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False Warning - Red Dot Inside a Red Square On Chocolate Bars Indicates That Product Contains A Pork Derivative

Outline
Message warns Muslims that the presence of a symbol comprising a red dot inside a red square on the packaging of some chocolate bars indicates that the product contains gelatin derived from pork.



Brief Analysis
The information in the message is incorrect. The symbol, included on some Mars chocolate products, indicates that the product may contain egg. It does NOT indicate that the product contains gelatin. Mars has denied the claims in the "warning" and states that its products do not contain pork or pork derivatives.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated: 7th November 2011
First published: 7th November 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Red Dot in Red Square Muslim Warning

A MESSAGE TO ALL MUSLIMS

This is an important information for all Muslims!

Be aware of the Red dot inside a red square symbol which shown on chocolate bars like : Bounty Chocolate bar / Mars/ sneakers ... it's shown specifically at the back beside the weight numbers. That mark means that these products contains gelatin which is derived from PORK!!

They put that mark to warn vegetarian people that the chocolate bar have non-vegetarian contents/ingredients in it.
PLZ share this info with all your friends and remember that "The One Who Guides Others to Good Deeds is Like the One Who Does Them




Detailed Analysis
According to this would-be warning message, it is important that Muslim recipients should watch for a symbol on the packaging of certain chocolate bars that consists of a red circle contained with a red square. The message claims that this symbol indicates that the product contains a pork derivative in the form of gelatin. A Muslim who ate such a product could therefore be inadvertently breaking Islamic dietary laws. The message is circulating via social media, blogs, forums and email.

However, Muslim recipients need not be concerned because the warning contains false information. The symbol does not indicate the inclusion of a pork derivative. In fact, the symbol's purpose is to let vegetarian consumers know that the product may contain egg. To alleviate the concerns of Muslim consumers, Mars has published the following statement on its website:
Statement on “red dot” label on Mars chocolate products in Egypt

Mars products always comply to the legal and cultural norms of all the markets it does business in. Mars products, including Snickers, Bounty and Mars bars do not contain pork nor pork derivatives. Mars products are exported to a number of markets, of which India is one; the red dot that may appear on some of our packaging is a legal requirement for the Indian Market. It indicates that the product may contain egg, which is not suitable for some vegetarians in India. Still, to further clarify the matter, we are currently completing the process of separating the packaging for the two markets which will minimize future misunderstanding.
It is unclear if the person who created and launched this bogus warning did so because of a genuine misunderstanding about the meaning of the symbol or if the message represents a deliberate and wilful attempt to spread misinformation. Either way, the message should not be reposted.

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References
Mars Egypt Statement on Red Dot Label

Last updated: 7th November 2011
First published: 7th November 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer