Muslim leaders are outraged after the Malaysian Ministry of Health confirmed on Monday that two of Cadbury Malaysia’s products tested positive for traces of pork DNA.
The traces were found during a periodic check for non-halal ingredients in food products by the Ministry of Health, which on Saturday said two of three samples of the company’s products contained pork traces, the Nikkei Asian Review website reported.
The two products, Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond were readily available in stores throughout the country.
Cadbury Malaysia, like most food makers in the country where Muslims make up more than 60 percent of the population, has all of its products certified halal to conform with the Islamic dietary laws, one of which is the prohibition of pork.
The company said it was undertaking a full review of its supply chain to ensure halal standards, according to the report, and the Malaysian government said it will conduct inspection of all Cadbury Malaysia’s products.
Cadbury Malaysia is a part of the British multinational company owned by Mondelez International, said it was withdrawing the Cadbury Dairy Milk hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk roast almond products.
“Ensuring that all our products made here in Malaysia are halal is something we take very seriously,” it said in a Facebook posting.
Anger among Muslims is mounting, with senior religious figures calling for a hefty fine, shutdown and even jihad against the Malaysian plant.
Shaykh Ismail Muhammad, the grand imam of the National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, was quoted by the Bernama news agency as saying tough action would serve as a lesson to other food producers to ensure their products were halal.
Nadzim Johan, president of the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia, called for all Cadbury’s factories to be shut down and for all Muslims nationwide to boycott their products.
The president of another Muslim rights group in Malaysia called for physical jihad against Cadbury’s for attempting to “weaken” Muslims in Malaysia.
Ustad Masridzi Sat said: “Because the person eats pork it is difficult to guide him to the right path. When the day of judgment comes, that person will be wearing a pig-face because of what he has eaten. We need to unite, we must declare jihad.”
Subramaniam said Cadbury was working with Islamic religious authorities by sharing samples to test for non-halal ingredients. “We want to know how the product became contaminated with pig DNA. The health ministry will also do additional tests,” he said.