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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 23:29 PM | 09-08-2016

Indonesia bans Bikini snack

The controversially packaged Bikini snack, which has drawn public outrage over moral concerns, has been officially banned and ruled to be an illegal product because of its lack of distribution permit, an Indonesian official has confirmed.

Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) had conducted an investigation into the snack, called Bikini from Bihun Kekinian or trendy rice noodles, which was sold online, over the impropriety of its labeling, The Jakarta Post reported on Tuesday (Aug 9, 2016).

“It has been found that the production company did not apply for official institutional permits in the first place, either from the BPOM or the MUI (Indonesian Ulema Council), and that the stamps on the packaging were fake,” BPOM head Penny Kusumastuti Lukito said during a press conference.

The agency conducted a raid on Saturday at the site where the snack was produced in the wake of complaints. The BPOM has also placed an administrative sanction on the team behind the dried rice noodle snacks, which consists of five product makers and one brand owner, Penny said, adding that the product was no longer allowed to be sold.

The ban, she insisted, was not an attack on creativity in packaging design. However, she stressed the importance of adhering to cultural values and norms applicable in Indonesia. The agency pointed out the impropriety of the packaging, which features the torso of a woman in a bikini, accompanied by the words “remas aku” (squeeze me). 

Furthermore, the BPOM’s food safety and hazardous materials field head, Suratnomo, said no food safety test had been carried out on the snacks as the product had never received a sales permit in the first place. 

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