German food fair bans foie gras, causes outrage in France

( After bowing to pressure from animal rights activists, organizers of the German food fair Anuga have decided to exclude the French delicacy foie gras from their food fest, reports The Guardian. Producers of foie gras and French officials alike, however, were aggravated by the decision.


Animal rights proponents claimed that the making of the delicacy is a cruel process. Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks or geese through a tube to expand their livers up to 10 times the normal size. About 37 million ducks and 700,000 geese are slaughtered each year to make foie gras. In a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former model and animal rights supporter Brigitte Bardot said, "France does not apply the community regulations regarding animal welfare." She also begged the chancellor not to withdraw the ban. According to the report, foie gras production is prohibited in Germany though its consumption is allowed.


"To our great astonishment the organizers of the fair just let us know that from now on we cannot present or offer (tasting) of foie gras during the Anuga fair," said Alain Labarthe, president of the organization Vive le foie gras!" French senator Alain Fauconnier deemed the ban "unbelievable," adding, "It’s like banning German sausages in France. The economic cost is enormous for us because Germany is an important market."


Meanwhile, French agriculture minister Bruno le Maire requested for his German counterpart, Ilse Aigner, to retract the restriction. In a letter addressed to Aigner, Le Maire wrote: "It is important for the French foie gras sector to be present at a fair visited by numerous buyers in the period before the end of the year celebrations." Le Maire added that if the ban is not overturned, he will boycott the fair's opening.



For more on this story, log on to The Guardian.

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