(Adds comment from consumer group, background)
By Trinna Leong
KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 New tests conducted by
Malaysian authorities found that chocolate bars made by British
confectioner Cadbury do not contain pig DNA, contrary to a
previous finding, the country's Islamic affairs agency said on
Cadbury withdrew two varieties of its chocolate snacks from
sale in Muslim-majority Malaysia last week after government
tests found traces of pork in them, leading some Islamic groups
to call for a boycott on all of its products.
Malaysia's Islamic Development Department (Jakim) said none
of the 11 samples it tested of Cadbury's Dairy Milk Hazelnut,
Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond and other products from the
company's factory had shown positive results for porcine DNA.
Jakim said in a statement that Cadbury's halal certification
for the two products would remain suspended pending further
tests and investigations of its supply chain.
Jakim is the only body in Malaysia tasked with ensuring
products are halal, or permissible by Islamic law. The previous
tests were conducted in February by the country's health
ministry on products taken from store shelves.
Jakim had said those tests might not have been fair to
Cadbury since the products could have been contaminated after
leaving the factory.
Cadbury Malaysia, whose parent firm is Mondelez
International Inc, has stood by its products' halal
worthiness and assured the public it was working with
authorities to resolve the matter.
A Muslim consumer group that last week called on Malaysians
to boycott Mondelez products said on Monday it would not reverse
its stance unless the health ministry concurs with the new
results released by Jakim.
"There are still a lot of question marks there," said Sheikh
Abdul Kareem Khadaied, the head of research with the Muslim
Consumers Association Malaysia.
An official at the health ministry told Reuters that it "has
handed the entire issue over to the Islamic agency".
Following last week's announcement that the chocolate bars
tested positive for the non-halal ingredient, fellow Muslim
countries Indonesia and Saudi Arabia said they were also
carrying out tests on Cadbury products.
Concerns over halal food standards could jeopardise
Mondelez's sales in Muslim markets that are larger than
Malaysia, such as Indonesia, home to the world's largest Muslim
population, and in the Middle East.
(Reporting by Trinna Leong; Editing by Stuart Grudgings and