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What Oreo cookies and Campbell's Vegetable Soup tell us about
Canadian Jewish Congress criminality

Paul Martin   Letter 24   17-Aug-2005

"I stood before the man who had certified 100-percent kosher the Oreo cookie (and all its ingredients), the man behind the historic certification of Campbell's vegetable soup." — Frederick Kaufman speaking of Rabbi Manachem Genack

 
17 August 2005

The Right Honourable Paul Martin
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON    K1A 0A2

RE:  Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) File 20031527, Canadian Jewish Congress v Ukrainian Archive (CJC v UKAR) at www.ukar.org

ATTENTION:  The instant 17-Aug-2005 Lubomyr Prytulak letter to Paul Martin is copied to Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) Chief Commissioner Mary M Gusella, and to CHRC Investigations Manager John J CHAMBERLIN, as a Prytulak submission to the CHRC in the matter of CJC v UKAR and in support of the Prytulak argument that the Canadian Jewish Congress kosher-certification business is a criminal conspiracy under the Canadian Competition Act § 45(1)(b), and that one of the reasons that the CJC wishes to suppress UKAR is that UKAR discloses this CJC criminal conspiracy to public view.


Mr Prime Minister:

Frederick Kaufman's Harper's Magazine article, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, though intended not as an exposé but only as a narrative of how the author got to witness a kosher inspection of a manufacturing plant, nevertheless supplies evidence supporting the conclusion that the Canadian Jewish Congress kosher business is in fact a criminal conspiracy under the Canadian Competition Act § 45(1)(b) as explained in the 19-Jun-2004 Prytulak-to-Martin letter at www.ukar.org/martin/martin17.html.

FREDERICK KAUFMAN SUPPLEMENTS THE EVIDENCE OF KOSHER-BUSINESS METASTASIS

The Prytulak-to-Martin letter above alleges that the kosher business has infiltrated every corner of the supermarket, stating that "an average non-kosher-observant household may contain a hundred different kosher-certified products."  Kaufman lends support to this allegation with the following information:

The Orthodox Union has certified kosher more than a quarter of a million products and ingredients from nearly 6,000 factories located in sixty-eight countries.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 75.


At Kosherfest 2003, at the Javits Center Moga International (a kosher-ingredient purveyor) informed me that 60 percent of all products in American supermarkets have been certified kosher.  Such a miraculous statistic had to be investigated.  "It's been a domino effect," agreed Mordechai Levin, executive director of the Kashruth Council of Canada.  "In the last twenty years, the business has exploded."  The vast aisles of Kosherfest brimmed with kosher dog and cat food, kosher toothpaste, kosher salsa, kosher sushi, kosher burritos, kosher biscotti, kosher Portobello mushroom soup, and kosher paper bags for carrying it all.  Public relations guys sauntered among the booths, spewing endless factoids about "the kosherization of America."  Today Wal-Mart sells kosher products, along with Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and FreshDirect and A&P and Safeway.  In fact, the average American supermarket carries 13,000 kosher products.  The uncanny ubiquity of kosher duck sauce and kosher bottled water and all the hoopla at the Javits Center made it clear that the ancient kosher gods and the new market gods could exist happily side by side.  [...]

And in the land of ascorbic acid, dextrose, and ethyl vanillin, the market saturation of products certified kosher reaches even more gargantuan proportions, an overwhelming 80 percent.  If you take into consideration that some ingredients will never be kosher, no matter what (essence of fried pork rind, say), that 80 percent figure, in real terms, means that nearly 100 percent of the food substance in America that can be kosher is, in fact, kosher.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 77.

Kaufman emphasizes that the kosher business has not only blanketed the United States and Canada, but is making headway toward blanketing the globe:

Every day the tally of rootless cosmopolitan kosher certifiers grows: Shimon Freudlich, a Chabad rabbi, now lives in Beijing.  Shalom Greenberg has moved to Shanghai.  Moshe Gutnick works out of Australia, Yosef Kantor from Thailand.  And then there are the hundreds of professional kosher certifiers who are always on the move, jetting from pickle manufacturers in Bangalore to edible-oil plants in Sumatra to yogurt factories in outer Mongolia.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 77.


One assignment led him to a medieval Japanese farmhouse, where he certified kosher an ancient process of producing soy sauce.  [...]

Late into the winter night Meyer told me of his journeys to mushroom factories in distant parts of China, to cod-liver-oil factories on the islands along the fjords of northern Norway, of coconut plants in the Philippines and cookie works in the farthest reaches of the Dolomites.


