Even though it has been declared haram since it contains pork and is harmful to health since it contains formaldehyde, White Rabbit brand milk candy is still circulating in Indonesia. How do consumers respond to this?
Candy lovers know the White Rabbit brand milk candy. In the 2000s, this plastic-wrapped candy with a picture of a white rabbit was quite popular among young adults. Apart from its soft and sweet texture, it is said that this candy can also be eaten wrapped in the inner layer.
Later, the public was shocked after receiving information that the White Rabbit candy was not halal. This surprise was expressed, among other things, by a consumer via a Twitter account who wrote: “This milk candy has just been labeled non-halal, even though it has been popular since the 2000s,” the user wrote while uploading a photo of more than two packs of White Rabbit milk candy in the packaging says non-halal. “Why were they only given non-halal in 2020? Where did they go before?” wrote the Twitter account @tabooty, quoted by Suara.com.
After the White Rabbit candy milk photo with non-halal writing went viral, people discussed the issue and commented and protested via social media.
Protested in Malaysia and Brunei
Before many protests in Indonesia, strong reactions also came from consumers in Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam. In these neighboring countries, candy imported from China has also been declared haram since it contains pork. Consumers get angry with the spreading of information about whether the product is halal or not included on the packaging.
To quell public unrest, the Malaysian Ministry Representative, Fuziah Salleh, firmly stated that White Rabbit candy is haram. This statement was issued after the government carried out product sample testing at the National Chemical Laboratory at the request of the Malaysian Ministry of Religion.
As a result, they found pork protein content in White Rabbit candy products. The Institute for Islamic Progress (JAKIM) also tested and found traces of pig and cow DNA in the candy.
Apart from containing lard, candy from China has long been suspected of containing dangerous chemicals, namely formaldehyde. In fact, since 2007, the Jakarta Health Legal Aid Institute (LBH) has reported The National Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) to Polda Metro Jaya. LBH Health spokesperson Iskandar Sitorus accused BPOM of neglecting to monitor the distribution of White Rabbit milk candy containing formaldehyde so that the candy circulated widely to various regions. “White Rabbit candy has been circulating in Indonesia for 25 years. How come it is only now being mentioned that it contains formaldehyde? “This is negligence,” said Iskandar, as quoted by detik.com.
There are still many on the market.
Even though BPOM claims to have carried out a withdrawal, in reality, until now, many White Rabbit milk candy products are circulating on the market. On the online market platform, the milk candy is still offered openly and is sold in various packages, both small and large.
Responding to public concerns regarding the distribution of White Rabbit milk candy, which contains pork, the President Director of LPPOM MUI, Ir. Muti Arintawati, M.Si stated that LPPOM MUI has not inspected the candy product because there is no request from the manufacturer or distributor. “Because we haven’t registered halal certification with LPPOM MUI, we also can’t check the halalness of the product,” said Muti Arintawati.
Muti added considering that the White Rabbit milk candy product has been declared to contain pork, and the packaging has also been listed as a product containing pork. It is clear that this product is haram for consumption by Muslim consumers. “People must be more vigilant in choosing food and snacks for children. Make sure that the products served are guaranteed to be halal,” said Muti Arintawati. (***)