Religion Magazine

Mountain Dew with Lemon and the KLBD Hechsher in Israel

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Mountain Dew with Lemon.
Some people really love Mountain Dew. It is one of those American drinks that is difficult to find here, but some stores sometimes have it in stock imported from the USA or Europe. Just by writing the words Mountain Dew I am sure some people's mouths are watering.Mountain Dew with Lemon and the KLBD hechsher in Israel
Someone sent me the following issue:
This fellow purchased this can of Mountain Dew (with Lemon), in Israel (the specific store is irrelevant). On the importer Hebrew label it is labeled as under the hechsher is from the KLBD - the London Beis Din. The drink is manufactured by Britvic Soft Drinks in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. It is imported to Israel by a company from Shchem (Nablus) called Najach. It is difficult to see on the can itself as the label covers much of the original information, as the import label often does, but the can of Mountain Dew is manufactured in Europe, maybe Poland or the Czech Republic.
The fellow was suspicious, or maybe curious, about the Arab importer with the KLBD hechsher, and sent the image of the can and label to the KLBD to verify that they actually do authorize it. 
The KLBD responded that they do not certify the product in Israel.
Now, honestly, that si a little bit vague and avoiding the question. They do not authorize it in Israel, but maybe in the UK they do. Maybe they never approved their hechsher to be used for export, but the product itself remains certified by them, though they take no authority on anything outside of hte United Kingdom. Or maybe they don't authorize it at all.
I looked on the KLBD website using their product search. I searched for Mountain Dew. The result said that Mountain Dew "Citrus", which I assume includes lemon, possibly, is authorized by KLBD. At the bottom of  the page, as on every product search, there is a disclaimer stating that KLBD only authorizes products for the UK market.
Yet KLBD says they do not authorize this product for Israel.
I suspect, and I stress that I suspect, they do authorize the product in the UK, made in Poland or wherever and imported to the UK (as the disclaimer says it only applies to products made for the UK market - not int he UK but for the UK), but do not extend their authorization to Israel. That is why they mentioned Israel in their response rather than just saying they do not certify the product.
The label on the product is clearly inaccurate and misleading, the question is if the product is actually kosher or not.
The question is, the product sold in Israel and does not bear a hechsher - does it stop being kosher once it is loaded onto the boat or plane at the UK docks, or does it remain kosher but not certified?
Interestingly, by being imported by a Palestinian operation out of Shchem instead of by an Israeli, it did not "need" the approval of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
So is Mountain Dew with Lemon sold in Israel imported by Najach from Shchem with the KLBD on the import label kosher or not? I don't know. I will leave it to each of you to decide for yourself and to consult with your rabbi or local kashrut expert. I think we are missing some information - such as is this can imported from the UK and is the original certified as kosher by the KLBD while in the UK? If the answer to that is yes, then I think one can consider it kosher in Israel, if one chooses to, and drink the Mountain Dew with Lemon, even though it bears no certification. If not, if it is imported from elsewhere other than the UK, or if the KLBD does not certify this specific flavor or factory run from wherever, even while sold in the United Kingdom, then it might not be kosher.
If any of you out there have more information, please feel free to fill us in.
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