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Britain’s sugar tax on soft drinks comes into effect

April 6, 2018 from the GlobeAndMail and New Food Magazine

"Britain’s sugar tax on soft drinks came into effect on Friday, a move that will lead to some higher prices as the country seeks to battle childhood obesity."
"The levy applies a 24p rate to every litre of soft drinks that contain more than eight grams per 100 millilitres and an 18p rate to every litre of soft drinks that contain between five and eight grams of sugar per 100 millilitres."
"Over 50 percent of manufacturers have reformulated their products to be below the levy’s sugar threshold."
Editor's note: many of these reformulations have used white grape juice as a substitute for sugar, causing many products to no longer be kosher.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W705

Storeowner Forgets to Sell Chometz, Has to Burn 30,000 Shekels Worth of Products

April 8, 2018 from the Matzav.com:

"A supermarket owner in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Yerushalayim forgot to sell the chometz in his store, so, in the middle of Pesach, a local rov appeared in the store and ordered the chometz to be burned."
"Last year, the store’s mechiras chometz was taken care of by the owner’s brother."Last year, the brother "stopped working in the store, and the responsibility that lay on his shoulders fell to me, but I forgot to sell the chometz"
"On Thursday, the seventh day of Pesach, the rov of the neighborhood, Rav Matisyahu Deutsch, learned that the chometz was not sold. He entered the store at about noon and told the owner that all the chometz, worth tens of thousands of shekels, must be removed. Thus, in the midst of the chag, the entire stock of chometz was burned." "The inventory he burnt was worth about NIS 30,000."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W707

Vegan Ice Cream Market Expected to Grow

April 6, 2018 from the SpecialtyFoodNews:

"The global vegan ice cream market is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 9 percent from 2018-2022. The expanding global vegan population is a major factor driving the market's growth, and a key market trend is the rising popularity of vegan ice cream among millennials."
"The Americas dominated the vegan ice cream market in 2017 with around 45 percent share."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W706

Nothing Kosher About a Cloned Pig

March 26, 2018 from the TheJewishVoice:

The kosher status of cultured meat products generates lots of speculation as demostrated by the article below from Newsweek.
TheJewishVoice interviewed "Rabbi Menachem Genack, the head of the Orthodox Union’s division of kosher products told the NYP that a cloned pig is no more kosher than a traditional pig which has split hooves but does not chew its cud which renders it absolutely not kosher. 'That which derives from something that is not kosher is not kosher,'.

Israeli Rabbi Says Eating Cloned Pork is Kosher, Genetic Engineering Would Prevent Animal Suffering

March 21, 2018 from the Newsweek and JTA:

"Prominent Israeli Rabbi Yuval Cherlow says meat from a cloned pig would be considered kosher under Jewish dietary laws. Cherlow, who is a leading scholar on modern interpretations of Kashrut, is advocating for rabbinic approval of cloned meats in order to reduce animal suffering, decrease meat industry pollution and stamp out starvation."
"Cherlow says that because meat grown from cells in a lab would have lost its "identity," observant Jews would also be able to eat it alongside dairy products."
"Cherlow compares the rabbinic decision to allow for genetically engineered meat to the caveat decision allowing for consumption of gelatin mixed with the bones of 'forbidden' or 'unclean' animals." "'The leading halakhic authorities permitted eating gelatin from animal origin, claiming that in the process of production it loses its flavor, is not edible, and therefore is no longer considered edible, and there is no halachic prohibition against eating it.'"

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W704

Rabbi Berach Steinfeld Assumes Position of KIC Monitor

March 21, 2018 from the Matzav.com: :

Rabbi Steinfeld will serve as the monitor of the Kashrus Information Center KIC in Brooklyn after the retirement of Rav Moshe Weiner, who served as the KIC monitor for the last 19 years. The KIC monitors the kashrus standards of Flatbush food establishments.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W703

Threat to kosher slaughter in Canada averted: CIJA

March 15, 2018 from the CJN: :

