(a) Refusing to identify most Jewish-ritual-slaughtered meat.
In my letter to you Is Jewish ritual slaughter inhumane? of 22Mar2000, I have already noted that the non-kosher public consumes the bulk of Jewish-ritual-slaughtered meat without being aware of it, as most such meat is not identified.
(b) Removing kosher labels.
Sometimes a similar betrayal of the non-kosher consumer is achieved by a last-minute removal of kosher labels from products that had been intended for the kosher market:
(c) Keeping the public in the dark concerning the meaning of existing kosher labels.
To take my own case as an example, had someone asked me around 14Dec99 how many kosher-certified products I had in my house, I would have answered none. However, once I learned a little about kosher certification and began to read product labels, my count eventually reached 141 — revealing that my initial estimate of zero had been somewhat low.
The reason for my previous lack of awareness, obviously, is that the kosher-certification business keeps the consumer in the dark. How? — By keeping kosher labels esoteric, giving no indication of what they represent. Thus, in my collection of 141 kosher labels, only one employed the word "kosher," and not a single one showed the Magen David. Also, I have never in my life encountered an advertisement advocating the purchase of kosher products, or revealing the meaning of kosher labels, either on television, or over the radio, or in a magazine or newspaper, or on a billboard, or on a public-transportation placard. Newspaper or magazine articles on kosher are extremely rare, and inadequate to overcome the general ignorance. Of course the Jewish press comments on kosher certification more frequently, but it is little read by the general public, and thus does next to nothing to overcome the prevailing ignorance.
For these reasons, I find it reasonable to hypothesize that something in the order of 9 out of 10 consumers, or perhaps even as many as 99 out of 100, are oblivious to the fact that they are purchasing products that bear esoteric kosher-certification labels.
This type of misrepresentation consists in explicitly labelling products as kosher that are not kosher, and is by far the most frequently discussed and most thoroughly documented and most aggressively prosecuted category of kosher misrepresentation. Selecting from countless examples, I offer one which is noteworthy for its creativity:
Law enforcement appears to never involve protecting the non-kosher consumer from inadvertently consuming kosher; it always involves protecting the kosher consumer from inadvertently consuming non-kosher, as for example:
For the seven violations listed in the above Jewish Press report, the "LB Number" is consecutive, except that LB Number 38,385 is missing between the two violations shown above. The LB Number then, might be taken to reflect the total number of violations as of 22May1992, though we have no idea over what interval of time. In any case, whatever the time interval involved, we see that the number of violations has been large, giving us some idea of the vast amount of misrepresentation of non-kosher products as kosher that is detected, and thus giving us some inkling of the even vaster amount of such misrepresentation that must be taking place.
Summary statements portray the kosher business as pervaded by corruption, referring to all forms of corruption, but intending mainly the corruption of offering non-kosher products as kosher:
The non-kosher consumer is poorly served because he is frequently misled into believing that he consumes products that do not originate from kosher supervision
We have seen above that the non-kosher consumer is poorly served, as he is not informed when he eats Jewish-ritual-slaughtered meat, or may be sold meat as non-kosher that has just had its kosher label removed. In this way, the price of his meat is inflated, and he is deprived of the ability to choose meat that originates from humane slaughter.
On top of that, the non-kosher consumer is almost invariably unaware of the secret meaning of kosher labels that proliferate over the products that he buys, and thus unaware that he is paying a surcharge which will be applied to purposes that he might disapprove of.
Thus, the Council of Orthodox Rabbis would be taking steps toward serving the non-kosher consumer better by: (1) identifying meat that originates from Jewish ritual slaughter (as I have already advocated in my letter to you of 22Mar2000), and (2) adding the word KOSHER, and the Magen David, to its kosher-certification label (as I have already advocated in my letter to you of 15Mar2000).
The kosher consumer is also poorly served because he is frequently misled into believing that the kosher-certified products he consumes are really kosher
We have also seen above that the kosher consumer is similarly poorly served, as the products that he purchases as kosher are often in fact not kosher. (At least in his case, though, he is likely to be aware that a surcharge has been added to his purchase, and is likely to understand that by means of this surcharge, certain goals that he is cognizant of will be advanced by his purchase, neither of which is true of the non-kosher consumer.)
Thus, the Council of Orthodox Rabbis would be taking a step toward serving the kosher consumer better by energetically suing for breaches of its kosher-certification contract, or by energetically urging the government to prosecute for misrepresentation or false advertising. An examination of historical precedent teaches us to expect that such breaches and violations occur on a sweeping scale, and so that if suits or prosecutions occur on only a small scale today, or are totally absent, then this would suggest that Council of Orthodox Rabbis monitoring is lax, and that anywhere from many to most products bearing the COR certification are in fact not kosher.
Only two groups are well served
(1) Consumers who are indifferent to whether a product is genuinely kosher, but who support the imposition of the Jewish tax, are well served. (2) Those who receive the revenues from the Jewish tax are well served.