A Malay group called Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) said it plans to sue Cadbury Confectionery Malaysia following reports that two of its products contained traces of pig DNA.
JMM president Azwanddin Hamzah accused Cadbury of misleading Muslims by producing products with porcine DNA. Cadbury's biggest consumer, he said, are from Muslims and Malays.
"This is a malicious lie and has to be contained. Among the Muslims, this is a great insult... such products should not be produced at all," he said at a press conference today.
Tests conducted by the Health Ministry on two chocolate products, Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut, with batch number 200813M01H I2 that expires on November 13, 2014, and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond, with batch number 221013N01R I1, that expires on January 15, 2015, had found pig DNA in them.
Following this, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) immediately suspended the products' halal certification, while Cadbury said it would recall them from stores.
Azwanddin said he was extremely upset with the incident as he had brought home the affected chocolates and his children have eaten it.
He said JMM would partner with legal aide group Sukaguam to proceed with their legal action against the confectionary giant.
"We have received 700 emails from people stating their support for us to take legal action against Cadbury.
"We also received complaints from more than 50 individuals with receipts and other proof that they have bought the two products that allegedly contained porcine DNA," he said.
He said JMM and Sukaguam are pursuing action under Section 50 of the Consumer Protection Act.
"We want to close down Cadbury if possible," he said.
He said it is not enough for the company to just apologise as such incidents had happened many times.
"They shoved pork in our mouths, and then apologise later. Cadbury has been in Malaysia for years. Why do they still not understand the sensitivities of the Muslim community?
"They have huge labs and yet, they keep giving the same excuses and just apologise. To me and other Muslims, this is not enough," he said.
He also announced a special team to provide free legal service to the Muslim community for compensation purposes.
"There are about 80 Muslim NGO teams waiting to sue Cadbury and seek an estimated RM100 million in damages," he said.
Azwanddin also trained his guns at both Jakim and the health ministry, saying that both entities should apologise for the delay in detecting the pig DNA in the two chocolate products.
He said JMM would submit memorandums to both agencies as a result of this incident.
"There may be some leakages in Jakim, I don't want to make any accusations but I encourage consumers to sue Jakim," he said. – May 26, 2014.