Describing Rabbi Dr. Avraham Meyer of the Manhattan-based Orthodox Union, Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 81

FREDERICK KAUFMAN CONFIRMS THE MECHANISM BEHIND KOSHER-BUSINESS METASTASIS

The Prytulak-to-Martin letter alleged that the explosive growth of the kosher business was attributable to the following mechanism:

Thus, if a single candidate for kosher certification needed to persuade 20 suppliers to themselves become kosher, and each of these 20 then needed to persuade the 20 that supply him, then 400 are in need of persuasion (in addition to the original 20); and if these 400 each has to persuade 20 suppliers in turn, then 8,000 are going to need persuading (in addition to the earlier 420); and so on exponentially — all triggered by a single kosher-certification candidacy.


In confirmation of the above hypothesized mechanism, Kaufman writes:

Morrison lifted one of the piles and flipped through it, a flurry of lists and graphs meaningless to the uninitiated.  "Information on a new product," he explained.  "A flavor.  Made up of fifteen ingredients."  He looked at me.  "This is information on one of those ingredients."


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 76.


One level beneath the retail kosher product lurks the wholesale kosher ingredient.  And beneath the ingredient lies the infinitely recursive level of the ingredients of the ingredients, the sub-substance of the substances, which are themselves combinations of even more basic substances.  [...]

The tiniest particle of disodium phosphate floating around in that box of Berry Blue Jell-O must nonetheless pass the essential test of kosher certification.  Now, consider that a single bite of a Frito-Lay brand certified-kosher barbecued potato chip delivers dehydrated starch from Idaho, dehydrated onions from China, dehydrated garlic from India, and a bit of paprika from Spain, all of which must be certified kosher.  "A simple product has ten, twenty ingredients," explained one of the throng of rabbis milling about the Orthodox Union's Kosherfest booth.  "Twenty certificates behind the certification, you see?"


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 77.


In order for the packaged yogurt or marinade to be certified kosher, all its ingredients must be certified kosher; likewise, in order for the ingredients to be certified kosher, the enzymes that have mediated the creation of said ingredients must also be certified kosher.  And in order for an enzyme to be certified kosher, that enzyme must keep kosher.  [...]

In order for an enzyme to be certified kosher, the feed media for that enzyme must be "kosherish."

And what about the feed media for the feed media?  It is a food chain of microscopic yet divine reticulation, leading back to the mother-of-all proteins, keeping kosherish in an aerated flask.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 80.

Kaufman refers to the metastasis as a "domino effect" [p. 77], which falls short of recognizing its rate of growth.  That is, a domino knocks down a single other domino, which in turn knocks down another single domino, and so on.  To mirror kosher certification, however, the first domino would have to knock down 20 other dominoes, and each of those would have to knock down 20 dominoes, and so on, a better description of which is "exponential" growth because as the exponent of 20, say, counts off the stages of kosher certification 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, ..., the number of new ingredients needing to be certified at each stage goes 1, 20, 400, 8000, 160000, ..., as shown below:

200 = 1 A single new product needing to be certified
201 = 20 may have 20 ingredients, each needing to be certified.
202 = 400 Each of the above 20 ingredients may itself have 20 ingredients,
making for an additional 400 ingredients needing to be certified,
203 = 8,000 and so on to 8,000 more needing to be certified at the next stage,
204 = 160,000 and so on exponentially.

This exponential growth can be understood not by imagining that a manufactuter purchases kosher certification in order to sell to kosher-observant Jews who make up one-tenth of one percent of the population, but only by realizing that the manufacturer purchases kosher certification to buy access to a cartel, to buy relaxation of a restraint of trade, and ultimately to acquire permission to sell to the 99.9% of all US-Canadian consumers who are not kosher-observant Jews:

At first Knudsen had believed that making sure the enzymes were kosher was a nuisance, "doing all these things for a few Jewish customers."  But he has since changed his mind.  "Now I see the need for it.  The rules may be annoying, but there are good reasons.  We have to be a part of the kosher supply chain.  It is the key to the U.S. market."


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 78.

FREDERICK KAUFMAN DOCUMENTS THAT A KOSHER INSPECTION OF A MANUFACTURING PLANT IS LIKELY TO BE A SHAM

Journalist Frederick Kaufman accompanies kosher inspector Dr. Avraham Meyer of the Manhattan-based Orthodox Union on Meyer's annual inspection of Danish-based Novozymes, the world's largest producer of food-grade enzymes:

On the streets of Brooklyn, Meyer would have been instantly recognizable and totally unremarkable — yet another ultra-orthodox — but here in Denmark, Jews are scarce; no one would have guessed that he had come to warrant and certify kosher every last one of Novozymes' mass-produced, genetically modified food-grade enzymes.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 78.

What stands out about Kaufman's account is that Meyer asked not a single question during his inspection tour, an incongruity that is explained by supposing that Meyer was conscious of his lack of understanding of what he was seeing, and recognized that any question that he might ask, or any comment that he might make, was likely to reveal his ignorance and the pointlessness of his inspection tour:


Kosher inspector Dr. Avraham Meyer in Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 75.

