Overspraying pesticides could revoke kashrut

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s chief rabbi wants to revoke kosher certificates from fruit and vegetable growers who use too much pesticide.

Rabbi Yona Metzger will meet with the Chief Rabbinate’s kashrut committee to test the waters, Ynet reported Tuesday. If the committee authorizes the initiative, it would mean that a kosher certificate could be withheld for a condition not directly related to the laws of kashrut.

In order to sell bug-free fruits and vegetables, which give them a higher level of kashrut since bugs are not kosher, some growers use large amounts of insecticide instead of using other special growing methods.

Metzger said the potential health issues make overspraying "a purely halachic consideration," Ynet reported.

"Such fruits truly endanger those who eat them, he told Ynet. "You cannot grant kashrut to poison."

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