Jail, stiff fines for those found selling chocolates tainted with pig DNA, Consumer Affairs Ministry warns

Cadbury Malaysia has announced that it is proactively recalling the Hazelnut 175g (batch number 200813M01H I2 that expires on Nov 13, 2014). — Picture courtesy of Cadbury Malaysia
Cadbury Malaysia has announced that it is proactively recalling the Hazelnut 175g (batch number 200813M01H I2 that expires on Nov 13, 2014). — Picture courtesy of Cadbury Malaysia

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PUTRAJAYA, May 26 — Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism (KPDNKK) ministry today warned that operators of premises found selling the two Cadbury products which had been recalled two days ago, would face a fine of up to RM100,000 or three years’ jail, or both, if convicted, Bernama reported today.

Its enforcement director Mohd Roslan Mahayuddin said the sentences were provided under the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 and retailers, distributors or manufacturers are not exempt.

“For a corporation, they could face a maximum fine of RM250,000,” he said, as quoted by Bernama.

He also added that instruction had also been issued to all KPDNKK enforcement offices nationwide to monitor the sales of the two chocolate products, including in duty-free shops at airports.

“We have delegated the power to 212 Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and state Islamic religious departments’ (JAIN) officers nationwide to carry out the enforcement operation,” he said.

The Health Ministry will also conduct thorough analysis on all Cadbury Confectionery Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Cadbury) products soon to ensure that they are not contaminated by pig (porcine) DNA.

This followed the detection of porcine in the samples of Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut and Cadbury Dairy Milk Roast Almond in the recent analysis done by the ministry.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the results of the analysis, however, would only be known in the next several months because they would have to undergo several processes and procedures before the results could be finalised.

“At present, the ministry is investigating Cadbury under the Food Act 1983 and Food Regulations 1985 to ascertain whether Cadbury had with or without intention put the pig DNA in their dairy milk chocolate products,” he told a press conference here today.

Subramaniam also did not dismiss the possibility that the pig DNA found in the two samples was due to contamination along the production chain.         

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