16 Adar 2 5771
March 22, 2011
JKN makes no attempt to explain the discrepancies regarding chodosh reports from various sources, as explained below. Readers are advised to consult with their rabbonim as how to act.
From Yoseph Herman’s Chodosh Bulletin dated March 21, 2011
LATE BREAKING BULLETIN: CHEERIOS AND OTHER GENERAL MILLS CEREALS: As this issue of the Guide was going to print, we were informed of the following by the OU: All wheat starch used in General Mills cereals becomes Chodosh only after the packing date of Nov 1 ’10. In addition, the oats in regular Cheerios also becomes Chodosh after the packing date of Nov 1.
We are still awaiting word about the Chodosh date for oats in other Cheerios (such as Honey Nut, etc.) The table and other text in this Guide has not been updated to reflect this new development.
To hear more details, call the Hot Line, press #1 for News and then #5 for more updates on Cheerios as they become known.
Section 14 Israel
Rumors surface periodically that the OU somehow sees to it that cereals in general and General Mills/Nestle cereals in particular that are sold in Israel should be Yoshon. Here is an official OU statement on that issue:
1. The OU does not supervise the storage of Nestle cereals to assure its yoshon status.
2. One should not assume that the OU takes responsibility for the yoshon status of cereals sold in Israel.
3. If the OU appears on a General Mills/Nestle cereal in Israel then it was manufactured and packed in the United States. Therefore, the same code used in the US would apply to those cereals exported to Israel (from the US).
From Rabbi Yaakov Charlop of Osem:
All products imported and distributed by Osem in Israel are free of chodosh concerns, including cereals.
From Rabbi Chaim Lasri of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Import Division:
All Cheerios and other such products exhibiting a label “approved for import by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel” are free of chodosh concerns.
(See JKN article of November 4, 2011 quoting the two above-mentioned rabbonim)
Readers who are wise enough to detect the contradiction regarding US production codes based on Y. Herman’s reports, and statements made by the rabbonim in Israel question how this can be.
JKN adds that in one telephone conversation with Rabbi Lasri, he did add that one must verify the authenticity of the import sticker claiming Chief Rabbinate approval since he explained some importers/distributors paste such labels on Cheerios for example without authorization – quite the Catch 22 situation which would compel consumers track down importers and speak with them.
In my mind, this begs the following question – If an importer or distributer is unscrupulous and willing to paste a fraudulent label on a box of cereal, why would I trust his statements made in a telephone conversation?