We passed through more hallways of corrugated metal and came to a colossal edifice of whirring, steaming fermenters.  There in the corner sat rows of what looked like big metal dairy buckets.  Each conical container, locally known as a "Sputnik," flashed a red label that read KOSHER.  Dr. Meyer stopped and stared.  Jes Knudsen sucked in his breath.

The fermentation chemist, our Fuglebakken tour guide, was named Lars.  "Any questions?" Lars asked.

"No," said Dr. Meyer.

Next we entered an armory of huge, roaring, shaking tanks.  Meyer glanced at the tumult and turned to leave.  [...]

We plodded past more pallets of chemicals, hiked up and down endless flights of metal stairs.  Meyer led us through rooms that sprayed jets of blood-red mist, depots stuffed with nothing but vacuum pumps, compartments wound with rubber tubing, chambers that dripped, and entire factory floors that smelled really, really bad.  "Any questions?" asked Lars.  "Any questions?  Any questions?"

Meyer stopped to blow his nose.  He smiled at the machines.  But he had no questions.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 80.

When Meyer does open his mouth on a rare occasion, it is only to make some irrelevant comment, as for example:

We donned our raiments and entered the control center, a glass-walled room packed with floor-to-ceiling computers, wall-sized flow-charts, and video screens.  Here the technicians monitored jet-cooking and gelatinization, steam pressures, temperatures, and pH values.  A tiny radio blared Danish rap.  Dr. Meyer did not say a word.  Almost as soon as he entered, he turned to leave, but just outside the door he swiveled and everyone halted.  Meyer was gazing at the exterior of the control room, which someone had painted to resemble one of those horribly quaint Danish thatched huts.

"The only decorated fermentation facility I have ever been in," said Meyer.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 80.

A total of two questions were asked during the entire kosher-inspection tour, neither of them by kosher-inspector Dr. Avraham Meyer, both of them by journalist Frederick Kaufman.  Kaufman's first question was met with silence, and his second question by a refusal to answer:


"What does Freshzyme do?" I asked.

Jes Knudsen said nothing.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 79.


In fact, no one except Lars had said much of anything for quite some time, so I figured I might as well.  "Excuse me," I said.  "How many cubic meters does that tank hold."

"No, no," said Knudsen, shaking his head at Lars.  "Don't answer that."


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 80.

This kosher-inspection tour, in other words, was a sham.  It was a pro forma ritual whose purpose was to bolster the image of the kosher business as religion-based when in fact it feeds on fees charged for managing the gateway into an exclusionary cartel.

FREDERICK KAUFMAN NOTICES THAT THE KOSHER BUSINESS IS SECRETIVE

In his attempt to get information from the Orthodox Union kosher-certification business, Frederick Kaufman admits to repeatedly encountering firewalls:

Genack looked me in the eye and said, "Everything we know is confidential."  [p. 75]

I walked a dozen more offices down to meet Morrison, whose desk was piled with stacks of paper that he pulled protectively to his side of the table.  "Unfortunately, I cannot let you look too closely," he said.  "This is highly confidential."  [p. 76]

"I want to see exactly how it happens."  But Rabbi Morrison shook his head.  "The procedures are highly proprietary."  [p. 76]

"What we have to figure out," Adler said, "is how we can help you without hurting ourselves."  [p. 76]

Rabbi Genack and Rabbi Morrison and Rabbi Adler and Eva Louise Hold Petersen and Jes Knudsen and Lars — they had all been right.  Kosher supervision was top secret and should remain so.  [p. 81]


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81.

However, there are two other ways in which the kosher business can be said to be secretive, neither of which Kaufman acknowledges.

Another way in which the kosher business can be said to be secretive is that the symbols it uses to identify kosher products are almost invariably small and hidden, and in any case are meaningless to the vast majority of consumers, as Lubomyr Prytulak has discussed in his essay, Hidden Supermarket Tax: What I Found In My Pantry at  www.ukar.org/tax02.html.

And a third type of secrecy connected with the kosher business is a manufacturer concealing or denying the kosher certification that he has purchased, as discussed immediately below.

KOSHER CERTIFICATION CAUSES CONSUMER AVERSION AND MANUFACTURER SHAME

Kosher certification is represented as consumer driven

A common justification of kosher certification is that it is consumer-driven, which is to say that consumers intentionally buy kosher-certified products because, for one reason or another, they prefer them.  That is the view offered by defenders of kosher certification, and it is the view offered by Frederick Kaufman:

Indeed, whenever a company takes a food line kosher, it sees a jump in market share.  And for Nestlé or Nabisco or Best Foods or General Mills, even a fraction of a percentage point may translate into millions of dollars.  Because it's not only observant Jews who eat kosher — it's Muslims and Seventh-Day Adventists, throngs of the lactose intolerant, vegetarians and the health conscious, and even those who believe kosher adds a little ethnic excitement to the table.  According to U.S. News & World Report, 28 percent of Americans say they have knowingly purchased a kosher product in the past year; and only 8 percent of those did so for religious reasons.  Kosher may be a myth, but it's our kind of myth.  A myth that increases sales.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, pp. 76-77.

