Francois Hollande has vowed to defend foie gras after it was banned in California saying that outlawing the delicacy goes against the principles of free trade.
On July 1, a law in California came into effect forbidding the production and sale of the highly controversial French delicacy on the ground of animal cruelty.
Speaking on Saturday however, the French president assured the culinary world he “would not let foie gras exports be jeopardised, especially in certain countries, or certain states in America”.
Speaking at a foie gras farm in Monlezun, in southwest France, he did not outline how he would maintain exports, but said he would argue his case, and “if necessary, I’ll bring as much as needed to authorities of the country”, adding that the taste would be the “greatest pleasure” they had experienced.
“I think they will listen,” he said, although he joked: “We wish we could have more of it here in France, and sometimes cannot, due to lack of purchasing power — I wouldn’t want to deprive the Americans!”
Mr Hollande however said there was no reason to limit trade of a product which strictly adhered to European sanitary regulations, “respects the norms for animal comfort,” and “the well-being of animals.”
“Foie gras is a great French product that is an honour to those devoted to it,” he said. “They [The US] can’t defend free trade and forbid a good product like foie gras.”
France makes more than 16 million tons of foie gras annually, which is produced by force-feeding corn to ducks and geese to enlarge their livers. Only 3,000 tons are exported, but many in France worry that an anti-foie gras trend could spread following the California ban. Its production has already been banned in several other countries, including Britain, although it can still be imported into the UK.----
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