Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/29 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/29 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/29 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/29 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/29 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/29 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/29 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/29 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/29 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/29 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/25 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/29 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/25 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/29 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/29 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 09/29 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/25 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 09/29 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/25 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 09/29 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 09/25 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Culture

French fury over German food fair's foie gras ban

media A french farmer invites tourists to watch gavage twice daily Tony Cross

A diplomatic spat has blown up between France and Germany over a Cologne food fair’s decision to ban French foie gras, the fattened liver of ducks or geese. Germany’s ambassador to Paris has been summoned to the trade ministry and French ministers say they may boycott the trade get-together.

French Foreign Trade Minister Pierre Lellouche on Wednesday told German ambassador Reinhard Schafers that his government should order Anuga fair to drop the ban in the name of European law on the free circulation of goods.

And Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire is threatening to boycott the fair’s opening, dubbing the measure “unacceptable” and “unjustified” in a letter to his German counterpart, Ilse Aigner.

Foie gras production and sale is responsible for 35,000 jobs in France, according to Lellouche, while Le Maire claimed that the industry “rigorously” applies European law on animal welfare.

Anuga organisers say that they have not banned foie gras, just decided that the fair is “not a platform” for the product. They point out that several European countries, including Germany, ban its production.

The decision was taken two years ago, they add.

Furious foie gras producers believe the move was taken because of pressure from animal rights activists. They claim that the product, obtained by gavage - feeding birds large quantities of grain so that their livers swell to an abnormal size - is part of France’s heritage, a claim endorsed by French law since 2006.

Germany, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Ireland, Italy, the UK, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic have banned the production of foie gras but not its sale, as have Israel, Argentina and some US states.

French foie gras producers are anxious to show off their product at Anuga, which claims to be the “world´s leading food fair for the retail trade and the food service and catering market”, and takes place just two months before the Christmas and New Year festivities.

The president of their national federation, Philippe Baron, believes that the move is a vegetarian plot.

“Today it is foie gras, tomorrow it will be something else, because in any case these people are against all animal products,” he says.

And the leader of the rural values party, Chasse, Pêche, Nature et Tradition, blamed “anti-gavage extremists”.

 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.