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Friday, May 30, 2014

Cadbury assures Muslims its products are free of pork-related ingredients

Cadbury Malaysia says although the company recalled its products voluntarily, it had no reason to believe that they contained pork-related ingredients. – May 30, 2014. Cadbury Malaysia says although the company recalled its products voluntarily, it had no reason to believe that they contained pork-related ingredients. – May 30, 2014.Cadbury Malaysia today assured Muslim consumers that there are no porcine or pork-related ingredients in its products.
Its assurance comes a day after the National Fatwa Council said that it would maintain the “halal” status of two Cadbury products which contained traces of pig DNA.
The decision, which was announced last night, meant that the chocolate was safe to be consumed by Muslims.
Corporate affairs head Raja Zalina Raja Safran said the company stood by its halal certification and also had the highest levels of product labelling standards.
Raja Zalina said the company was focused on resolving the concerns which had led to the recall of two batches of Cadbury dairy milk products in Malaysia.
"Although the company recalled the products voluntarily, but we have no reason to believe that there is any porcine or pork-related ingredient in our Cadbury chocolates," Raja Zalina said in a statement.
On May 23, Cadbury was informed by the Health Ministry that Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut 175g (with batch number 200813M01H I2 that expires on November 13, 2014) and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond 175g (with batch number 221013N01R I1 that expires on January 15, 2015) tested positive for traces of porcine DNA.
Following the ministry’s findings, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) suspended the halal certification for the two batches of products.
"Cadbury Malaysia is continuing consultation with Malaysian authorities while waiting for the analysis from the Health Ministry," Raja Zalina said.
"Jakim is conducting the analysis on the two affected products and the supply chain associated with the products."
She said Cadbury was also meeting with stakeholders and leaders in the Muslim community to reassure them of its commitment to making products that meet the needs of Malaysian consumers.
"We are encouraged by the positive actions of the National Fatwa Council who is working with consumers.
"The National Fatwa Council is helping to build an understanding that Cadbury products are suitable for consumption and maintain their halal status."
Yesterday the National Fatwa Council committee chairman Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Abdul Shukor Husin said it was included under “Umum al-Balwa”, meaning a rampant problem which was difficult to avoid, Bernama reported him as saying.
"In the case of ready-made products that had been marketed to consumers and produced through processes using clean and halal ingredients and had been confirmed as halal, but later found it had been contaminated with pig DNA in certain batches only, then the committee had decided that it was categorised as 'Umum al-Balwa'.
"The ruling on the product is referred to the original ruling, that is, halal for consumption because the contamination occurred beyond the scope of control and difficult to avoid," he said in a statement yesterday.
Shukor said Muslims who had consumed such chocolates need not have any doubt about the cleanliness of their body and need not cleanse their stomach, mouth or blood.
"Islam is not a religion that is too rigid and causes an inconvenience to its believers, especially in a situation that is beyond their knowledge or control,” Bernama reported him as saying.
The Cadbury scandal has made international headlines with Britain’s Daily Telegraph reporting that Muslim non-governmental organisations in Malaysia had declared jihad against the confectionery giant.
Last week, the Health Ministry revealed that traces of porcine DNA were found in samples taken from two of Cadbury Malaysia's products, the Cadbury dairy milk hazelnut and Cadbury dairy milk roast almond.
The Daily Telegraph quoted Selangor Perkasa chief Abu Bakar Yahya as saying Cadbury had betrayed Muslims in Malaysia.
"They put haram (prohibited) elements in the food we consume," Abu Bakar had told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia president Nadzim Johan had called for Cadbury's factories in the country to be shut down immediately.
"Malays and Muslims nationwide should boycott Cadbury products with immediate effect," the Daily Telegraph report quoted Nadzim as saying.

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