Boycott Watch
December 22, 2003
Dispelling a rumor - there is no kosher tax or Jewish tax
   Dispelling a rumor - there is no kosher tax or Jewish tax

   Boycott watch has corrected many false rumors, and this one is no different. There are some people who have been propagating a rumor that the kosher certification symbols found on some food products are actually a tax or fee for the benefit of Jews or Israel, and products displaying such symbols are more expensive than products without it.

   There is no truth to that rumor. In this report, we are going to examine each charge.

   First, the kosher symbols are certifications regarding the content of the products to inform consumers who are interested in abiding by kosher laws that the product is in fact kosher. This means that the product, in essence, contains no animal products as defined in the five books of Moses as non-clean, such as pig products or byproducts, and that the product does not contain both meat and dairy products in the same package.

   The primary adherents to the kosher code are orthodox Jews, but many non-orthodox Jews, Muslims, vegetarians and other consumers prefer foods that are certified kosher.

   Second, the fees associated with the kosher certifications do not aid any special groups or Israel. There is no money as part of the fees involved by any certification organization that is earmarked for Israel. Rather, the certification organizations, which are primarily non-profit entities, use the fees to pay the salaries of the rabbinical administrators and administrative expenses associated with the certification programs.

   Third, in many cases, the certifications are requested by the marketing departments of the food manufacturers. This is because in most cases the kosher certification builds sales, thus lowering the average per item manufacturing cost, resulting in higher sales and profit for the manufacturer.

   In conclusion, the overall result of having a kosher certification on products is lower consumer costs and higher manufacturer profits at the same time because manufacturers are able to lower their costs by spreading the manufacturing costs over a larger number of items on a per-piece basis with increased sales due to the added product demand. There is therefore no Jewish or kosher tax, rather, it is all about marketing to increase product sales.

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 ©2003 Boycott Watch