Coke for Pesach: A Report


coca-colaKosher Today reports: A major Chasidic rabbi in Williamsburg routinely offers his followers Coca Cola products but not the Coke products manufactured in the US. The Chasidim rely on the certification of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Landau of Bnei Brak, who does not certify Diet Coke on Passover, because of his issues with the sweeteners. The products are instead certified by the Chief Rabbinate of Tel Aviv, which is why the Williamsburg rabbi bars the Israeli Diet Coke on Passover. Rabbi Landau does, however, certify the regular Coca Cola for Passover.

It is widely believed in Israel that Rabbi Landau is one of the few people on earth that knows the exact ingredients of Coca Cola. Rabbi Landau’s certification on Diet Coke bottles clearly states that he does not certify the Diet Coke for Passover. Although Coke generally does not condone import of its products from country to country, it has apparently made an exception for its Israeli products under Rabbi Landau. A leading rabbi told KosherToday that the switch of certifications on Diet Coke is widely known amongst most Israeli consumers who covet Rabbi Landau’s hechsher, but it has incensed some Diet Coke customers who claim they were unaware of the change despite the disclaimer on the product.

In the US, Coca-Cola is certified by the Orthodox Union (OU) and most bottlers in the US produce a number of Coke products including Diet Coke for Passover. Last year, there was a major shortage of the Passover Coke in California when Coke directed its suppliers to change the way they manufacture caramel to reduce levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI, which California has listed as a carcinogen. Coca-Cola products in Illinois are certified as Kosher for Passover by the CRC (Chicago Rabbinical Council). This year some of the caps designated for the CRC supervised production were mistakenly delivered to the East Coast. But the OU confirmed that products available in the East Coast either with OU-P or CRC-P13 on Yellow Caps has been produced under the strict Passover supervision of the Orthodox Union and the products are Kosher for Passover.


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  1. Diet Coke should never be consumed year round. Aspartame is, by Far, the Most Dangerous Substance on the Market that is Added To Foods. Never consume it if you want to live long and be healthy. It is a powerful Neurotoxin that leads to many catastrophic illnesses such as Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson’s disease, alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA.

  2. Is coke a kitniyot issue or hametz. If its hametz, it is most certainly kosher for sefaradim who hold eino hozer veneor…

    Therefore for a sefaradi one could by coke before hag??

  3. Nothing wrong with drinking poland spring water or mayim chaim seltzer add a lemon to it for flavor its a lot healthier and cheaper and 100 percent kosher lpesach -all year round happy holiday

  4. why are these rabbis always anonymously quoted or refrenced? “A chassidic rabbi”… if youre not naming him then mentioning him in the article serves no purpose because it cant be verified.

  5. @truthseeker
    The overwhelming body of scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that aspartame, even in amounts many times what people typically consume, is safe and not associated with adverse aspartame side effects. However, over the years, some consumers have reported symptoms, which they believed were associated with aspartame. The FDA has investigated these allegations and concluded that there is no “reasonable evidence of possible public health harm” and “no consistent or unique patterns of symptoms reported with respect to aspartame that can be causally linked to its use.”
    In 1984, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed 517 of these anecdotal reports and stated, “the majority of frequently reported symptoms were mild and are symptoms that are common in the general populace” and that “focused” clinical studies would be the best way to evaluate these complaints.
    As a result, numerous scientific studies “focused” on the allegations were conducted by expert researchers at major academic institutions. The results of these studies overwhelmingly demonstrated that aspartame is not associated with adverse health effects, including headaches, seizures, changes in mood, cognition, or behavior, or allergic reactions.
    Despite the overwhelming documentation of aspartame’s safety, unfounded allegations that aspartame is associated with a myriad of ailments, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and lupus, have continued to be spread via the Internet and the media by a few individuals who have no documented scientific or medical expertise. Recently, several governments and expert scientific committees (including the Scientific Committee on Food of the European Commission, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency, the French Food Safety Agency and Health Canada) carefully evaluated the Internet allegations and found them to be false, reconfirming the safety of aspartame. In addition, leading health authorities, such as the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, The National Parkinson Foundation, Inc., the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Lupus Foundation of America, have reviewed the claims on the Internet and also concluded that they are false.

  6. Truthseeker is on target here. There should be more people like you. If people would look into the history of how these artificial sweeteners got approved, it would be shocking. Just remember the fight that it took to get the warning on a pack of cigarettes.

  7. “5. Comment from ira
    Time March 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Nothing wrong with drinking poland spring water or mayim chaim seltzer add a lemon to it for flavor its a lot healthier and cheaper and 100 percent kosher lpesach -all year round happy holiday”

    No – and there is nothing wrong with drinking suitably filtered tap water either.

  8. I really enjoy drinking Diet Coke. I find it a and refreshing drink, but I and my family could easily do without it for eight days.

