Cadbury Malaysia strongly welcomes the statement from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) (published on 18th November) confirming Cadbury chocolates made and sold in Malaysia are halal.
A little history lesson for those of you who missed out on all the Cadbury Malaysia drama – in May this year, the Health Ministry “announced” that it detected pig DNA in samples taken from Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Dairy Milk Roast Almond products already out in the market, sparking an uproar among Muslim groups:
However, JAKIM quickly swopped in with an analysis by the Chemistry Department of samples of the 2 products taken directly from Cadbury’s factory that showed no traces of porcine contamination.
Timeline as follows:
- 23 May 2014: Social media posts reveal a leaked report that claims two variants of Cadbury chocolates tested by the Ministry of Health (MOH) contained traces of porcine DNA. The unverified report had neither been authorized by JAKIM nor officially released by MOH.
- 24 May 2014: While investigating the claims, Cadbury Malaysia voluntarily initiated a nationwide recall of affected batches to reassure consumers. In line with standard procedure, JAKIM temporarily suspended the Halal license of the two products in question.
- 26 May 2014: JAKIM sent product samples and raw materials from processing line where the impacted products were made to the Department of Chemistry laboratory for testing. Within 7 days, the official test results were released and conclusively stated the products had no traces of porcine DNA.
- 3 June 2014: JAKIM made an official announcement to the public verifying that the two products in question had no traces of porcine DNA and presented a thorough report to the Malaysian Halal Certification Panel Meeting.
- 6 June 2014: JAKIM reinstates Cadbury Malaysia’s halal certificates, less than 10 days after the unverified report.
The Cadbury chocolate variants that were affected by the claim were the Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut (with batch number 200813M01H I2 that expires on November 13, 2014) and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond (with batch number 221013N01R I1 that expires on January 15, 2015).
Needless to say, the “finding” caused an uproar as more than 20 Malay-Muslim groups called for a nationwide boycott on all Cadbury products, saying that a holy war needs to be waged against the confectionary giant for allegedly attempting to “weaken” Muslims in Malaysia.
However, as mentioned above, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) has now officially confirmed that Cadbury chocolates made and sold in Malaysia are halal.
Upon the announcement, Head of Corporate and Government Affairs of Cadbury Malaysia Raja Zalina Raja Safran (pictured above) said:
We are extremely pleased JAKIM has, once again, stated categorically that Cadbury products made and sold in Malaysia meet with their Halal guidelines. After months of speculation, we hope this clear statement will remove any remaining confusion about the halal status of Cadbury in Malaysia, leaving consumers free to enjoy our delicious treats once again.
The Cadbury products we make and sell in Malaysia are, and have always been, halal. When the false claims about our chocolates emerged in May, the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia thoroughly tested our products and production processes and confirmed our stringent hygiene, quality and safety standards are in full compliance with JAKIM’s halal guidelines.ADVERTISEMENT
Despite this, unfounded allegations continue to circulate in media and online. We believe Malaysian consumers deserve better. They are entitled to honesty about the ingredients in the food they feed their families and friends and we will take strong action against any individual or organisation that spreads misinformation about our products and disrespects the millions of Malaysians who love our brands.
During our 40 year history in Malaysia, we have built our reputation for providing Malaysian consumers with delicious, high quality products they can trust and enjoy. We understand and respect the importance of ensuring the cultural and religious interests of all Malaysians are met. Hence, we have never compromised the integrity on the halal status of our products.
To avoid such mistakes from happening in the future, JAKIM has developed a standard operating procedure in alignment with other government agencies including the Ministry of Health. A strengthened network for reporting will ensure that all matters relating to halal compliances are only conducted by JAKIM.
To avoid any confusion related to the issue of halal, all parties are urged to refer to JAKIM’s official website http://www.islam.gov.my or the Halal Hub Division website at http://www.halal.gov.my and not refer to any invalid source. Inquiries regarding the halal status of any product can be directed to the Halal Hub Division, JAKIM at 03-8315 0200.