However, Frederick Kaufman's statement above can be faulted on several grounds.  In the first place, it is possible to measure the effect of a weak cause only in a formal experiment, which is difficult to implement in the area of consumer purchasing.  Anyone who imagines that a food manufacturer or retailer, or a kosher certifier, has determined that an effect of kosher certification has been increased sales amounting to a fraction of a percentage point is uneducated in the field of behavioral research.  Claims that kosher certification produces any such increase are unfounded, any who repeat such claims are either naive or duplicitous, as has been explained in Lubomyr Prytulak's discussion of the US blanketing Canada with the neurotoxin MMT, titled Canadian guinea pigs in an American experiment, at www.ukar.org/mmt/mmt01.html.

On top of that, even though in the absence of a formal experiment it is impossible to attribute any fluctuation in sales to a given antecedent event, it is acknowledged that no reliable increase in sales takes place following kosher certification:

Some of the products that gain certification each year are mainstays of the food industry, and their certification adds dollar value to the "mainstream kosher" market while having little overall bearing on product sales themselves.  For example, Nabisco Oreo cookies attained kosher certification in 1997, giving the kosher food market a $300 million boost (based on IRI data for sales of Oreos through food, drug, and mass merchandisers, calendar year 1997).  However, Oreo cookie sales showed no significant dollar increase between 1996 and 1997.


Market Research  www.marketresearch.com/map/prod/862026.html

Second, public-opinion polling rests on no methodological or theoretical or mathematical foundation, and cannot be trusted.  In fact, a pollster can get any result that he wants, and most particularly has it within his power to manufacture whatever results are expected by whoever commissioned the poll.  This has been discussed in the 20-Oct-2003 Lubomyr Prytulak letter to Faron Ellis titled Can Public Opinion Polling Subvert Democracy? at  www.ukar.org/ellis/ellis01.html.

Also, it is an impossibility for any but the most peculiar and unrepresentative person — perhaps some totally self-sufficient hermit living high on a mountain-top or deep inside a cave — to avoid purchasing many kosher products over the course of a year, which follows rather strongly from the Prytulak estimate that the average household has one hundred kosher products sitting on its shelves.  Therefore, if "28 percent of Americans say they have knowingly purchased a kosher product in the past year," then it follows that the remaining 72 percent purchased kosher products unknowingly.  But if the vast majority of consumers unknowingly purchase kosher products, this constitutes a rather strong refutation of the theory that kosher sales are consumer-driven.

Missing from Kaufman's report of the U.S. News & World Report figures is what fraction of the 28 percent who purchased kosher products knowingly, purchased them knowingly and unwillingly (because of the unavailability of any equivalent non-kosher alternative).  If the missing information were supplied, it might show that 72% of consumers purchased kosher products unknowingly, 20% purchased kosher products knowingly but unwillingly, and a mere 8% purchased kosher products knowingly and willingly.

But the most damning consideration that discredits the theory that kosher certification is consumer-driven is that manufacturers who have purchased kosher certification commonly go to considerable lengths to hide it from consumers.  The manufacturers act as if they were aware that disclosure of kosher certification would occasion consumer repugnance and loss of sales.  They act as if they were ashamed of having purchased kosher certification.

Jewish sources claim that Oreo cookies and Campbell's Vegetarian Vegetable Soup have been kosher-certified

Consider, for example, the two products for whose kosher certification Frederick Kaufman credits Rabbi Manachem Genack, rabbinic administrator of the Orthodox Union's (OU's) Kashrut Division:

I stood before the man who had certified 100-percent kosher the Oreo cookie (and all its ingredients), the man behind the historic certification of Campbell's vegetable soup.


Frederick Kaufman, The secret ingredient: Keeping the world kosher, Harper's Magazine, January 2005, pp. 75-81, p. 75.

By way of confirmation that Oreo cookies really have been kosher certified, can be found an Orthodox Union statement which begins with the following paragraph:

CALLING ALL KOSHER COOKIE LOVERS:

THE OREO HAS ARRIVED!!!
keeping kosher just got easier

No need to stare with envy at packages of and while shopping at your local supermarket.  In a step that is sure to send joyous shock waves throughout the kosher snack food industry, America’s favorite sandwich and chocolate chip cookies now carry the OU — the world’s foremost kashruth supervision symbol.