    When Isru Chag comes around we shall savor its flavor even more.

  9. To Comment #1. from Truth Seeker
    and Comment #2. from NachumB:


    Yasher Kochachem for trying to warn people of the truth!

  10. Aspartame Linked to Leukemia & Lymphoma in Groundbreaking Study

    Each year, Americans consume about 5,250 tons of aspartame in total, of which about 86 percent (4,500 tons) is from the consumption of diet sodas. Diet soda is the largest dietary source of aspartame in the U.S. A study recently published at the beginning of December 2012 links the consumption of Aspartame to increased risk of Lymphoma and Leukemia. The study was conducted by the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA and Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA. The study was a follow up after a 22 year period of data collection including health frequent dietary and health check ups of the study group.

    We have covered the subject of aspartame on several occasion including findings that show aspartame damages the brain at any dose. This new study suggests that as little as a single 355ml can of diet soda daily greatly increases the risk for cancers in men and women. It can also increase the risk of multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men. The results of this study forces us to really look at the effects of aspartame as there has never been a more comprehensive, long term study ever done on the topic. It is important to note that this can also reveal many more serious diseases and illnesses as data is observed even further.

    The Most Comprehensive Study to Date on Aspartame

    This study tracks over two million person-years giving it a huge pile of data to generate results from. Researchers prospectively analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study for a 22-year period. A total of 77,218 women and 47,810 men were included in the analysis, for a total of 2,278,396 person-years of data. It is not just the sample size of this study that makes it impressive, it is also the thoroughness with which aspartame intake was assessed in comparison to previous studies. Over the course of the study, every two years, participants were given a detailed dietary questionnaire, and their diets were reassessed every four years. Shockingly, previous studies done on aspartame who revealed no link between aspartame and cancer in humans, only assessed participants’ aspartame intake at one point in time. This poses a major weakness in the accuracy of preview studies.

    The combined results of this new study showed that just one 12-fl oz. can (355 ml) of diet soda daily leads to:

    – 42 percent higher leukemia risk in men and women (pooled analysis)
    – 102 percent higher multiple myeloma risk (in men only)
    – 31 percent higher non-Hodgkin  lymphoma risk (in men only)

    This is a powerful set of results as it leaves little to ponder about the long time talked about risks of aspartame on our health. The results were based on multi-variable relative risk models, all in comparison to participants who drank no diet soda. It is important to note that it still remains unknown why only men drinking higher amounts of diet soda showed increased risk for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but the continuation of this powerful study may reveal these results later.

  11. (end of my previous comment)

    The above piece is the beginning part of an article that is printed at the web site of a group called “Living In Nature England.” The web page address is: “livinginnatureengland” (type as one long word) then dot then “wordpress” then dot “com” then forward slash “2013” then forward slash “01” then forward slash then “09” then “aspartame-linked-to-leukemia-lymphoma-in-groundbreaking-study”

    (Please look there to see the entire article along with its sources.)

  12. The following article is at

    How Does Aspartame Damage Your Brain?

    April 26, 2008

    Consuming a lot of aspartame may inhibit the ability of enzymes in your brain to function normally, according to a new review by scientists from the University of Pretoria and the University of Limpopo.

    The review found that high doses of the sweetener may lead to neurodegeneration. It has also previously been found that aspartame consumption can cause neurological and behavioral disturbances in sensitive individuals.

    Specifically, the review found a number of direct and indirect changes that occur in your brain as a result of high consumption levels of aspartame, including disturbing:

    The metabolism of amino acids
    Protein structure and metabolism
    The integrity of nucleic acids
    Neuronal function
    Endocrine balances Further, the breakdown of aspartame causes nerves to fire excessively, which can indirectly lead to a high rate of neuron depolarisation.

    Despite these growing concerns, neither the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have changed their guidelines regarding the safety of the ingredient or intake advice.

  13. Study Proves Aspartame Lung And Liver Cancer
    By Dr Betty Martini, D. Hum

    A new study by Dr. Morando Soffritti at the Ramazzini Institute, demonstrated that aspartame administered in feed to Swiss mice induces significant dose-related increases of hepatocellular carcinomas and of alveolar/bronchiolar carcinoma in males. Dosages were 32,000, 8,000, 2000 or zero ppm, beginning on day 12 of gestation and lasting until death. See this new study at . . .

    His research was conducted for 36 months using 1,800 rats. It forced the conclusion that aspartame is a multipotential carcinogen. Cancers aspartame produced included leukemia, lymphoma, kidney, and cranial peripheral nerves among others. Only the rats fed aspartame got malignant brain tumors. This prodigious work was peer reviewed by 7 world experts.  

