News / Asia

Indonesia Tests Cadbury Products After Malaysia Halal Uproar

Bazeer Ahmed, a member of Malaysian Muslim Wholesalers and Retailers Association (MAWAR), a non-governmental organization, speaks to journalists during news conference on stopping the supply of Cadbury chocolate products to retail shops in Kuala Lumpur, May 29, 2014.
Bazeer Ahmed, a member of Malaysian Muslim Wholesalers and Retailers Association (MAWAR), a non-governmental organization, speaks to journalists during news conference on stopping the supply of Cadbury chocolate products to retail shops in Kuala Lumpur, May 29, 2014.
Reuters
Indonesian authorities said on Friday they were testing products made by British confectioner Cadbury to check if they complied with Islamic standards after two chocolate varieties in neighboring Malaysia were found to be contaminated with pork DNA.
 
The scandal over the ingredient banned under Islamic dietary laws has sparked outrage among some Muslim groups in Malaysia, who have called for a boycott on all products made by Cadbury and its parent Mondelez International Inc.
 
Concerns over halal food standards could jeopardize Mondelez's sales in Muslim markets that are larger than Malaysia, such as Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim population, and the Middle East.
 
“After such an incident, it is prudent to do a test on the other variants to see if they also have traces of the pig DNA. We may have the result in a few days,” Roy Alexander Sparingga, head of Indonesia's Food and Drug Monitoring Agency, told Reuters.
 
Sparingga said the tests would be done on the 10 varieties of Cadbury products that are certified in Indonesia as halal - or permissible according to Islamic law. Those products did not include the two types of Dairy Milk chocolate that Cadbury Malaysia recalled this week after finding pork traces.
 
Malaysian Islamic authorities tried to cool anger against Cadbury by saying it remained unclear if the contamination was the company's fault.
 
“People need to understand that we can't immediately take action against Cadbury when there's no solid evidence yet or if contamination occurred in the factory itself or if it was external factors,” said Othman Mustapha, the director general of Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development, or JAKIM.
 
“What's happening to Cadbury now is akin to a person who's remanded and placed in lockup. They have not been found guilty so this is just a suspension,” he added.
 
JAKIM, which is responsible for awarding halal certification in Malaysia, is conducting further tests on the suspect Cadbury products to confirm the initial findings by the health ministry.
 
Malaysia authorities dampen concerns

Cadbury Malaysia said in a statement that 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.
 
Products in Muslim nations are regularly checked to ensure they are halal. Besides pork, items considered non-halal by Muslims include alcohol and the meat of animals and birds that have not been slaughtered according to Islamic rites.
 
Non-halal food scandals have erupted in Southeast Asia before. In 2001, Japanese food giant Ajinomoto Co Inc  became embroiled in a similar case after the Indonesian Council of Ulemas, the highest Islamic authority, accused the company of using pig enzymes in the production process of the widely used seasoning monosodium glutamate.
 
The then Indonesian president stepped in to try to defuse the row which had hit the company's share price. Ajinomoto's local company subsequently publicly apologized and withdrew some products from the Indonesian market.
 
On Thursday, a Malaysian Muslim retail group said it would ask the 800 stores it represents to stop selling all products made by Cadbury, Mondelez and U.S. food giant Kraft, which acquired Cadbury in 2010 in a $19-billion deal. Together with a Muslim consumer group, it called on Malaysians to boycott all those companies' products.
 
Mondelez is the name of what remains of Kraft Foods Inc after it spun off its North American grocery business as Kraft Foods Group. Its brands include Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers.
 
Malaysia's National Fatwa Council, which issues official guidance on Islamic issues, said on Friday it supported the withholding of halal status on the two Cadbury products but that the company should not be punished unless the breach was proven to be intentional.
 
“The authorities need to do their investigation to see if the accusations are valid, and to see where the pollution happened, whether it was deliberate or accidental,” Abdul Shukor Husin, the council's committee chairman, told Reuters.
 
“Muslim people who had consumed the product that had been certified halal but contained pig DNA should not worry about the purity of their bodies. Islam is not a rigid religion.”

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid