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No competition please, we’re the Kashrut Authority

May 23, 2010 – 10:47 pm49 Comments
Monopoly board game

It's ok as a board game but not a way to determine kashrut.

By Rachel Sacks-Davis

In a move that can only be interpreted as anti-competitive, Kosher Australia and associates have applied to the government for exclusive rights to decide who can label a product, ‘kosher’. As reported in the AJN this week, the application was made in the context of an Australian Government Food Labelling Review. If the proposal is accepted, restaurants, food products and caterers whose hechsher is not approved by the new federal kashrut body, will not be able to call their product kosher under Australian law.

It is not clear how this would affect imported kosher products, although presumably the hypothetical kashrut body could take fees for allowing a foreign kashrut authority to claim kosher status on our shores. It is clear, however, that the move would make it very difficult for any competitor within Australia.

At a time in which Kosher v’Yosher, the main Orthodox competitor to Kosher Australia in Victoria, is growing, and a new competitor to the New South Wales kashrut authority has also emerged, it seems as though the major kashrut associations are trying to co-opt the Australian government in order to stifle competition.

Certainly, there does not seem to be any consumer driven motivation for limiting the use of the word ‘kosher’ under Australian law. Unlike in the US, there is no trend toward using the ‘kosher’ label without a hechsher. This means that food that is labelled kosher in Australia is under some sort of kosher supervision. It also means that the consumer can see who the supervisor is by examining the hechsher.

The proposal is also not driven by halachic concerns. There is no precedent in Jewish law that favours secular legal entities taking responsibility for kosher labelling. To the contrary, allowing secular courts this type of jurisdiction is non-traditional and can only limit Jewish religious freedom in this country.  Perhaps next a congregation will require the approval of a federal government body to call themselves a synagogue (I hope I’m not giving anyone ideas here!)

Notably, the government’s Food Labelling Review is being undertaking in order to improve transparency around food safety and nutrition. Given that kashrut is related to neither food safety nor nutrition, it seems unlikely that the proposal will be successful. Nonetheless, given that it is also unlikely the review committee has expertise in either Jewish law or Jewish communal politics, this proposal should be of concern to Australian kosher consumers.

Rabbi Yaron Gottlieb has published a letter that he wrote to his local MP protesting the proposal, and I would encourage others to make their views known. Unfortunately, Kosher Australia and associates have only publicised their plan after the final date for submitting a formal submission to the review. I am not sure whether or not this was intentional, but it does make it difficult for other Jewish groups to make their views known.

Finally, it is disappointing that the largely secular AJN (20/5) supports the proposal. Do the AJN really have any insight into the interests of the kosher consumer? Perhaps this is simply a case of one establishment organisation supporting another, but one does wonder whether AJN staff actually wrote their own editorial or whether it was simply a cut and paste job from a kashrut authority’s press release.

Peter Wertheim’s reply to this article is here, and for those who are interested, there is a petition against the proposal here.

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49 Comments »

  • frosh says:

    But if there’s more than one organisation that can certify products as kosher, how will any such organisation be able to promise any company that they will have the sole kosher product in that category?

    …Oh wait a second…;-)

  • Chaim says:

    This was tried in the USA and not passed as  kosher was found to be subjective.
    e.g. Chalav Yisroel. To those that keep it, even Chalav stam utensils are not kosher.
     
    Companies can even put a “K” on clearly not kosher products. That is why there are specific symbols.
     
    The answer is education rather than making laws and limitations.
     

  • Chaim,

    Not sure which US case you are referring to. I recall one run in NYC targeting restaurants who labelled themselves as kosher (perhaps omitting the all-important qualifier “-style”) when in fact they were not kosher by any standard. That would be a reasonable case to run here under our strong Trade Practices law.

    On the other hand, I agree with Rachel; to suggest that there be a sole federal arbiter of which Kashrut authorities are allowed to use the label and which aren’t puts way too much power with that authority and doesn’t recognize the diversity of practice among Jews.

