Thursday, September 11, 2008

Agriprocessors in Danger of Losing Kosher Certification

The woes mount for the Iowa kosher meatpacking plant, Agriprocessors Inc. of Postville. Ever since the raid by ICE in May, charges have been raised about its treatment of workers -- e.g., failure to pay overtime, child labor violations, safety violations. But they were kosher. That seal of approval is now in jeopardy because of these justice issues. Conservative Jews will consider these as an element in kosher certification. But more importantly, the Orthodox Union which is the most respected certifier of kosher has demanded changes at Agriprocessors or it will withdraw certification. (See NY Times article.)

"The Fence" along the U.S.-Mexican border -- both the physical and virtual -- is taking longer to put up and is getting more expensive. Homeland Security has admitted as much to Congress, citing the rising costs of materials and the resistance of landowners to welcome it. (See NY Times article.) The virtual fence in Arizona has run into technical problems and the resistance of the Interior Department. (See Arizona Republic article.) Homeland Security was hoping to finish 670 miles by year's end. About half has been completed so far.

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