A graphic is going viral across social media claiming that Cadbury's Oreo biscuit contains "fat and pork milk." Based on this claim, Muslims are being advised not to consume biscuits due to Islamic dietary practices.
The image shows an infographic with text that reads, "Share it for the sake of god. open your eyes to the moon and back. The company that officially announced that the Oreo biscuit is forbidden for Muslims because it is made from fat and pork milk. Share it so that your friends can be aware too."
The infographic is being shared widely across Facebook.
During the initial investigation, we observed the graphic and found a "Zamjan Realtor" mentioned at the bottom. We reached out to Zamjan Realtor through WhatsApp to verify the source origin. We received a response from a person named Syed Mukaram who said, "Asalam O Alaikum, We are not aware of that post. Someone used our number, email, and logo to spread it on social media; ignore that post and don't forward it."
As per the BBC, Halal is Arabic for permissible, and Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law and dietary prescriptions.
According to the JUHF's website, there are a few requirements for food items to be certified as halal. The product should not consist of or contain any part or matter of an animal prohibited by Islamic Sharia Law or which has not been slaughtered adhering to the same law.
We then looked at the FAQ page of Oreo's official United Kingdom website. The website noted, "Oreo biscuits produced in Europe are not Halal certified, but their composition or production process does not make them unsuitable for Muslim diet. The exceptions to this are Oreo Strawberry Cheesecake, Oreo Choc'o Brownie, Oreo Enrobed Milk & White, Oreo Cadbury Coated, and Oreo Crunchy Bites Dipped."
We also came across a tweet from the official Twitter handle of Oreo published on January 15, 2023. The company was replying to a user, @Shaziak97, who had asked whether Oreo is halal certified. The Twitter user further asked whether Oreo contains any fat from pigs in the USA.
"Halal Certification will depend on the country you live in. OREO cookies in the US and Canada are not Halal Certified. We always recommend checking the ingredients and the label to guarantee suitability for your diet," responded Oreo.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) directs the use of colored dots to identify whether the product is vegetarian, non-vegetarian, or contains eggs. In the case of vegetarian food, it also specifies using a green color-filled circle to indicate vegetarian products.
In our Fact Check, we also found a tweet posted on January 5, 2023, by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE) on this matter. The tweet said,
"It has been circulated recently that Oreo biscuits are not halal because they contain Pork and alcohol. We inform you that what has been circulated is incorrect for the following reasons:
• The ingredients of Oreo biscuits do not contain animal origins, such as grease and fat, and the food label can be viewed to verify the ingredients.
• Verification was carried out through laboratory examination, as the results showed that the product conformed to what was mentioned on the food label."
Fact-Checking website Alt News also spoke to a company expert who mentioned that all products manufactured by the company in India were of "vegetarian origin," confirmed by the green dot on the wrapper.
Our investigation shows that the infographic claiming that Oreo biscuits are 'haram' for Muslims because they are made of pork fat, and milk is misleading. The products produced in India by Mondelez India Foods Pvt Ltd, which owns the oreo brand, are of vegetarian origin, and the green dot on the package attests to that.
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