Malaysian Muslim Groups Call For ‘Jihad’ on Cadbury Amid Kraft Products Boycott
Muslim retail and consumer groups in Malaysia have called for boycotting all products made by British food group Cadbury and its US owner Kraft Foods Group after two chocolate products of Cadbury Malaysia were found to have contained pork DNA.
On 27 May, Cadbury Malaysia recalled two of its chocolate products – Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond – which were found to have traces of pork DNA.
In Malaysia, more than 60% of the population are Muslims who are prohibited to eat pork under Islam’s dietary restrictions.
Cadbury Malaysia is a part of Mondelez International Kraft acquired Cadbury in 2010 in a $19bn (£11.4bn, €13.9bn) deal, and subsequently spun off its North American grocery business as Kraft Foods Group. All other food brands that are not included in the spin off are owned by Mondelez.
Reuters reported that a Muslim retail group would ask the 800 stores it represents to stop selling all products made by Cadbury and Kraft.
“Although only two products were listed as contaminated, since the same mechanism is used to produce other products, doubt exists in our minds that all products could be exposed to the same contamination,” said Bazeer Ahmad, an advisor with the Malaysian Muslim Wholesalers and Retailers Association.”This will teach all companies in Malaysia to maintain and protect the sensitivities of Malaysians,” Reuters quoted as saying Sheikh Abdul Kareem Khadaied, the head of research with the Muslim Consumers Association Malaysia.
Other Muslim groups have declared “jihad” or holy war on Cadbury, following the revelations.
Cadbury Malaysia said it understands consumers’ distress and is undertaking a full review of its supply chain to ensure that its food products are meeting halal standards.
Meanwhile, the government said it will check all Cadbury Malaysia products thoroughly to ensure they are safe for Muslims to eat. The government body, Jakim, is in charge of halal certification in Malaysia. Jakim’s certification is widely recognized in Muslim communities around the world.