A bill (S4494) sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins that would increase penalties for the fraudulent packaging, sale or certification of Kosher food has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The legislation came about in response to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Kosher food inspection unit being cut as part of the 2010-11 fiscal year state budget. With a lack of food inspectors, increasing fines will deter some companies that may be inclined to fraudulently market Kosher food products.
“Consumers of Kosher foods have justifiably become increasingly concerned with the possibility of fraud,” Senator Martins said. “Increasing penalties will help act as a deterrent and a protection to New Yorkers who adhere to Kosher dietary laws. It is essential that those who follow Jewish Halakhic law have peace of mind that when a food is labeled Kosher that is, in fact, Kosher. I want to thank the Governor for signing this legislation and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal for sponsoring it in the Assembly.”
The new law, which takes effect in October, increases fines for a first offense by $1,000 to $2,500, and by $2,000 to $7,500 for a second offense.