Matzav is reporting that a new brand of milk and yogurt, named Machmirim, will be hitting the markets shortly. The dairy products from this brand (cholov yisrael, naturally) will have not one, not two but *four* hechsherim.
I've got to admit, to me, this sounds like a parody. But then again, who knows? The (frum) world is crazy enough that it just might be true.
Nonetheless, I think we have to ask ourselves -- of what extra value is it to the consumer to have four hechsherim on milk? I seem to recall, deep in the recesses of my memory a rule called "eid echad ne'eman b'issurim (a single witness is believed regarding [ordinary] prohibitions)"? In other words -- suppose I come home in the evening and my wife has a delicious pile of chicken cutlets waiting for me (hint hint Eeees!). How do I know that they are kosher? I didn't see her buy a package of kosher cutlets? I wasn't watching to make sure that she didn't throw milk in the pan while cooking them? How can I eat her delicious chicken cutlets?
The answer is the rule I quoted above. If she tells me that they are kosher, then she is to be believed. It's really that simple. If she tells me that she picked them up from a reliable butcher and followed the rules of kashrus in the food preperations, then that's all I need. I don't need to anything further to ensure that the food is kosher.
That being said, can anyone explain to me why milk needs four hechsherim? Even if you're going to argue that two are necessary (as many companies -- for reasons [aside from marketing] that baffle me -- have two hechsherim on products) then of what value is the third and the fourth?
Or is it all simply marketing? Is it simply a company deciding to position itself as a holier-than-thou dairy company (hence the name "Machmirim") and preying on the cluelessness of the general public regarding kashrus?
As a final point, the slogan of the new company is "Anachnu Machmirim b'nei Machmirim" (we are the more stringent, the sons of the more stringent). Perhaps the best commentary on this was said by a Matzav commentator who used the (ill-advised) name "Avi Kolko:"
A sign of the times.
Machmirim bnei machmirim has replaced
Ma’aminim bnei ma’aminim.