    Even in Israel, where the Rabbanut is a national body responsible for Kashrut, there are a variety of other certification standards available to consumers. While some might not be kosher enough for some, they all have the right to call themselves kosher.

  • Chaim says:

    I believe it was more about having a “k” on the product.
     
    But reform kosher vs orthodox kosher – is one really more correct than the other legally… depends who you ask.
     

  • A letter like ‘K’ cannot be trademarked – all the organizations use symbols that can be trademarked and protected against misuse.

  • Seen the submission says:

    Since when is the AJN considered Torah Min Hashamayim that it is quoted and accepted as fact? Before anyone panics or has a stroke over these issues perhaps they should wait and read the submission that was composed and submitted, bythe way, by the ECAJ and the federal organisation of Australian Rabbis (ORA) – and not by the Kashrut Authorities.  The submission was submitted as a public document and has been circulated fairly extensively already.  On reading it  one may just see that all the inuendo and hysterics here are precisely that.   A few people who have already commented may actually find themselves with egg on their face. 

    Perhaps more comment should await the publishing of the submission on the relevant government website (linked in the original article above) for all to access and read – which should be happening around now.  Relevant and fair comment may then be a little less hysterical and certainly more informed…..  

  • frosh says:

    Dear “Seen the submission”

    Why is it that you do not even have the courage to supply an email address with your comment, let alone your name?

    Perhaps you do not wish to be responsible for your comment, lest it is you who ends up with egg on face.

  • rachsd says:

    Seen the submission,

    If you have actually ‘seen the submission’, perhaps you can enlighten us as to which particular details were misreported by the AJN. Also, perhaps you can explain what the ‘extensive’ consultation was. i.e., who was consultated, and how they were chosen?

  • Seen the submission says:

    rachsd:
    I don’t need to do your work or thinking for you.  I’ll leave it to you to analyse yourself.  Although given the propensity to misread and misquote (who said anything about there being  “extensive consultation”?!)  I fear it may just be wishful thinking to expect that the analysis will be logical… :-)

    frosh:

    Why is it that you rarely address the issues in reply but instead resort to personal attack and so often harp on the identity of the posters?   Perhaps your are unaware of the Rabbinic saying “Who is wise … he who learns from all men (and women)”.  You really don’t need to be identified to make a constructive point or to offer relevant comment . 

  • Seen the submission says:

    rachsd:

    On rereading my previous post I am sorry that the above comment to you sounds somewhat chutzpadik.   I apologise.  I usually try to avoid the usual bloggers’ propensity to attack the person rather than the issue.  However,  it was you who originally launched an arttack that I believe was intemperate and ill-informed and my answer to you was cloured accordingly.

    On rereading your article I think that you are basically coming from  a good place and do seem to have the interests of the Kosher consumer in mind.  However, get hold of the submission (I didn’t find it too difficult to get my copy but I won’t forward it due to the undertaking I gave….) and then analyse it fairly (as I think I did) and I think you’ll agree that there may need to be some corrections and  or additions  to your original article.  

  • Ari says:

    In principle if a national authority is carried out honestly and responsibly then it could be a good thing.  In Israel, the many hechsherim and many forgeries is not a good example either.  A single authority that allows for different standards(Rabbanut, Rabbanut Mehadrin, Rabbanut “You can eat the uncut fruit over there in that one store”) could be the answer.  However, I believe the concerns raised need to be addressed by the proposal.  How can it be ensured that it is honest??(I am not sure that competition is the only way)  How can it be ensured that we don’t have a situation as we did in Israel with the Rabbanut?  Where chareidi control of the parts of the Rabbanut meant that some would not give a Rabbanut hechsher to Heter Mechira whilst the Rabbanut itself relied on Heter Mechira – And all this when no chareidi would actually eat Rabbanut in any case.  How can we ensure that a single authority is aunifying rather than dividing line? Unfortunately in our day these are the calamaties that have befallen Orthodoxy – Hechsherim and a like were intended to allow for people to eat out and in other’s houses.  Today, it is merely one more facade on the road to empty spirituality and another device to increase the divisions in Klal Yisrael. 
    Some will surely claim, but it is the word of G-d, should I not be machmir?  Sometimes when you are machmir in one area it necessarily implies that you are lenient in another in this case regarding the unity of Klal Yisrael.

