Owning stocks of Mcdonalds and other non-Kosher restaurants

May one own stocks in a food company or restaurant chain that sells Basar Bechalav [i.e. McDonalds]?

Owning stocks in a company which sells Basar Bechalav raises the question of whether the owning of stocks transgresses the prohibition against doing business with non-Kosher foods[80], and the prohibition against benefiting from it. Practically, it is debated amongst the Poskim as to the status of stocks. Some Poskim[81] rule that owning stocks in a company is not considered ownership of the food of the company and hence one does not transgress doing business or benefiting upon owning the stocks. Other Poskim[82], however, rule that owning stocks of a company considers one a Halachic partner of ownership in all their assets, and it would hence be forbidden to own stocks in a Basar Bechalav company. Practically, each person is to consult with their Rav. According to all, the above dispute only applies if one is a limited share holder, or non-active party, it is however forbidden to own enough stock in a Basar Bechalav company to hold power rights within the company.

[80] See Michaber 117:1

[81] Igros Moshe E.H. 1:7 [permits if no decision-making ownership]; Cheishev Haeifod 1:82 in name of Tchebiner Rav based on Mahariy Levi 2:124

[82] Minchas Yitzchak 3:1; 7:26; Moadim Uzmanim 3:269; The Rebbe in Reshimos 161 is of the opinion that owning even a single stock considers one a partner, and hence seemingly, it would be prohibited to own stock in any Basar Bechalav company.

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