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Malaysia's pig DNA controversy spreads beyond Cadbury

The controversy in Malaysia over pig DNA found in halal-certified chocolate has spread beyond Cadbury to include Kraft products.

KUALA LUMPUR: The controversy in Malaysia over pig DNA found in halal-certified chocolate has spread beyond Cadbury.

Some 800 Muslim traders will now pull all products from the Kraft Foods stable -- of which Cadbury is one -- off their shelves.

The Malaysian Muslim Wholesellers and Retailers Association said the move is not just a fight for Muslims, but for all Malaysians.

In demand and certified halal, Cadbury products have long been favourites of Muslim traders. But the relationship fast turned sour after traces of pig DNA were found in two batches of Cadbury's locally-produced chocolate.

"We are dumping Cadbury," said Sheikh Abd Kareem S Khadaied from the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia.

However, it is not just Cadbury that is being binned.

The Malaysian Muslim Wholesellers' and Retailers' Association has directed their 800 members to take all of Kraft Foods' other products off the shelves as well, which include household brands like Jacob's, Chipsmore, Oreo and Twisties.

Cadbury has already pulled the two contaminated batches of chocolate after the Health Ministry announced its pig DNA findings last week. But rumours of the tainted chocolate had been swirling on social media days before.

Muslim retailers are now calling on all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, to unite in a boycott of Cadbury and Kraft products.

"This is strictly within the Food Act and a violation of Food Act and a violation of trust of Malaysians. What about vegetarians eating Cadbury chocolates? They feel betrayed also," said Mr Kareem.

Bazeer Ahmed, advisor for the Malaysian Muslim Wholesellers and Retailers’ Association, said: "What Muslims are facing right now will also be faced by other communities in Malaysia."

However, some Malaysians feel a boycott of all Kraft products may be a little extreme as there was no proof of pig DNA in other Kraft products, suggesting that authorities carry out the necessary checks first.

Cadbury Malaysia says it is working closely with religious authorities to ensure all its products are compliant with halal guidelines.  

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