KUALA LUMPUR – Cadbury chocolates have been declared pork free by Malaysia’s top Islamic body after earlier tests suggested two types of chocolate bar contained pig DNA.
"There are still a lot of question marks there," Sheikh Abdul Kareem Khadaied, head of research with the Muslim Consumers Association Malaysia, told Reuters on Monday, June 3.
The announcement was made in a statement by Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development, or JAKIM, that they tested 11 samples of Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut, Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond and other products from the company's factory.
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Concept of Halal Meat
According to the new tests, none of these products tested positive for pork.
Controversy started when pig DNA traces were found in two chocolate products following tests conducted by the Health Ministry.
Reacting to the discovery, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) immediately suspended the products' halal certification, while Cadbury said it would recall them from stores.
Moreover, thirty non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have also urged the public to boycott all products made by Cadbury.
Despite of the new announcement, the Muslim consumer group that boycotted Mondelez products last week has said that it will not change its opinion unless the health ministry agrees with the findings of the new report released by JAKIM, which is responsible for awarding halal certification in Malaysia.
The Muslim consumer group has called earlier on Malaysians to boycott all those companies' products.
Cadbury Malaysia said in a statement it had withdrawn the two products as a precaution and that it had no reason to believe there was pork-related content in its other foods.
"We stand by our halal certification and we have the highest levels of product labeling standards," it said.
New Maldives Tests
The new announcement was made as Maldives declared that Cadbury chocolates are being tested to ensure the products do not contain pork DNA.
"Rumors have spread that pig DNA had been traced from two types of Cadbury chocolates, but it has not been confirmed yet,” the Maldives Food and Drug Authority's Sajida Mohamed told Haveeru on Monday.
“Islamic ministry of the Maldives is working with the Malaysian health ministry on investigations. We cannot make any decisions or statements on it before any official confirmations are made," Sajida added.
An official from the Islamic ministry also confirmed that the investigations are now going on in collaboration with the Malaysian authorities.
Cadbury products in Saudi Arabia and Indonesia are also currently being tested. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.
Islam considers pigs unclean because they are omnivorous, not discerning between meat or vegetation in their natural dietary habits unlike cows and sheep for instance, which eat only plants.
Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs and their meat filthy and unhealthy to eat.
The concept of halal, -- meaning permissible in Arabic -- has traditionally been applied to food.
Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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