SHAH ALAM, 26 May: The Ministry of Health, Malaysia (MOH), should have immediately informed about detecting pig DNA in Cadbury products to the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) and the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) instead of waiting almost three months.
The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) Communications Director, Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman, said that the MOHA should have acted swiftly in immediately informing because the laboratory test was carried out on February 27.
He said that the MOH’s delayed action in informing about the matter violates sensitivity issues of Muslims involving the matters of halal and haram (sinful).
“We need to clarify why the MOH took a long time to publicise this. Consumers only found out after it was publicised on the internet and the mass media. Why has this issue been silenced?” he asked when contacted by Selangor Kini.
Yusof said that Jakim’s credibility has also been tarnished in this issue, further exposing the weaknesses of the parties involved.
“Previously, we were confident with the halal logo. Prior to this, we only felt safe and confident when a product had the halal logo. Whether we liked it or were forced, we had to believe in it.
“However, due to this, we will definitely doubt it. In Malaysia, many chocolate products are imported from foreign countries. So, we certainly need to be careful,” he said.
In relation to this, he said that Jakim should carry out investigations and comprehensive analysis in the matter to identify the exact cause.
“When this issue came up, there should have been thorough inspection of all products by the company.
“How can a product with pig DNA be released into the market? And does it stem from the factory process or ingredients supplied to Cadbury?” he asked.
He said that the responsible parties should assess the situation, like the KPDNKK which can take action against the product because Jakim can only withdraw the halal certificate.
In addition, Yusof advised consumers to stop buying Cadbury chocolate products although only two products were found to have pig DNA.
He said that this is because the halal status of all products from the company is being doubted and feared because the company produces many chocolate products.
“Jakim also needs to review all products by the company for fear that it is not halal,” he said.
Previously, the Ministry of Health revealed that two samples of Cadbury chocolate, the Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond, contained pig DNS (porcine).
As a result, Jakim immediately suspended the halal certification for the two Cadbury chocolate products found to contain the ingredient.