Orthodox Union at  www.ou.org/oupr/1997/nabisco97.htm

The Orthodox Union similarly declares the certification of Campbell's Vegetable Soup — the Vegetarian variety, it turns out — beginning with the following paragraph:

September 16, 2003

The Kosher World Expands Its Horizons As Campbell’s Vegetarian Vegetable Soup Receives OU Certification

In a major development in the ever-expanding universe of kosher food, the Orthodox Union and the Campbell Soup Company jointly announced today that Campbell’s condensed Vegetarian Vegetable Soup is now certified kosher by the OU, the world’s best-known kosher trademark.


Orthodox Union at  www.ou.org/oupr/2003/campbells03.htm

However, neither product displays kosher identification on its packaging





If kosher purchasing were consumer-driven, then, it would be expected that the above two products would display kosher identification on their packaging — perhaps the circle with a "U" inside it standing for "Orthodox Union," which though American-based is seen in Canada, or more likely the circle with "COR" and number inside it standing for the Canadian-Jewish-Congress-owned "Council of Orthodox Rabbis."  Or if manufacturers wished to openly advertise to a broad range of consumers which products had been kosher-certified, they could prominently display the word "kosher," and perhaps along with the Mogen David hexagram.  Such identification would then be able to attract not only kosher-observant Jews, but also the "Muslims and Seventh-Day Adventists, throngs of the lactose intolerant, vegetarians and the health conscious, and even those who believe kosher adds a little ethnic excitement to the table" whom Frederick Kaufman imagines are among the consumers attracted to kosher products.

In fact, however, neither Oreo cookies nor Campbell's Vegetarian Vegetable Soup displays any recognizable kosher symbol or acknowledgment, not on the portion of their packaging shown opposite, and not anywhere else on their packaging, as Lubomyr Prytulak has concluded following a meticulous inspection.  Visible in the case of Oreo toward the right is "® MD" which stands for registered trade mark in English and French, respectively, MD standing for Marque Déposée, the same two symbols appearing toward the bottom of the Christie triangle.  In the case of the soup, the RML might have aroused some interest had it contained a K, because that K might be supposed to stand for Kosher — but RML does not contain a K.  A Google search for first "RML" and later "RML kosher" (always without quotation marks) turns up nothing helpful in the foremost Google positions.  The circle containing a "15" invites interest, but does not seem to be claimed by any kosher-certification agency as its mark.  More will be said about this circle below.  Neither can any kosher symbol be found on the obverse of the soup label, which happens to be covered with recipes and educational-credit information.

Neither product acknowledges kosher certification on its web site

Furthermore, if there is any acknowledgement of kosher certification on the Oreo cookie web site, it is expertly hidden:  www.nabiscoworld.com/oreo/memories/default.aspx.  A Google search of the entire Nabisco web site for the word "kosher" by means of "kosher site:nabiscoworld.com" (without the quotation marks) indicates that the site identifies not a single Nabisco product as kosher, although the FAQ page invites telephoning Nabisco to obtain kosher information.

The American and Canadian Campbell's Soup web sites at www.campbellsoup.com and www.campbellsoup.ca similarly fail to identify any Campbell's product as kosher-certified.  The Google searches "kosher site:www.campbellsoup.com" and "kosher site:www.campbellsoup.ca" (without the quotation marks) indicate that the word "kosher" never appears on either site.

Oreo denies kosher certification over the telephone

Appendix A below presents the audio file with transcript of the Lubomyr Prytulak attempt to confirm the kosher status of Oreo cookies by means of a telephone call to "Mr. Christie Cares," and where can be both heard and read not only the manufacturer's tenacious resistance to disclosing kosher information, but ultimately the manufacturer's denial that Oreo cookies are kosher.

What to make of Oreo's failure to acknowledge kosher certification in three out of three opportunities: product label, web site, and telephone dialogue?  The most plausible explanation may be that kosher certification was purchased for Oreo cookies so as to permit them to be sold to the kosher cartel.  Under the expectation that the public is averse to buying kosher products, however, this certification is concealed and even denied.  In the case of Oreo cookies, then, kosher certification does not appear to be consumer-driven; rather, it can be hypothesized to be cartel-membership driven or escape-from-restraint-of-trade driven.  If consumers were permitted to do any driving on this question, they might be expected to drive toward kosher decertification.

Campbell's Soup does acknowledge kosher certification over the telephone



Appendix B below presents the audio file with transcript of the Lubomyr Prytulak attempt to confirm the kosher status of Campbell's Vegetable Soup.  Although the Campbell's telephone representative readily admitted that Campbell's Vegetarian Vegetable Soup is kosher-certified, her denying that the regular Campbell's Vegetable Soup is kosher-certified permits a conclusion to be drawn from a comparison of the respective labels.  That is, both the regular and the vegetarian Campbell's Vegetable Soup labels have a circle with a number inside: the vegetarian number is 15 and the regular number is 27.  At the time of the telephone call, this regular soup label was the only one that Prytulak had seen, and he asked the representative whether the circle-27 could be a kosher label.  The representative replied that it could not be.  From this, it seems to follow that the circle-15 which appears in the same position on Vegetarian Vegetable Soup cannot be a kosher symbol either.  Unless the RML on the Vegetarian Vegetable Soup is a kosher symbol, it would have to be concluded that the Vegetarian Vegetable Soup comes with no kosher symbol.  And if RML is a kosher symbol, then it is truly cryptic and esoteric.  In either alternative, Campbell's seems to be going out of its way to have its packaging conceal any kosher certification that may have been purchased.

