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Special Report: Gelatin
Can You Always Trust So-Called "Kosher" Products?

by Ken Swiger

Many believers are very careful in what they put into their bodies. They realize that as the temple of the God, they have a responsibility to take the best possible care of this earthly tabernacle. If you are one who obeys God’s dietary laws, it may interest you to know that some things which you may have been eating are actually made from unclean animals!

A church member told me he had learned on the Internet that Jello brand gelatin was made from pork products. I assured him it that this was not so. After all they have a little "K" on the label to indicate that their product is "kosher". Also others had told me they had phoned the toll free telephone number at Kraft Foods and had been assured that their gelatin was in fact, kosher. He responded that he believed the warning he had seen on the Internet and was not persuaded by a "K" on a label.

I called Kraft and asked them if the "K" on the label meant that the product was certified as Kosher. The lady answered "yes it does". I then asked if they meant by kosher that there were no pork or equine (horse) products in the gelatin. Again she said yes. I asked her to send me written documentation of the kosher certification of Jello; now satisfied that I had proved that Jello was OK for us to eat.

When the documentation arrived I was dismayed to find that it listed all Kraft Foods products which are certified as kosher except for Jello! Their cover letter mentioned my contact regarding the gelatin products, yet they did not send me the documentation for it. I called again to ask for the written proof of Jello. This time I was told that Jello was actually certified through a different rabbinical source. Instead of sending the documents on Jello certification, they gave the name, address and phone number of the rabbi in New York City. I called and left messages requesting the information.

When I received the letter from the rabbi, I found a hand-written, single paragraph letter with a startling admission. It reads as follows:

December 23, 1996

Dear Mr. Swagger, (sic)

Gelatin is made from skin and bones of animals - not the meat: as per information that I have enclosed it can be considered Kosher even if it starts with pork skins/bones.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Sheldon Goldsmith

The information he enclosed was a two-sided photo copied sheet. One side was a multi-paragraph explanation, quoting many Orthodox rabbis and their writings, for the certification of gelatin derived from any source as meeting "the specifications of Orthodox Dietary Laws and therefore Kosher and Pareve."

Side two of this document was a brief summary of the production of animal-based gelatin. It explained that contrary to popular belief, gelatin is not manufactured from horns or hooves of animals but rather from collagen bearing tissues in the trimmings of the hides.

These materials are soaked in chemicals, washed and cooked to extract the gelatin which is then filtered and evaporated. In order to make it clear that the gelatin could be made from any animal, he underlined the word "any". They conclude that the chemical process changes the composition of the product and that the identity of the original material is completely eliminated! Amazing conclusion is it not? By this deceitful line of reasoning, one could conceivably start.


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