heeb'n'vegan

"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)

1.31.2008

Gefilte Shmefilte: One of Those Frequently Occurring Kosher Food Scandals

As Failed Messiah and The Jew & The Carrot noted first, the Winnipeg Free Press has reported another kosher food industry scandal. The Freshwater Fish Marketing Corp. (FFMC) is accused of, among other things, problems associated with poor kashrut supervision:
The FFMC is the largest North American supplier of fish minced to produce kosher fish called "gefilte fish." Its plant is certified by the Orthodox Union (OU) .... [A]ccording to information obtained from employees at FFMC, the [supervising] rabbi was often derelict in his duties and management knew it. While he was required to observe the production line at all times, he spent a great deal of time in an office on a computer, or was simply absent.
In the words of The Jew & The Carrot's Leah Koenig, "Honestly, as I read about this latest transgression - I felt anything but shocked." I agree. Oftentimes, the people charged with inspecting slaughter facilities for various reasons are simply not where they’re supposed to be.

Such problems are not unprecedented in the kosher food industry. In the wake of the 2004 AgriProcessors scandal, a subsequent U.S. Department of Agriculture report found that an inspector at the world’s largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse “spends a lot of time in the government office playing computer games on the government computer.”

Nor are such problems unique to kosher facilities. U.S. government inspectors who should hypothetically be enforcing the Humane Slaughter Act are also typically MIA or impotent to actually change what they see. In the words of Arthur Hughes (president of the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals), “We are the people who are charged by Congress with enforcing [the Humane Slaughter Act], but most of our inspectors have little to no access to those areas of the plants where animals are being handled and slaughtered.” Felicia Nastor (food-safety director for the Government Accountability Project) adds, “Federal inspectors check paperwork, not food, and are prohibited from removing feces and other contaminants before products are stamped with the purple USDA seal of approval.” Click here to read more about the scope of the problem.

All these scandals make a pretty strong argument for vegetarianism. And going vegetarian definitely means cutting fish out of your diet too. Visit FishingHurts.com for more information about the cruelty involved in raising and catching fish for food as well as scientific evidence that fish feel pain. (One Arizona woman wants people to visit FishingHurts.com so much that she just changed her name to FishingHurts!)

1 Comments:

  • At 2/15/2008 2:09 AM, Anonymous sandy winz said…

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