November 16, 2009

Boston Case Demonstrates GovernmentÕs Responsibility to Kosher Consumer on Kosher Fraud

Boston…With increased evidence of fraud being perpetrated on kosher consumers, the need for government protection is clear, say advocates of tougher laws on kosher. Last week, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office reached an agreement with Golbos, Inc., which operates the Gordon and Alperin Butcher Shop, and its principal, Ricardo Bosich, resolving allegations that they violated the Massachusetts Kosher Food Law by posting signage in Hebrew advertising “Kosher Meat” when the Newton shop was no longer certified as kosher. The Attorney General alleged that the shop had also continued to advertise on its website that it was under kosher supervision when it had discontinued such supervision. While some might consider the $1,000 civil penalty as a slap on the wrist, it does however send a message to settle these allegations, according to Rabbi Rachmiel Liberman, Executive Director of "Diamond-K" Kosher Supervision (Lubavitch) and sponsor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Kosher Law Statue. According to Liberman, "This is a matter of consumer protection, for close to a year consumers were misled by this proprietor into believing that his butcher shop had rabbinical supervision.” Rabbi Liberman thanked Assistant Attorney General David Monahan for settling this case in which Gordon & Alperin Butcher shop agreed to pay the $1000 fine. Growing incidents of kosher fraud was also a topic at the recent conference of the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO) in New York.