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Moshe Ronen  Letter 06  26-Mar-2000  Does kosher certification promote industrial espionage?
Kosher supervision today is rather complicated," said Rabbi Levy.  "We must know the highly secret formulas of synthetic flavorings, as well as who is selling and buying from whom. Leonard Sloane

March 26, 2000
Moshe Ronen
National President
Canadian Jewish Congress
100 Sparks Street Suite 650
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5B7

Telephone: (613) 233-8703
Fax: (613) 233-8748


Moshe Ronen:

What guarantee does the Council of Orthodox Rabbis give that it does not engage in industrial espionage?

"Kosher supervision today is rather complicated," said Rabbi Levy.  "We must know the highly secret formulas of synthetic flavorings, as well as who is selling and buying from whom."
Leonard Sloane, "Calling It Kosher: How to and Why," The New York Times, 18May75, p. F3.

The impression that your answer might attempt to dispel here is that secret formulas and the contents of supply contracts can be sold to competitors, which invites the corruption of those who are granted access to such information.

The question of industrial espionage is particularly apt given that the kosher certification business has historically been troubled by corruption and fraud, as you cannot have escaped noticing.  To outline the depth and breadth of this corruption and fraud here would be to digress from the one simple question that I am asking, but this corruption and fraud can be found documented in several sources, as indicated, for example, by the observation that of the two books that I have purchased on the subject of kosher, one contains the word "corruption" in the title, and both contain the word "fraud" in the title:

Harold P. Gastwirt, Fraud, Corruption, and Holiness: The Controversy Over the Supervision of Jewish Dietary Practice in New York City 1881-1940, Kennikat Press, Port Washingto N.Y. and London, 1974.

Seymour E. Freedman, The Book of Kashruth: A Treasury of Kosher Facts and Frauds, Block Publishing Company, New York, 1970,


Lubomyr Prytulak


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