"A possible threat to the production of kosher meat in Canada has been averted, according to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), which intervened with federal authorities to rectify a situation it described as 'urgent.'"
"The problem arose following changes to the “interpretation” of Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulations concerning the prevention of animal suffering, which, according to CIJA, could have ended shechitah (Jewish ritual slaughter)."
"The veal production practices of three abattoirs in Ontario and Quebec were brought into question by the CFIA. They collectively supply all of Canada’s kosher veal market and 85 per cent of the U.S. market, said CIJA CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel."
"Moreover, he said that it 'became clear the ruling would quickly be applied to all abattoirs, threatening the entire range of kosher beef, calf and lamb products.'"
"The changes came about, at least in part, as a result of the free trade agreement reached between Canada and the European Union last year."
"CIJA appealed to Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, to prevent the federal government from imposing regulations that would make shechitah illegal. A series of meetings and inspections culminated in a site evaluation by senior CFIA officials, CIJA and rabbinical representatives on March 7."
"Fogel said that, “A clear consensus was reached that confirms shechitah as a humane and approved method of animal slaughter.”
"He emphasized that, 'CFIA officials were deeply respectful and saw the continued supply of kosher meat as an important part of their own mandate.'"
"Fogel said that the section on animal welfare in the CFIA manual was at the centre of the matter." “In particular, the discussion revolved around the criteria used to determine ‘sensibility,’ or more precisely, ‘insensibility’ – that is, at what point does the animal become insensible to pain or stimulus?” he explained.
"The basic measurements include such signs as eye movement, tongue control, sounds made, ability to stay upright and breathing rhythm."
"In 2014, the CFIA updated its manual and since then, its regulations have become more in line with international standards, notably those outlined in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, the free trade agreement between Canada and the EU, which came into force in September." "In the matter at hand, the criterion of “rhythmic breathing was confused with agonal breathing and triggered some concerns on the part of CFIA officials that animals were being hoisted before the onset of insensibility,” he said.|
"Veal production was singled out because of anatomical differences between calves and full-grown cattle, Fogel added. 'The criteria are less precise in calves, who have not fully developed the musculature of a mature animal. So anomalies in breathing patterns, for example, (may be) present in calves, but not once the animal reaches maturity.'"

"Fogel said that CFIA regulations will be rewritten “to reflect the consensus understanding achieved over the last couple of weeks,” which he is confident will prevent future disruptions at kosher slaughter facilities."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W702

InSinkErator® Recalls SinkTop™ Switch Accessory for Garbage Disposals Due to Fire Hazard

March 6, 2018 from the CPSC in Conjunction With Healthy Canadians: :

InSinkErator Single Outlet SinkTop Switches have been recalled because water can get into the power module, posing a fire hazard.
This recall involves InSinkErator Single Outlet SinkTop Switches. The air activated switch mounts to the sink or countertop and is an alternative to the traditional wall switch for a garbage disposal. The model numbers are 76703, STS-SOSN, 78251 and 74300, and can be found on the back of the power module. InSinkErator is written on the front of the power module. The switches were sold with a chrome, white, or satin nickel button/bezel as an accessory for garbage disposals. Garbage disposals activated by a wall switch are not affected by this recall.
The switches were sold between 2005 and October 2017 at home improvement stores, online websites and through plumbing contractors and outlets for between about $50 and $90.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled switches and contact InSinkErator for a free SinkTop switch replacement.
Consumer Contact: InSinkErator toll-free at 855-215-5695 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.insinkerator.com and click on “Safety Notice”, or insinkeratorsafetynotice.expertinquiry.com for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W701

Poll: Should non-stun slaughter be banned in the UK?

March 7, 2018

You can participate in a poll ast whether religious slaughter should be banned in the UK at www.fwi.co.uk/livestock/poll-should-non-stun-slaughter-be-banned-in-the-uk.htm

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W700

Edible Food Packaging from Casein

March 6, 2018 from the Agresearch Magazine and IFT:

Scientists from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) have created edible food wraps made of casein.
"The packaging looks like commercially available food wraps, and because it is made from casein proteins extracted from milk, no U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval would be required to bring it to market. ARS is currently pursuing options to commercialize the technology via licensing. Possible applications include pouches to hold powdered soup or instant coffee; there is also the potential to apply an edible film directly to products like candy and cheese sticks."
"ARS scientists are also working on coatings applied from a liquid that is sprayed or brushed onto food or into which food can be dipped. The spray-on application could be used to replace sugar coatings on dry cereals, to add protein, and to help keep the cereal crunchy when milk is added."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W699

Finnish community statement on government’s new proposal on animal welfare

March 5, 2018 from the eurojewcong.org:

"The Finnish government is proposing new legislation on animal wellbeing, which would replace the current law on Animal Protection. In the suggested legislation bleeding of an animal could only be started once the animal has been appropriately stunned or killed with a method suitable for the species in question. The new legislation would require so-called pre-cut stunning. The current law on Animal Protection allows starting of the bleeding of the animal simultaneously with its stunning. Under the new law, the animal would always have to be stunned prior to slaughtering it."

"Slaughter according to Jewish practice ( shechita ) and the commandments concern ing purity of food (kashrut) are absolutely central in Judaism and religiously binding for Jews. There are many commandments on proper humane treatment of animals in Judaism; the aim of shechita is to produce the minimal amount of suffering and pain to an animal during slaughter. Thus, the harming of an animal by stunning it prior to bleeding, is absolutely forbidden in Judaism. Shechita has been shown in numerous studies, to be at least as swift and painless a slaughtering method as e.g. bolt pistol stunning conjoined with bloodletting."

Full Statement is can be found here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W698
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