The National Assembly committee was shocked when Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Mian Ijaz presented a list of 19 packed food items sold in Pakistan which included haram ingredients.

According to Mr. Ijaz, the ministry does not have the authority to prevent the sale of these items, which include two brands of Chicken Tonight (Holland), Bubblicious (UK), Picnic Chicken (USA), Slima Soup (UK), Knorr Chicken Soup (France), Chupa Bubble (Holland), Pascual Yogikids (Spain), three brands of Skittle Fruit (UK), Cup A Soup (UK), Tulip Chicken (Denmark), Rice Chicken Broccoli (USA), Pasta Chicken Broccoli (USA), Heinz Dinner Chicken (England), Jell-O (US), Pasta Creamy Chicken (US), and Pop Tarts (USA).

Items on this list are believed to include haram ingredients like wines, gelatin, E120 food coloring (made from animals) and doubtful food items, especially chicken, which may not have been slaughtered as is mandated by Islam. Some of the items on the list are there because it cannot be ascertained whether they are halal or not.

The recommendation put forth by the government official was the development of the Pakistan Halal Authority, which would regulate trade, imports and exports to prevent such a state of affairs.

A draft bill to the same effect has also been submitted to the cabinet and CCI (Council of Common Interests) and once it is approved, the ministry will have the mandate to prevent the sale of such food items in the country.

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