Bloomberg has an article examining the rapid growth of kosher certified food exported from China in the wake of the various Chinese product safety scandals of 2007.
Chinese companies are eager to get products certified because American consumers incorrectly equate kosher with safe, pure, wholesome food.
Consumers believe this largely due to the PR spin generated by the kosher food industry and its marketing association, Lubicom, founded and headed by Menachem Lubinsky, a Ger hasid deeply involved in the various Rubashkin meat scandals.
The entire Bloomberg piece fails to mention any of the ongoing Rubashkin scandals, even though the piece focuses on the OU – a certifying agency for Rubashkin.
Lubinsky simultaneously serves as a paid PR consultant for Rubashkin and the editor of Kosher Today, the kosher food industry's trade publication. Until outed on blogs, including this one, Lubinsky failed to declare that paid relationship in his reporting. That reporting often involves attacking groups and individuals who have exposed various Rubashkin violations.
Lubinsky's company is also the source for the survey showing American consumers equate kosher with pure, safe and wholesome food.
Does kosher really equal pure, safe and wholesome food?
Certainly not if Rubashkin is taken into account. The same for any of dozens of kosher snacks produced for the haredi market, which are loaded with additives, preservatives, and high amounts of both sugar and sodium.
Yet the only qualifying voice in the entire Bloomberg piece is this:
While the rabbis see to it that the products adhere to such laws as prohibitions on pork and the mixing of meat and dairy, they don't perform scientific food-safety tests.
"There is definitely marketing power to have a kosher symbol on products,'' said Mark Overland, who directs the kosher and organic department at Cargill Inc., the largest U.S. agricultural company. ``But it would be a misnomer to equate kosher with food safety.''
"Misnomer" may be dramatically understating the situation – a serious medical error may be more like it.
A PDF archive of the article follows:
[Hat Tip: Ken.]