  • ariel says:

    Perhaps a suitable solution is for any kashrut authority not to be run by rabbis, but by professional laymen who would be accountable to the Jewish community (say via the JCCV and/or JBD or ECAJ). The rabbis could then be employed as halachic decisors without getting involved the administration of the body. A national agency would be preferrable to the system in place at the moment (see my rant below).

    There is so much politics involved to the point of ridiculousness. In the coming few weeks will be a wedding in Sydney using Passionate catering from Melbourne. Apparently the family saved thousands of dollars, including transportation of everything from VIC!! Yet the NSW KA says it’s not kosher.
    Why is it alright for a consumer to buy Melbourne meat in Sydney Coles, but not for the caterers to transport the same meat directly from Melbourne? How does the status of the food change when crossing from Wodonga to Albury?

  • eye says:

    Here is part of the Ajnwatch post. No one has replied to these question (yet) over there. Maybe posting them here will get some answers.

    On the issue of ORA becoming the patron saint of Kashrut in this country, let me pass on some of the concerns that I have heard from other Shul-goers since the story broke.

      1) What is the situation with smaller and newer Kashrut providers, eg, Rabbi Shalom Silberberg of Sydney Adass and Rabbi Meir Rabi of Kosher veYosher? Will ORA object to their supervision?

     
    2) Who in ORA will make decisions for approval or non-approval? Will it be rabbis who themselves have a vested and financial (direct or via salary) interest in Kashrut and thus maybe an aversion to new competitors? Or will they be ethical and ensure that no rabbi in involved in Kashrut gets involved? And if so, will the qualifications of any new applicant be left in the hands of ORA members who have no idea or experience in Kashrut matters? Yes, I realise it is a real pickle.

     
    3) Is it a good idea to get the government involved? Didn’t this happen in some states of the US with quite negative results? Do we really want them looking over our shoulders? How will the Kosher consumer benefit from all this?

    4) Did ORA in their submission demand that fraudulent terms like “Kosher-style” and “Kosher-friendly” be proscribed? (And if so does the AJN know about this?) If not, why not?

    5) Where can we read the entire submission by ORA? Why was there no public consultation with the main stakeholders, ie, Kosher consumers?

  • frosh says:

    Seen the Submission,

    You say you had to give undertakings not to show people the submissions.

    If this is true, one can hardly not conclude that there is a gross lack of transparency here.

    A transparent process would make the submission freely available, and allow others to comment on it.

  • The oracle says:

    New to the site-good to see healthy debate . I too am privy to the submission and will predict that the licensing issue will recede but that we may face more pertinent questions regarding kashrut authorities. Having said that-before one criticises teh

    he notoion of a licensing authority-would it not be prudent to wait to see what is now a totally abstract concept-mutate -if indeed it ever does -into something real?

    My advice-hold your fire.

  • Henry says:

    Seen the submission says “I didn’t find it too difficult to get my copy I won’t forward it due to the undertaking I gave”                                                                                          Yeah, it sounds easy. Just ask nicely, while giving an undertaking and it’s all yours. STS, please help us with one very small, unimportant detail: Who does one approach?

  • frosh says:

    Hi Oracle,

    Welcome to the site – glad you are enjoying the debate.

    My advice is that if you wish people to hold their fire, please send us the submission (editorial at galusaustralis dot com) so that we can publish it for all Australian kosher consumers to see. Then we will have a transparent process.

    Otherwise, if the submission is a secret, then people will logically take the content in the AJN at face value.

