While Kosher Law in New York is Upheld, Inspectors Have Still Not Been Rehired


kashrusBrian and Jeffrey Yarmeisch, owners and operators of “Commack Self-Service Kosher Meats” in Commack, Long Island, began their crusade against New York’s kosher food laws in New York in 1996. In the next 16 years, they managed to bring down New York’s 116-year old law and continue their onslaught even against a replacement bill dubbed by many in the kosher food industry as the “disclosure law.”

Last week, the US 2ND Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the law was constitutional. The Kosher Law Protection Act of 2004 requires sellers and manufacturers that market their products as kosher to label the foods as such and to identify in a filing with the NY State Department of Agriculture the individuals certifying the food as kosher. Individuals who certify non-prepackaged food as kosher are required to file a statement of their qualifications with the Department of Agriculture. Establishments that prepare kosher food on premises must post a specified disclosure form regarding certification of its food and certain of its practices.

But kosher food sources told KosherToday that despite the “victory,” kosher in New York “would only be properly protected with the return of the inspectors.”

They were referring to the team of kosher food law inspectors who worked for the Division of Kosher Law Enforcement of the state’s Department of Agriculture and who were laid off in the waning days of the Paterson administration. Kashrus officials confirm that large-scale abuses of kosher continue in what is undeniably the second largest market for kosher outside of Israel.

One rabbi pointedly said: “Walk into any supermarket in New York and you’ll see mislabeled products, co-mingling of kosher and non-kosher products on kosher labeled shelves, and even some products with a k or d that are problematic.” He and many others called for the immediate “return of the inspectors to bolster the efforts of Rabbi Luzer Weiss,” who one rabbi called “The Lone Ranger.”

{Kosher Today/Matzav.com Newscenter}


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