One interpretation of the Campbell's-related data, then, is that Campbell's effectively denies consumers the information that its Vegetarian Vegetable Soup is kosher-certified — this by displaying no recognizable kosher symbol on its packaging and by providing no kosher information on its web site.  Only the rare consumer who telephones is supplied the information.  This Campbell's practice is incompatible with the theory that Campbell's views kosher certification as attracting buyers.  It is compatible with the theory that consumers avoid kosher products which they are able to identify, but as few consumers are able to identify kosher products, Campbell's is able to enjoy cartel membership and to largely avoid consumer aversion at the same time.

An alternative interpretation is that both varieties of Campbell's Vegetable Soup (the vegetarian and the regular) are kosher-certified, that the circle-number is the acknowledgement of their certification, that the circle-number is a contraction of the Council of Orthodox Rabbis' conventional circle-COR-number, rendered even more cryptic so as to give it further protection from recognition.  The telephone statements of the Campbell's representative carry no weight, as her failing to recognize C-O-R as a kosher symbol (and in fact Canada's most common kosher symbol) proved she knew little about kosher certification, and as manufacturers seem ready to lie to conceal the extent of the kosher certification which they have purchased.  The Orthodox Union claiming only Vegetarian Vegetable Soup certification in the US is not strongly relevant, as it may be only the Council of Orthodox Rabbis that has managed to sell certification for the regular Campbell's Vegetable Soup in Canada, in addition to certification for the vegetarian variety.  Were food manufacturers more forthcoming and more truthful concerning their kosher activities, consideration of such alternative theories would be unnecessary.

To speak more euphemistically than to say that manufacturers "lie" about kosher certification would be to shrink from expressing a disapproval that they have fully earned, as a comparison in Appendix A below of statements made by Oreo representative "Heather" demonstrates:  "We apologize, but we currently do not have a list of our kosher products," followed by "I'll send you the list, a copy of the list," and "It's a long list, and I can mail it to you," and "It's about eight pages," and "It doesn't look like I've got cookies on the list."

YOUR GOVERNMENT'S ACTION ON THIS MATTER IS URGENT

One reason that the kosher certification business, as it is practiced today, must be stopped is because it is a criminal activity that restrains trade and that sucks vast sums of money out of the economy, money that would be better spent in shortening waiting times for surgery, or in giving small towns safe drinking water, or in raising teacher salaries, or in filling highway potholes.

Another reason that the kosher certification business must be stopped is that its vast revenues can be expected to be invested in still other criminal activities, in corrupting the political and judicial processes, and in suppressing freedom of speech and of the press.

Given that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Irwin Cotler, is a former Canadian Jewish Congress general counsel and also president, and thus a former Council of Orthodox Rabbis, kosher-business representative, Canadians expect that either your firing him, or your government being defeated at the polls, will be prerequisite to freeing them of an oppression which Thomas Jefferson described as "sinful" and "tyrannical": "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical" (Bill for Religious Freedom, 1779, Papers 2:545).





Lubomyr Prytulak

cc:

Irving ABELLA, National Honourary President, CJC, Department of History, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto ON  M3J 1P3
John J CHAMBERLIN, Manager Investigations, CHRC, 344 Slater Street, Ottawa ON  K1A 1E1
Hon. Irwin COTLER, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, 284 Wellington Street, Ottawa ON  K1A 0H8
Mary M GUSELLA, Chief Commissioner, CHRC, 344 Slater Street, Ottawa ON  K1A 1E1
Ed MORGAN, National President, Canadian Jewish Congress, 100 Sparks Street, Ottawa ON  K1P 5B7


Appendix A:   Telephone call to "Mr Christie Cares" to confirm the kosher status of Oreo cookies.  The audio file which corresponds to the transcript below can be heard at www.ukar.org/kosher/12aug_0838.mp3.  This telephone call was placed after Prytulak had examined Oreo cookie packaging at a supermarket, but before he had returned to the supermarket to purchase it, and before he had consulted the Oreo cookie web page.  If two copies of your web browser are opened simultaneously, it will be possible to read the transcript below on one copy (which has been placed on top) while listening to the audio on the other (which has been placed below or minimized).



