being developed around the world.

United Nations (UN) have agreed to create a new definition more clearly in relation to the word 'biotechnology' in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). They define biotechnology as an attempt to use variety of technologies on biological systems or living organisms for specific use. This definition adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) (Macer 2003).

History has shown that biotechnology has been adopted by previous civilizations likewisethe time of Prophet Muhammad. This is because the production of alcohol, vinegar, bread, cheese, yogurt, and so on are part of the classical or traditional biotechnology processes (Fari & Kralovanszky 2006).

Modern biotechnology is a process involving molecular processes, genomic, genetic modification, DNA, breeding using molecular markers, cloning, bioprocessing, cell reproduction, and so on. Products producedby using modern biotechnology or genetic engineering process known as Living Modified Organism (LMO) means Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). Cartagena Protocol clarifies that (LMO) products has been defined as a living organism that has a new combination of genetic material. It is obtained through modern biotechnology methods which did not exist in earlier times. Products produced by this method will be called as genetically modified foods, better known as Genetic Modified Food (GMF) like GM soy and transgenic tomatoes (Convention on Biological Diversity 2010).

A study has been conducted by economic experts shown that the development of modern biotechnology is able to drive the developing countries by 2020. This is because there are numerous benefits and positive impact on the economy to a country. There is also positive impact on other aspects such as maintaining food quality and safety, increase quality of life and human health. Furthermore, when this field is able to reduce a country's dependence on supplies of fossil fuels and overcome the problem of environmental pollution at once. From the outcome of positive achievements in the field of biotechnology to the country, the government, under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has established an agency called BiotechCorp to ensure the biotechnology industry in the country develop in well planned and orderly. These agencies are the property of the Ministry of Finance, which is reported to have helped the development of biotechnology in Malaysia. Among the results were in 2010, not less than one hundred and fifty local biotechnology companies with BioNexus status has been established. Each company was able to generate transactions worth more than RM500 million, either at national or at international level (Lokman, 2010). It is more proudly when over a third of companies BioNexus since 2008 is comprised of companies that focus on the areas of medical and health biotechnology (BiotechCorp 2009).

Based on these studies, it can be described that the field is very helpful to improve productivity and the country's economy in various sectors such as agriculture, medicine, food industry, farming and many more. Therefore, Malaysia among the countries which so vigorously in expanding the field of modern biotechnology to get in line with the establishment of the National Biotechnology Policy, which was introduced in 2005. However, as a first step, the government is more focused in the field of agricultural biotechnology in line with the National Agricultural Policy since 1984. …

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