Q & A Board - View Post
Author:  Renee
E-mail:  not available
Date:  7/8/2004 9:28:00 AM
Subject:  Hechshers on things like ammonia, alcohol
Message:  A while back my husband discussed this issue with a Rabbi who was with the OU (regarding OU certified raw potatoes).

My husband was told that the OU hechsher is a marketing tool for the companies who pay to use the copywritten symbol. The companies are sold on the idea that the OU symbol will increase their business with a powerful Jewish, Muslim, Hindu vegetarian and animal rights/ethical vegetarian market. Also there are those consumers who buy these products believing that they are meant for the Jewish market and are therefore of a higher quality. (I have been approached by Gentiles in many cities who have asked me where there is a kosher butcher because "everyone knows its cleaner").

As you are learning from this website, the OU, OK etc symbols are powerful marketing tools that generate a meaningful income for hundreds of people. Companies are sold on this idea by Rabbinical "marketing reps" and they buy. The OU claims that it is not selling "kashrut" or the need for "kashrut" certification for such products where it would seem silly, but simply increased market share due to the usage of their copywritten symbol.

I guess if one person buys the alcohol or ammonia over another brand BECAUSE it has an OU, then they are right. I do not know to what extent we are permitted to tell these companies that we, as Observant Jews do not care if our ammonia is certified as kosher or that one would be hard pressed to find a Rabbi anywhere who would insist on certified raw potatoes.

Where does marketing cross into "fraud"? Where does it become "misusing the Torah as a shovel to dig for gold"?

When is it the right thing to tell companies that they are being misled if they are indeed even being misled?

Thanks to this website, I feel as though we are becoming observant for the first time in our lives.

Thank you again........
Reply:  ...

Back to the Q & A Board