[RECORDING]  Thank you for calling the Kraft Canada Consumer Center.  To continue in English, press "1".  To continue in Fre...  [BEEP]  Your call is very important to us.  As a part of our committment to quality, this call may be monitored or recorded.

[HEATHER]:  You're calling cross Canada.  My name is Heather.  How may I help you?

[PRYTULAK]:  I wonder if you could tell me if Oreo cookies are kosher certified?

[HEATHER]:  There should be a marking on it, sir, if it is.

[PRYTULAK]:  I just went to my local Safeway, and I very carefully examined the entire package, and I can't find anything to that effect.

[HEATHER]:  OK, then I would assume that it's not.

[PRYTULAK]:  Well, I do have an article in Harper's, January 2005, which says that they are, an article by Frederick Kaufman, on Kosher certification, and it says, "I stood before the man who had certified 100-percent kosher the Oreo cookie (and all its ingredients)".

[HEATHER]:  OK!

[PRYTULAK]:  So, what are we to make of this?

[HEATHER]:  Well, ...

[PRYTULAK]:  Do you know, do you have your own information, because you're telling me, essentially, to go get my own information, but don't you know?

[HEATHER]:  I don't know off-hand, sir.

[PRYTULAK]:  Can you find out?

[HEATHER]:  I'm going to try.

[PRYTULAK]:  OK.

[HEATHER]:  Can I have your first and last name before you go, please?

[PRYTULAK]:  You're going to call me back, are you?

[HEATHER]:  No, I won't, but I'll see if I can find the information for you.

[PRYTULAK]:  OK.  My first name is Lubomyr, L-U-B-O-M-Y-R.

[HEATHER]:  OK, now...

[PRYTULAK]:  The last name is Prytulak, P-R-Y-T-U-L-A-K.

[HEATHER]:  OK.  And could you give me the bar code for the product, please?

[PRYTULAK]:  I don't have it, I didn't buy it, I just went to the supermarket.

[HEATHER]:  Oh, OK.  Sorry.

[PRYTULAK]:  It's Oreo cookies.

[HEATHER]:  Right.  Just the ordinary Oreo cookies?

[PRYTULAK]:  Yes.

[HEATHER]:  No particular kind?

[PRYTULAK]:  No.

[HEATHER]:  OK.  [LONG PAUSE]

It just says, "We apologize, but we currently do not have a list of our kosher products.  Since our product brands are constantly growing and changing, it's very difficult to keep an accurate list of kosher products.  We suggest checking our product labels for the appropriate kosher symbol."

So, if it was a kosher product, sir, it would be on the label.

[PRYTULAK]:  It says that you aren't able to keep an accurate list, but I don't want an accurate list, I just want to know this one product, and surely the things that were kosher-certified, you would have a list of things that were definitely kosher-certified, even though the list is expanding for other products.

[HEATHER]:  We don't have that list in the United States, sir?

[PRYTULAK]:  You're in Canada, or the US?

[HEATHER]:  Canada.

[PRYTULAK]:  Right!  Do you have it for Canada?

[HEATHER]:  Yes, we do!

[PRYTULAK]:  You have a list of kosher-certified products?

[HEATHER]:  Yes, in Canada, but they're not transferrable to the States, sir.

[PRYTULAK]:  Well, I am in Canada.

[HEATHER]:  OK.  All right.

[PRYTULAK]:  So, can you find out from that list?

[HEATHER]:  I'll send you the list, a copy of the list.

[PRYTULAK]:  You mean by mail?

[HEATHER]:  Yes, by mail.

[PRYTULAK]:  Well, why can't you do it over the telephone, because I'd like it now.

[HEATHER]:  Because I don't have the information.  It's a long list, and I can mail it to you.

[PRYTULAK]:  And you can't glance at it yourself to see if Oreo cookies are on that list?

[HEATHER]:  I'll just check right now.  [LONG PAUSE]

It doesn't look like I've got cookies on the list.

[PRYTULAK]:  So, this information must be wrong, then, in the Harper's magazine.

[HEATHER]:  No, I don't have cookies in the list.  I have cereals and desserts.

[PRYTULAK]:  And the list you're looking at is quite long, is it?

[HEATHER]:  Yes, it is, yeah.  It's about eight pages.

[PRYTULAK]:  I see.  OK, then, thank you very much.

[HEATHER]:  OK, I'm sorry, sir.

[PRYTULAK]:  OK.  Bye, bye.

[HEATHER]:  OK, bye.

Transcript of telephone conversation between Lubomyr Prytulak and "Mr Christie Cares" representative, "Heather," contacted on 12-Aug-2005 at the 1-800-668-2253 telophone number that is displayed on Oreo packaging.


