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France to fight California ban on foie gras

The French President, Francois Hollande, says California's ban on foie gras goes against the principles of free trade.

Clone of foie grasEnlarge
Chef Sean Chaney of Hot's Kitchen prepares a foie gras with shishido peppers dish at Hot's Kitchen during a 'Farewell Fois Gras' event on June 29, 2012 in Hermosa Beach, California. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

PARIS, France — The French President, Francois Hollande, says he'll fight California's ban against foie gras, arguing that it's a “great French product” that meets all the required safety standards, Le Nouvel Observateur reported.

While visiting a farm that makes foie gras – the liver of a duck or goose fattened through force-feeding – in the south-western department of Gers on the weekend, Holland told journalists that French breeders had made big efforts to ensure their operations complied with European animal welfare rules.

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He described foie gras as a production that “honors the great breeders who do it,” adding that he would not allow any challenge to exports of the product “from certain countries or from certain American states."

The California ban on the production and sale of foie gras came into effect on July 1, eight years after it was signed into law, to allow producers time to search for an alternative to force-feeding, Bloomberg reported.

France has a big appetite for foie gras, and consumes most of its annual production of 19,500 tons at home. While the California ban won't hurt the hip pocket of farmers in France, there are concerns that the “anti foie gras” trend might catch on.

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Hollande argued that legislation banning foie gras produced in line with the proper health regulations went against the principles of free trade, the Vancouver Sun reported.

To stop other US states from adopting the ban, Hollande joked that France would give lawmakers gifts of foie gras to enjoy, adding that while the delicacy was a little too pricey for some ordinary French folk, he “wouldn't want the Americans to be deprived.” 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/120730/france-fight-california-foie-gras-ban-hollande