    This work confirms studies presented to the FDA 25 years ago documenting a catalogue of brain, uterine, ovarian, testicular, mammary, pancreatic and thyroid tumors. It was also known from the beginning that aspartame causes liver damage.  Now Dr. Soffritti’s studies prove it.   

    Attorney James Turner, a former Nader Raider, the author of the Chemical Feast, stated today: “Once again Dr. Soffritti shows aspartame causes cancer in animals. Only a fool would use NutraSweet in light of this mounting evidence. The indictment of NutraSweet long ago passed the threshold demanding a full review by the FDA, but don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. “

  14. (continuation of previous comment)

    Ralph Walton, M.D., psychiatrist did a study on aspartame some years ago. The reactions were so severe that the study was stopped. The Administrator of the hospital took part in it and lost his vision in one eye. Dr. Walton researched for 60 Minutes who was funding aspartame studies. Bottom line, nearly 100% of independent studies which were not controlled or paid for by industry showed the problems aspartame causes.   

    Dr. Walton said, “Dr. Soffritti’s latest study, demonstrating that aspartame induces cancers of the liver and lung in mice, adds significantly to the growing body of evidence that aspartame is a highly toxic, carcinogenic agent. I agree wholeheartedly with his conclusion that a re-evaluation of the current regulations on aspartame is urgent, and would urge both the FDA and EFSA to seriously evaluate this and similar independently funded research, and rescind the approval which was based on flawed industry sponsored research.”   

    Pauline Harding, M.D. of the Chicago Aspartame Detoxification Center said: “Dr. Morando Soffritti and his colleagues have demonstrated in animal studies that the artificial sweetener aspartame can induce malignancies of the liver, lungs, skin and lymph nodes. Breakdown products of aspartame have previously been demonstrated to induce headaches, blindness, and seizures. A wide range of children’s’ foods and beverages from bread and cereal to candy and soft drinks contain this toxin. Aspartame should not be allowed in our food or drugs and should be banned the world over.” 

    The the above seven paragraphs are from the essay at (Read the entire essay.)

  15. The Lowdown On Aspartame/NutraSweet
    From ‘Health & Healing’ March, 2000

    From Betty Martini



    Since aspartame came on the market in l981, it has accounted for more than 75 percent of the complaints reported in the FDA’s Adverse Reaction Monitoring system. the most common adverse reactions attributed to aspartame are headaches, dizziness, attention difficulties, memory loss, slurred speech and vision problems. this cluster of symptoms has become so common that it is actually referred to as “aspartame disease”.  

    Even more serious disorders have a suspected link with aspartame. Is it an accident that the incidence of brain tumors has increased by 10% since l975? John W. Olney, MD, of the Washington University Medical School in St. Louis believes there may be a link between the two. In an article published in The Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology, he notes that animal studies reveal high levels of brain tumors in aspartame-fed rats. According to Dr. Olney, recent findings show that aspartame has mutagenic (cancer-causing) potential, and the sharp rise in malignant brain tumors coincides with the increased use of aspartame.  

    Could serious seizures and vision loss somehow be associated with the sweetener? The U.S. Navy and Air Force published articles in Navy Physiology and Flying Safety with this warning: “several researchers have found aspartame can increase the frequency of seizures, or lower the stimulation necessary to induce them. this means a pilot who drinks diet sodas is more susceptible to flicker vertigo, or to flicker-induced epileptic activity. It also means that all pilots are potential victims of sudden memory loss, dizziness during instrument flight, and gradual loss of vision.”  

    What about multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, depression and other mood disorders? I have reviewed scores of documented cases of patients with symptoms so severe that they were mistakenly diagnosed with one of these conditions, only to have all signs of disease completely vanish after getting off aspartame.

  16. (continuation of previous comment)


    Yet the FDA has chosen to turn a deaf ear to repeated requests by scientists, physicians, and consumers to review aspartame’s safety.  

    Aspartame has spelled trouble from the get-go. The unique property of this chemical, which is 200 times sweeter than sugar, was accidently discovered in l965 by a chemist trying to develop an ulcer drug. Although the FDA rescinded its initial approval because of studies showing that it caused seizures and brain tumors in lab animals, the agency eventually capitulated to political and monetary pressure and in l981 gave aspartame the stamp of approval. In doing so, this bureaucracy overrode the 3-0 decision of a Public Board of Inquiry, which had reviewed the scientific data and had recommended delaying approval pending further studies on the sweetener’s link with brain cancer.  

    In the intervening years, safety concerns have mushroomed. Ralph G. Walton, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, reviewed all the studies on aspartame and found 166 with relevance for human safety. Every one of the 74 studies funded by the aspartame industry gave it a clean bill of health, while 92 percent of those independently funded revealed safety problems.  


    Once you understand a bit about the chemistry of aspartame, you’ll see why it can cause so many problems.

    The above eight paragraphs are from the essay at (Read the entire essay.)