Appendix B:   Telephone call to Campbell's Soup.  At the time of the call, Prytulak had read in Harper's that Campbell's Vegetable Soup was kosher certified, and had inspected a can at his local Safeway supermarket, buy had not yet discovered on the Orthodox Union web site that it was the Vegetarian variety of Vegetable soup for which kosher certification was being claimed.  The audio file which corresponds to the transcript below can be heard at www.ukar.org/kosher/12aug_0856.mp3.  If two copies of your web browser are opened simultaneously, it will be possible to read the transcript below on one copy (which has been placed on top) while listening to the audio on the other (which has been placed below or minimized).



[RECORDING]:  Thank you for calling the Campbell Company of Canada.  To continue in English, press "1".  [BEEP]  You know, it's always a pleasure to hear from customers about our products, and we appreciate your call, and when you talk to one of us, your call may be monitored or recorded.

Our Power to Cook cooking program offers some exciting new cooking methods that allow you to prepare quick and delicious meals every evening.  We'll be happy to tell you more if you press "1".  If you'd like to find out how you can earn free educational equipment for your school through our labels for education program, just press "2".  Or, for help reading the date code on the package, press "3".  And of course, we'll be happy to talk with you about any question you might have.  All you need to do to talk with one of our customer service people is press "4".

We're gonna ask you to hold on for just a moment.  Thanks!  [MUSIC]

[COLLEEN]:  Thank you for calling Campbell's.  This is Colleen.  How may I help you?

[PRYTULAK]:  Could you tell me if Campbell's Vegetable Soup is kosher certified?

[COLLEEN]:  OK, that's a good question, and I appreciate your taking the time to call and ask so I can definitely look it up for you.

[PRYTULAK]:  Thank you.

[COLLEEN]:  Sure, just to start off, though, can I ask for your name, please?

[PRYTULAK]:  Yeah, Lubomyr, L-U-B-O-M-Y-R.

[COLLEEN]:  L-U-B as in boy O-M-Y-R?

[PRYTULAK]:  That's right.

[COLLEEN]:  Is that your first name, ...

[PRYTULAK]:  That's right, first name.

[COLLEEN]:  ... or your last name?  And your last name, please.

[PRYTULAK]:  Prytulak, P-R-Y

[COLLEEN]:  P-R-Y

[PRYTULAK]:  T-U

[COLLEEN]:  T as in Tom U?

[PRYTULAK]:  Right.  L-A-K.

[COLLEEN]:  L-A-K?

[PRYTULAK]:  Right.

[COLLEEN]:  And it's pronounced "Prytulak"?

[PRYTULAK]:  Yeah, uh-hum.

[COLLEEN]:  Oh, OK, thank you.  Mr. Prytulak, do you happen to have the container of soup in front of you?

[PRYTULAK]:  No, I don't.  No, I was just checking it at the grocery store.

[COLLEEN]:  OK.  Let's see here.  This is just the small can of vegetable soup, regular vegetable soup?

[PRYTULAK]:  That's right, yes.

[COLLEEN]:  OK, let's see here.  OK.  Well I'm just looking up my products information, and I have here...  OK.  OK, the vegetarian vegetable soup ...

[PRYTULAK]:  This was just ...

[COLLEEN]:  ... is kosher, the regular vegetable has a beef broth base.

[PRYTULAK]:  Oh, I see.  So, the vegetarian is, but the regular isn't, is that right?

[COLLEEN]:  Exactly!

[PRYTULAK]:  OK, I think I was looking at the regular vegetable soup — but it has a circle, with a "27" inside it.  Would you know what that means?

[COLLEEN]:  Uh, unfortunately, I don't.  I know that the kosher products have either a "K" or a "U" symbol for ah ...

[PRYTULAK]:  In Canada, they would have — oh, is that right? — oh well in Canada I think they tend to have the C-O-R?  You don't have that information?

[COLLEEN]:  No, I just have here that it's "K" or "U".

[PRYTULAK]:  Right.  I thought it would be ...  You're in Canada, are you?

[COLLEEN]:  I'm actually in the US [unintelligible] specifically on Canadian products.

[PRYTULAK]:  I see.  OK.  OK, then.  Thank you very much.

[COLLEEN]:  Oh, no problem.  And actually just to document the call today, Mr. Prytulak, can I just ask for your postal code, please?

[PRYTULAK]:  V-6-R

[COLLEEN]:  Um-hm.

[PRYTULAK]:  2-L-5

[COLLEEN]:  OK, thank you.

[PRYTULAK]:  Right.

[COLLEEN]:  Well, that's great.  [unintelligible] there is anything else I can do for you today, Mr. Prytulak.  Thanks for taking the time to call Campbell's.

[PRYTULAK]:  Thank you.

[COLLEEN]:  Bye-bye.

[PRYTULAK]:  Bye-bye.

Transcript of telephone conversation between Lubomyr Prytulak and Campbell Canada representative, "Colleen," contacted on 12-Aug-2005 at the 1-800-410-7687 telephone number that is displayed on Campbell's soup cans.


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