  • The oracle says:

    I see no reason why either the ECAJ or ORA would have any concern to release the document-who knows-maybe they will.

  • Henry says:

    …..and maybe they won’t..

  • rachsd says:

    Hi Oracle,

    Currently, we (at Galus) have received several comments and private emails from people stating they have seen the submission, and that it is innocuous, but everyone of them has also stated that

    1) They will not send us the submission.
    2) They are not permitted or are not willing to divulge any of the content.

    We are dumbfounded as to why such an apparently innocuous document requires such secrecy!

  • The oracle says:

    Rachsd-the issue is kinda new-ie—only just released-so if people monitor sites such as this and sense that there is rational sensible-ie-non hysterical debate on the matter-it may well prompt those who authored and released the document to indeed publicise it.

  • Seen the submission says:

    Henry and Frosh:

    It’s not my submission and I have no obligation of any kind to provide a copy.  If you are interested in informed and relevant debate however don’t just kvetch – with a little effort and initiative you too can probably get a copy just like I did simply by asking around (hint:  the AJN and a number of other relevant communal groups have copies).  Otherwise, as I have said before, the government submission process is usually quite transparent and the submission should be publicly available in due course when they get round to posting all the submissions on the government site linked in rachsd’s original article.

    One thing is apparent already – the Oracle also claims to have seen a copy and he/she too is playing down rachsd’s concerns.  So that seems to add some credibility to my similar sentiments that perhaps it is indeed wiser and more responsible to wait and read the submission before beginning the rabble rousing.

  • Anonymous says:

    I read with interest on the relevant  government website that “Submissions provided in confidence have not been posted on this website”.
    So far the listing does not contain any submission from ECAJ and the federal organisation of Australian Rabbis (ORA) .
    question 17 states:
    “Is there a need to establish agreed definitions of terms such as ‘natural’, ‘lite’, ‘organic’, ‘free range’, ‘virgin’ (as regards olive oil), ‘kosher’ or ‘halal’? If so, should these definitions be included or referenced in the Food Standards Code? ”
    I can only assume that this is the only area in which any submission could have been made.
    My concern  is not that a submission was made, but what is the motivation in the first place of those submitting it?
    Whom would it benefit? Why would any Jewish authority willingly allow a secular authority to determine and enforce what constitutes an”agreed definition”  unless those making the submission in this particular case were knowingly confident that they would be providing the source reference for any definition.
    It is more than likely that, as stated by those above ,that have been privy to this “public” document, that the proposal is likely to fail.
    However, as evidenced in Britain with the debacle over the “who is Jewish” question in relation to  school admittance, once you provide a basis for debate over religious matters in a secular forum, the risk is in losing ownership of the debate and having it judged by those who deem that the decision of what is  perceived as the greater good is best determined by those in public office.
    Lets not kid ourselves.Kashrut certifiaction has as much to do with business as it has to do with providing kosher consumers with a reliable process for deciding on thier food purchases.
    Those that can control the process,distribution and certification, not only stand to profit but also ultimately promote a particular religious postion and make it the dominant and therby the ‘authentic” version.
    The desire of hegemony of one religious veiwpoint in order to influence the many secular, mainstream jews who have little knowledge of the religious, albiet often competing,religous diversity within our communities stands only to stamp themselves as the “only” authority on all things “authenticaly” Jewish.

  • rachsd says:

    The oracle,

    You say that if “there is rational sensible – ie – non hysterical debate…it may well prompt those who authored and released the document to indeed publicise it.”

    Just wondering, is that a polite way of saying that ECAJ and ORA will publish the document if they don’t think that anyone will oppose it?

  • frosh says:

    Oracle and “Seen the Submission”

    You essentially say to our readers: “C’mon, just trust us.”

    At the same time, neither of you are willing to provide us with the content of the submission.

    Also, neither of you are even willing to write under your real names, thus your assurances have not even a shred of accountability attached to them. In other words, your assurances are completely meaningless.

