Sunday, October 5, 2008

The China Syndrome: Cadbury Hit By Bullet After All

We reported on September 30th that Cadbury appeared to have dodged a bullet. Readers may recall that the company withdrew from retail sale eleven products manufactured in its Beijing facility after preliminary tests indicated the possibility of melamine contamination. 

At the time, we praised Cadbury's ethical response to the preliminary test results, and also reported that Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety had not confirmed melamine in the chocolates. But that was then.

Sadly, Cadbury's sense of corporate responsibility has not been rewarded with a completely clean report. The Centre for Food Safety has detected melamine in two Cadbury chocolate samples. CFS has tested six other Cadbury products, with satisfactory results. The two melamine-positive items are:

  • Cadbury Dairy Milk Cookies Chocolate Bulk Pack (5 Kg); expiry date of November 2, 2009
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk Hazelnut Chocolate Bulk Pack (5 Kg); expiry date of January 23, 2010

The two items contained melamine at levels of 6.9 ppm and 56 ppm, respectively. They are among the eleven products identified in Cadbury's initial announcement of product withdrawals.

Chocolate products from the Beijing facility are distributed in the following countries. All of these products were withdrawn from sale by Cadbury at the end of September.

China, Taiwan and Hong Kong
  • Dark Chocettes 45g
  • Dark Chocettes Box 80g
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk 150g Pumpkin
  • Premium Dark Block 40g
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk 6g (5kg bulk)
  • 5kg Bulk Cadbury Dark Chocolate 6g (5kg bulk)
  • 5kg Bulk Cadbury Hazelnut Chocolate 6 g (5kg bulk)
  • 5 kg Bulk Cadbury Cookie Chocolate 6 g (5kg bulk)
  • Cadbury Hazelnut Praline Chocolate 321g (Yr08 Chinese New Year Gifting Item)
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk Gifting 300g (Yr08 Chinese New Year gifting item)
  • Cadbury Éclair 180g bag

Australia , Nauru, and Christmas Island
  • Cadbury Éclair 180g bag

According to Food Standards Australia, the Cadbury Eclairs will remain off the retail market pending the results of melamine tests being carried out by the Australian government.


  1. Current U.S. law does not require any U.S. plant using tainted Chinese ingredients to disclose where the contents came from, if the product is made in the U.S. or canada.
    The chances of cadbury or Hersheys or any one else not using the same inexpensive ingredients in the U.S. as they use else where are pretty slim.

  2. The Cadbury chocolates were manufactured in Beijing, China for distribution in that region.

    You are correct that there is no country-of-origin disclosure on ingredients in food products. Fortunately, there is a specific FDA and CFIA requirement that only domestic milk powders be used in infant formulas manufactured in the US and Canada, respectively.


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