New York State Senator Kevin Parker called on the new Governor Andrew Cuomo to reverse former Governor David Paterson’s budget cuts, which eliminated the Kosher Law Enforcement (KLE) Division of the Department of Agriculture.
Governor Paterson’s removal of funding from the division had met with substantial opposition from among the 1.6 million kosher food consumers of New York.
“Cutting the KLE’s budget will have a detrimental effect on New York State’s robust kosher food market, which is the largest in the world after the State of Israel,” said Senator Parker.
“New Yorkers who adhere to kosher, halal and vegetarian diets for religious or health reasons spend approximately $1 billion on kosher certified products, and we owe it to those New Yorkers to continue New York’s century old practice of enforcing the consumer protection laws that safeguards the purity and authenticity of kosher products.”
New York is the United States’ largest producer and consumer of kosher products, and the existence of a strong KLE division is key to that dominant market position.
The $40 billion nationwide kosher food industry has important economic implications for this state, and New York’s immense share of that market has historically been guaranteed by its effective and respected Kosher Law Enforcement Division.
“The Kosher Law Enforcement Division has grown an industry that provides jobs for thousands of New Yorkers, and safe and reliable food for millions more. I respectfully urge Governor Cuomo to reverse Governor Paterson’s elimination of this important program,” Parker said.
Parker represents the 21st Senatorial District in Brooklyn, which includes Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington and Borough Park.