    I’m sorry, but trust does not work that way.

    If you wish our readers to trust you, you ought to either write under your real names, or provide us with the content of the submission (or do both, thus being completely transparent).

  • anonymous for legal reasons says:

    I’ve also seen the submission. I’m awaiting legal advice regarding what can or can’t be about it publicly.
    What I will say is that neither Rachel nor Frosh will have egg on their faces.
    Quite the opposite.
    When this document is finally made public – and we really do need to ask why the extreme secrecy is necessary – they, along with Yaron at sensiblejew and the people at AJN Watch will be entirely vindicated.

  • rachsd says:

    ECAJ were kind enough to provide me with a copy of the submission and you can see it here.

    The AJN report was accurate so my criticism stands.

    I’m not sure why anyone was hesitating to pass it on or divulge its contents. The person that I spoke to at ECAJ didn’t even ask my full name before agreeing to email the submission.

  • SJ says:

    On the one hand, it strikes me that if there is a review of food labelling, that this is a good opportunity for a submission to be made to ensure that products that are labelled kosher are in fact kosher. In theory, the proposal suggested has some sense to it: namely determining whether something is kosher by virtue of whether it has been certified by a recognised rabbinic or kosher authority in Australia. In practice, the difficulty could be that determining who is a ‘recognised rabbinic or kosher authority in Australia’ by ORA could preclude smaller operators from being involved in certifying products Kosher ie – on what criteria is it determined who is a recognised rabbinic or kosher authority.

  • alex fein says:

    Firstly, SJ, could you please find another moniker because there may be some confusion regarding your identity. As the founder of The Sensible Jew, I was often referred to as SJ and the small Jewish blogosphere could be confused by the presence of two SJs.
    Rachel, the email that contained the attachments of the submission featured extremely strong language demanding the contents not be circulated. It would have been legally problematic for people like me who’d been forwarded the email via a leak to publish any portion of the submission. But well done for getting the submission and making it public.

  • Seen the submission says:

    I told you that with a little effort you could see/get the submission. 

    But rachsd – to claim that you would not modify your article as a result is simply refusing to admit that you clearly got it wrong.

    Just a few issues:
    1. Your main claim that Kosher Australia (or any other existing kashrut agency for that matter) is seeking to control Kashrut in Australia is repudiated by the fact that the submission was clearly composed by  ORA and ECAJ and, as the ECAJ has confirmed, it was actually submitted by the ECAJ – not by any of the Kashrut agencies.  Why wasn’t your initial criticism directed against the ECAJ or ORA?  Quite obviously there is another agenda motivating your remarks. 

    2.  As you would now have seen, the submission clearly states that the preferred position is that the present situation. – i.e .that of self regulation – remain and that the government not legislate at all about kashrut.  How does this fit in with your criticism about the submission encouraging government involvement?  Where do you see anything in the submission that, at least in the first instance,  actively encourages government interference  in kashrut matters?

    3.  The proposal about there being a regulatory body to help determine  a definition of Kosher was clearly only proposed in a situation where the government insists on such a definition in any proposed legislation.   Should the Rabbinic and Kashrut authoritites then simply leave such definition to the government?  Someone needs to take responsibility for a proper definition of “kosher” and who better than the Federal Rabbinic Organisation?  The ECAJ obviously understood this and that’s obviously why they backed the submission.

    Be fair rachsd – you have attacked Kosher Australia by name, and by implication those who actually submitted the submission, for being alert, finding out about the government review and simply trying to avoid, or at least limit, possible government interference in kosher food production.  No one was barred from submitting their own submission expressing alternative opinions – but no one really cared enough to do so or even to comment  – until the opportunity arises to criticse the establishment .  For what? For being vigilant and acting responsibly?

    I’m sure the frosh’s and the other professional knockers will have what to say about my opinion but  I’ll leave it to the more discerning readers of this post to judge for themselves.  I’ve said my bit and believe I have been constructive in that I have encouraged people to actually get hold of the submission and read it before shooting their mouth off.   Maybe that will encourage more informed and constructive debate. 
     

