BANGI, Malaysia - No trace of porcine DNA has been found in two samples of Cadbury chocolates and they are therefore halal, the Malaysia Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has found.
Announcing this, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Dr Jamil Khir Baharom said the decision was based on tests carried out by a chemistry laboratory accredited under Jakim.
The chocolates involved in the tests were Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut (batch number 200813M01H I2) and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond (batch number 221013N01R I1).
Eleven samples that were brought in straight from the factory were tested.
"Based on the analysis, the lab has found no pig DNA in these samples," Dr Jamil Khir, who is in charge of religious affairs, said here yesterday.
On why the findings contradicted that of the Health Ministry's, he said the samples tested by the ministry did not come straight from the factory and there was bound to be room for contamination.
"Besides, the lab which carried out the test was not an accredited lab," he added.
He also said Jakim would review the halal suspension on Cadbury based on the new findings.
Last week, a Health Ministry statement said non-halal elements were found in the two varieties of Cadbury chocolates, triggering an outcry from Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
However, on Thursday, the National Fatwa Council announced that Cadbury products were still deemed halal.
Some NGO leaders had also declared jihad against Cadbury, claiming that the confectionary giant had betrayed Muslims.
Commenting on this, Dr Jamil Khir agreed that such action was justifiable if prohibited elements were found in the food that Muslims consumed.
"We would also encourage Muslims to take legal action against these products," he said, before adding that it was vital for them to verify the matter immediately.
"That is why once the lab tests were released, we felt compelled to inform the public as soon as possible," he said.
Dr Jamil Khir also said that they had nothing to hide as the matter involved the sensitivities of the people, especially Muslims.
Cadbury Confectionary Malaysia Sdn Bhd said it would release a statement once it received the official report from Jakim on the new findings.
For queries on the halal status of any product, the public can contact Jakim's Halal Hub at 03-8892-5048 (Nadia Zammil Md Nasir), 03-8892-5078 (Najibah Abdul Mutalib), 03-8892-5032 (Mazlina) and 03-8892-5031 (Fakaruddin) on weekdays from 10am to 4pm.