Israeli firm behind N.Y. sweet smell to excess


WASHINGTON (JTA) — An Israeli company is behind a sweet smell bothering New Yorkers.

In a Feb. 5 news conference Mayor Michael Bloomberg said city investigators had traced a maple syrup-like scent to a food processing plant in bordering Hudson County, N.J., called Frutarom.

Frutarom, based in Israel, owns the company. Its North Bergen plant processes fenugreek seeds to make fragrances for its food and medicinal extracts.

The scent has been unnerving residents of Staten Island, Manhattan and Brooklyn for several years; some apparently feared it was some kind of chemical warfare.

Bloomberg said the smell, which the mayor noted was reported as far back as four or five years ago, "has never been a health hazard."

"In this day and age, we must take every possible threat to our safety seriously, no matter how innocuous it might be," he said.

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