  • Puh-leeze says:

    Honestly, all this secrecy over some stupid, pointless kashrut proposal (that will probably be rejected) is ridiculous.
    Who do ECAJ/ORA think they are? Mossad?

  • frosh says:

    Seen the Submission,

    With particular regard to your  point (2), your powers of English language comprehension have to be called into question.  Either that, or you are acting in bad faith.
    The document is exactly as RachSD has described. 
    If you were so confident  in what you have written and in your good faith actions,  then why would you need to hide your identity?

  • eye says:

    Comment byKosherman on AjnWatch:

    “” I had asked “Did ORA in their submission demand that fraudulent terms like “Kosher-style” and “Kosher-friendly” be proscribed? If not, why not?”

    Reading the submission I found nothing about this. One may have thought that eliminating the use of such blatant deceitful terms would have been of major concern for our rabbis (and indeed for the lawyers on the ECAJ). Looks like we were wrong.””

  • SJa says:

    Alex, your point is noted about confusion regarding using SJ as my moniker. Changed to SJa for future posts.

  • the oracle says:

    I told you so- that it would be released and all of you who read it carefully will have understood that it was no big deal.

    However, the issue of how our kashrut authorities operate-is a big one.

    Real question is -do kashrut authorities primarily serve the interests of the public/consumers or ……………………………………………………………………

    As a medium that encourages debate from teh community-that is where your discussions should focus-not on some conspiracy theory targetting ORA ECAJ etc.

  • Seen the submission says:

    Frosh – I see you’re still playing the identity shtick… quite a predictable response now when you don’t have what else to say….

    The submission is public now and there’s  no need to speculate.  I’m quite happy to let the objective readers of these posts decide whether I am correct in that 2nd point after they read the submission.  

    In any event,  I see you haven’t even attempted to address my first and third point.  Could it be that  even you cannot refute my claim that rachsd overstepped  the mark in those two issues?!  (The question is rhetorical by the way – I am quite sure that you would never admit that even if it is quite obvious to all that it was true.)

  • frosh says:

    Seen the Sub.,

    Since you won’t answer my very simple question, I’ll answer it for you:

    If you used your real name and had written the nonsensical rubbish you have written on here (a very public forum), you would have absolutely disgraced yourself, and would probably have to leave town and somehow find a location to live where the internet is not yet readily available. Might I suggest Pyongyang.

  • rachsd says:

    Hi Seen the Submission,

    On points 2 and 3 I suggest you re-read the submission (by the way these points are essentially both the same). Your interpretation is creative.

    On point 1 – it’s true that the organisations submitting the petition are ECAJ and ORA, but ORA is hardly independent of KA and the other kashrut organisations. Mordechai Gutnick is the rabbi in charge of KA (Victoria) and the Immediate Past President of ORA. David Freichlich is the rabbi in charge of KAWA and President of ORA. Moshe Gutnick is the rabbi in charge of the NSW Kashrut Authority and the Senior Vice President of ORA.

  • Gamliel says:

    When I first heard of ORA, I thought it was a band that plays at weddings. 

  • Gamliel says:

    After all, their President is Rabbi FREILICH                                  g

  • Seen the submission says:

    Frosh – I really don’t think your last comment should be dignified with a response.  Just keep playing the man and you’ll continue to prove the level of your intellect and debating skills.

    Rachel,- I don’t think that I am  being creative at all in my summation – but as  I say for the third and final time  – now that the submission is there for all to see let’s leave it to those who read it to make up their own mind as to whether you or I am right.  :-)

    I take you point in your analysis of the ORA leadership but it still doesn’t answer why you singled out Kosher Australia to bear the brunt of your criticism when there are, by your own admission, other kashrut authorities involved – as well as the EJAC who cannot, by a long shot, realistically be seen as a puppet of the Rabbis or the Kashrut organisations.    

