Our Federal Trade Commission Complaint #116616117 and their Response
Our company has performed market research on the kosher certification industry, including professional consumer surveys and one significant study, https://mynkcproducts.com/data-critical-study-on-kosher-seals/ (A Quantitative Study of Kosher Certification: Seal Visibility and Public Awareness). Between the critical study, the surveys, the three years of research we have provided in identifying products that are NOT Kosher Certified (“NKC”), archived newspaper investigation going as far back as the early 1900s, TV/Billboard/social media advertisements, contact with company reps, and nationwide products examination off the shelves of supermarkets, we have determined that:
- there is largely a concerted effort to keep consumers unaware of the magnitude of kosher certification of the products they buy
- poor visibility/transparency of kosher seals and even deception are frequently used to maintain an unknowing/uncaring consumer base on this practice
- lack of cooperation by companies and kosher agencies to reveal the details of this religious intervention complete the fraud that keeps this nearly century-old business sustained and ever-growing
There is little religious freedom left in purchasing packaged products at the supermarket, as kosher certification (and soon halal certification) has been insidiously imposed on our secular free market. There is little to no choice for products NOT religiously certified. This is not fair to the consumer who does not follow Judaism, Kashrus, the Talmud, Islam, or care about the meaning of some of these kosher seal indications (Pareve or Dairy). Often is the case where there are no equivalent products NKC for countless food/food wrap/detergent categories found in the supermarkets.
Kosher seals have been scientifically measured to be so relatively small compared to other certifications found on package labels, that few average consumers notice them. In fact, one of our surveys showed that 90% of shoppers don’t recognize the ubiquitous OU kosher seal that has been around since 1923! This proves that deception is at play, and there is a massive fraud perpetrated on the entire American consumer populace.
The very fact that kosher keepers and the kosher agencies are not complaining about the unusually small or deceptive display marketing of the kosher seals indicates a complicit group not intending to ever make kosher certification (or any religious certification) inclusive for diverse consumers of all faiths and identities.
We are filing this complaint to help introduce consumer laws that will correct this dominant wrong-doing in our food, soap, kitchen product, detergent, and appliance markets. The perpetrators of this fraud are too numerous to list. We respectfully request that this industry be examined from top to bottom by the Federal Trade Commission so as to make grocery shopping fair again, and to stop the encroachments on our religious liberty.
In response to our filed complaint, we received the following email from firstname.lastname@example.org:
“Thank you for contacting the Federal Trade Commission. We have reviewed your complaint and have determined that the following information may assist you.” https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0060-10-things-you-can-do-avoid-fraud
Update (5/20/2020): We followed up by filing a second complaint, stating that their response was unsatisfactory for such a large scale deceptive trade practice. They replied back with the same link for how consumers can avoid fraud…certainly not much help. We will thus presume that this is a government backed racket, since no sincere help was extended to investigate the kosher certification schemes we have detailed.