MORE ON KOSHER PETS PET FOOD

We received the following letter from the cRc. We challenged the propriety of a company saying its pet food is kosher, when, clearly, it is not.

“First, the company is accurate in stating that they are endorsed. We do endorse their products as being free of basur v’cholov and, for some products, that they are free of chometz.

“Next, I must simply disagree with your assessment of the placement of the statement that the products are not kosher for people and one should not use their utensils. On my very average 17″ monitor (15” viewing area), that statement clearly appears at the bottom of the screen on the home page.

“Further, your implied claim that indigent yidden could be led to eat treif with this product is baseless. Each container or package bears a clear label that the product is not kosher for human consumption. In addition, I assume that you have not been able to check the pricing on these products. The freeze dry runs about $15 per pound. The dry runs over $5 a pound. With the price point involved, it simply isn’t reasonable to think that poor people would spend more than twice as much than regular kosher meat. These products are sold mostly in pet supply stores. How many poor Jews shop Petco for food bargains?

“… Our position is that we are doing a service to the community. Do you realize how many Jews have pets, and have been feeding them products that are b’sar v’cholov without realizing it? Even those who would posken that this is not such a problem would have to agree that having chometz pet food in your house (and feeding it to one’s pet) on Pesach presents a significant halachic problem. For a number of years, we have spearheaded an effort to research pet foods for Pesach, and have published lists of foods that to the best of our knowledge, as reported by the company, don’t contain chometz. Why is it not a better situation to actually be attending the production of products and being able to state with certainty that there is no chometz?

“… Our staff are dedicated yorei shomayim, under the direction of a Rabbinic Board of Directors and under the p’sak of Rav Schwartz, who also serves as the Av Beis Din of the Rabbinical Council of America. Perhaps we will not agree on this matter; that’s all well and fine. Our endorsement was made only after the review of our Kashrus oversight committee in consultation with Rav Schwartz. You are certainly free and welcome to disagree with the p’sak of our Rav or with the policy of our agency… .”

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We still believe that the company web page, which clearly calls their food kosher, is wrong. We do note that the company has added a paragraph wherein they state that they are not kosher, but that paragraph appears AFTER the one wherein they call themselves kosher (in bold print, no less).

We believe that the cRc is wrong to allow this misrepresentation to go on.
(RJR)

Posted on July 30, 2004 at 12:12 pm by Rabbi Jeffrey Rappoport · Permalink
In: General Topics, Kosher Alert, Uncategorized

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