  • rachsd says:

    Seen the submission,

    You’ll notice that I wrote KA “and associates” throughout the article, by which I meant the other major kashrut associations. Sorry if that was not clear. I mentioned KA by name because I live in Melbourne.

  • Seen the submission says:

    Not really good enough Rachel.  :-)

    The ECAJ were ultimately the prime movers of this submission – logic dicates that you should have directed your criticism to “the ECAJ and its associates”.  The fact that you didn’t even mention them, or for that matter ORA, and instead singled out Kosher Australia (and  the other “major kashrut associations” ) really tends to suggest another agenda.  I’m not going to speculate what that agenda is but it’s apparent that you have something against Kosher Australia (and kashrut in general?)  that prompted what must be considered as essentially undue criticism and vilification directed at them.  Truly accurate and fair comment would dicate less personal bias and more factual content.  

  • rachsd says:

    I thought you were against playing the ‘man’ or in this case, woman, Seen the Submission.

    I’m interested in the tachlis of the submission BECAUSE I’m interested in kashrut amongst other things.

    If you want to argue about who should take the blame for the submisison, I suggest you take it up with the ‘oracle’, who, like you, started out saying that once everyone had seen the submission they would have no criticism of it. Then, like you, when this turned out not to be the case, started saying well, it’s not organisation X that is to blame, it’s organisation Y. But unlike you, the ‘oracle’ thinks that ECAJ and ORA are not to blame and the kashrut organisations are.

  • Seen the submission says:

    Rachel – I apologise once again – this time if  I appeared to be playing the man (or the woman).  That was not really my intent.  I was simply trying to understand why you haven’t admitted that you have blamed and vilified the wrong organisation(s) for what you consider as a flawed submission.

    Further, although the Oracle may have said so, I have reread all my posts and cannot find where I had said that  reading the submission would result in no criticism of it.  I simply said that some of your comments are, in my opinion, factually incorrect and that when reading the submission you and anyone else willsee that.  I still hold by that opinion.   My criticism regarding how you have blamed the wrong organsisation was only one criticism of your initial remarks that has indeed been supported by the release of the submission and the contents of the first paragraphs of that submission.  

    Finally, Where does the Oracle blame the kashrus organisations for the submission?  He obvioulsy has his issues with them but I don’t see where he blames them for the submission.  Oracle perhaps you can help us out here…
     
     

  • The oracle says:

    Some pointers for all of you:

    1. The whole submission was not initiated by ECAJ or ORA so neither party is to blame. It was in response to moves by the Halal authorities and ECAJ was asked to respond.

    2. Labelling is a wonderful idea-if it comes into fruition-however-all parties ack that with our plurality of kashrut authorities -no easy task. So the Submission merely states that if push comes to shove-a Licensing Board . Now blind freddy knows to structure such a body free of conflicts of interests would be a herculean task-i suggest to you all that ORA and co would be reluctant to actually undertake this task.

    3. My alluding to the kosher authorities  was totally independent of this submission. My point was-readers-you wanna get excited-you want to focus on the real relevant issue of kashrus-then debate how all our kashrut authorities are structured and do they indeed serve the interests of the community first and foremost or……kind of like the old debate re Telstra when privatised-is it serving the consumer or its shareholders.

  • rachsd says:

    People who are opposed to the proposal can join together to voice their concerns by signing this petition.

  • Seen the submission says:

    Thanks Oracle for confirming that, contrary to rachsd’s assertion,  you did not criticise ORA or the EJAC  or the Kashrut organisations for lodging the submission in your  previous comment.

    I have also yet to receive a reply from Rachsd as to where I had said that there would be no criticism of the submission once it was released – as she has charged me with.

    Obviously it is rachsd who is guilty of some creative interpretations – certainly in  her last reply to me. 

    And that’s my whole point regarding her original article.  The trend for such creative (mis)interpretation and misrepresentation is certainly evident there too….

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