August 1, 2016

Kashrus Agencies Warn Against Fraudulent Letters of Certification

Los Angeles - The letter looked every bit as authentic as the myriad of Letters of Certification that are routinely issued by kashrus organizations. It was on the letterhead of Kosher Supervision of America (KSA) and even had the signature of its founding rabbinic head, Rabbi Binyomin Lisbon. It certified that many products produced by Texas-based Edosa were under the KSA supervision and that they were in fact pareve. The letter was a fake and prompted many in the kashrus world to voice concern about the possibilities of such a fraudulent misrepresentation in the future. Kashrus agencies deal with misrepresentation on a constant basis, but in most cases they are found to be unintentional. One example would be when there is a change in the kashrus status of a product and the company continues to use old labels. Some of the kashrus alerts that are issued by such sites as kashrus.com and by Kashrus Magazine relate to misrepresenting products that may be dairy and are not noted with a d to indicate the status. In some case, the product may indeed be pareve and the label indicates that it is dairy. Many of these misrepresentations are in fact flagged by consumers which the kashrus agencies say is extremely important since the policing by actual consumers is the best enforcement against fraud.