The industry denounces "an anthropomorphic vision of production"

Illustration of foie gras toasts (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP) - AFP
  • The United States Supreme Court has just validated a law banning the marketing of foie gras in California.

  • The French interprofession of foie gras, which no longer exports to the United States, considers this decision damaging to the image of the industry.

  • She believes she is the victim of an "anthropomorphic vision of the production of foie gras".

In the name of animal welfare, a law prohibiting the sale of foie gras has been validated in California. "The French foie gras professionals, gathered in the
CIFOG, strongly denounce [dans un communiqué] the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America to validate the ban on the marketing of
foie gras in the state of California and appeal to the respect of the freedom of choice of the consumer. "

The law specifically prohibits the sale of products "from the force-feeding of a bird in order to enlarge its liver". It was adopted in 2004 by California in the name of the fight against cruelty to animals and provides a fine of 1,000 dollars (875 euros) in case of infringement, says AFP. Entered into force in 2012, it was suspended by the courts in 2015,
then validated on appeal in 2017. Foie Gras producers from Canada and New York, as well as a Californian restaurateur, had then appealed to the Supreme Court, with the support of France, arguing that a state could not prohibit a federally authorized product. The high authority has just validated this law on Monday. "It is not normal that we can restrict the marketing of a healthy product, loyal and merchant," protested Marie-Pierre Pea, director of Cifog.

Fears for the product image

The industry is moved by this decision whose scope is symbolic since since the doubling of customs duties for the export of certain products (mustard, roquefort, foie gras, etc.) from Europe to the United States in 1999 , exports of French foie gras to the 50 states of the Federal Republic were gradually suspended. A decision certainly symbolic but damaging to the image of this luxury product, typically French.

"There is a negative influence of vegetarian lobbies that develop an anthropomorphic vision of the production of foie gras and lead a misinformation campaign on our sector," explains Marie-Pierre Pée. 20 minutes. It should be known that the esophagus of ducks is elastic while ours is cartilaginous. If she shares the idea that these animals are sentient beings, there is an excessive tendency, according to her, to make them believe that they are similar to human beings. It also recalls that
 the breeding of ducks is very framed and transparent: "the poultry spend twelve weeks outside and the force-feeding, which corresponds to two meals a day, it is only for ten days".

France exports an average of nearly 5,000 tons worldwide each year (Japan, Spain, the Netherlands, Asia, the Middle East) for a turnover of more than 100 million Euros. It is in South East Asia (Japan, Taiwan) that the appetite for this dish is growing faster.