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Looking at unclear heshers on some yogurt packages:

Dannon "Light and Fit" yogurt has a capital K without any other identifier.

Yoplait "Light" has a capital K D.

I was told that the letter K alone is not a hesher as it is not a trademark and that anyone can print a capital K without any legal consequences. Nonetheless, it seems that some effort was made to make these yogurts kosher because they specifically use kosher gelatin. Also the K D implies that someone gave this thought and realized that the first ingredient is milk.

Questions:

Are these kosher? Who is the rabbi or organization that worked with the companies? Why doesn't the Dannon say D or dairy?It may be noteworthy that neither of these are food companies that have OU or other certification on other products (the way Kraft or Smuckers does) since for both "The Dannon Company, Inc" and "Yoplait USA, Inc", yogurts are their primary product.

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For those outside the USA: you probably know Dannon as Danone. –  Schism Jul 23 at 18:15

2 Answers 2

Apparently, some Dannon yogurts (with K) and Yoplait yogurts (with KD) are under the supervision of Rabbi David Sheinkopf and Rabbi Barnett Hasden, respectively. (Regarding Rabbi Hasden's hashgacha, see this related question). I'm not certain whether either of those rabbis provide supervision with kashrus standards that are widely considered acceptable. Furthermore, according to this article, you are correct that the law does not prevent companies from putting the letter k on their products as they see fit.

As Yishai mentions in his answer, some rabbis are lenient in certifying products with beef gelatin (see here). The Dannon and Yoplait yogurts do contain gelatin (as indicated in the first two websites linked in the above paragraph). Additionally, both Dannon and Yoplait produce varieties of yogurt with carmine, an insect-derived coloring. As you mentioned in a comment, Rabbi Sheinkopf permits products containing carmine, and perhaps Rabbi Hasden does as well. This leniency is debated by poskim, although it is not generally accepted by major kashrus organizations. Ultimately, CYLOR regarding whether you may eat the yogurts in question.

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This summary by Rabbi Sheinkopf implies that he would permit a product containing insect-derived coloring. –  Mike Jul 23 at 3:49

Dannon has OU Certification on some products. The ones with a plain K are certified by Rabbi Dr. David I. Sheinkopf. Those products contain Beef Gelatin which some Kosher Certifiers will allow even if the cows were not slaughtered in a Kosher manner. I imagine that Dannon doesn't say the D because it is considered obvious. That used to be standard practice in Kosher some 50 years ago (want to know if it is dairy, read the ingredient panel!) and it fell out of style because of the influx of non-dairy imitation products and unfamiliar dairy ingredients (e.g. Sodium Caseinate).

The situation is the same for Yoplait, except that the plain K products that contain beef gelatin are certified by the Ner Tamid K, and Yoplait has products certified by OK Kosher Certification as well.

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i'll link to judaism.stackexchange.com/a/12740/759 though note my comment –  Double AA Jul 23 at 3:13

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