French Prez Challenges Foie Gras Ban
The new French President Francois Hollande is unhappy with California’s ban on foie gras. As the Californian controversy grows beyond American borders, here comes a French twist its way. Recently, he threw up an open challenge at the ban when he said, “I will not allow any challenge to foie gras exports, from certain countries or from certain American states.” Well, the French know how to eat foie gras, so Hollande must surely know what he is talking about.
The French Premier has taken the pledge to continue exporting foie gras to other countries, including America despite the fact that this delicacy has come under the scanner because of its production method. Revealing his plans to “bombard US political leaders with gifts of foie gras,” Hollande said, “Foie gras is a great French product which honors the farmers who devote their lives to it. I will not allow any challenge to foie gras exports, from certain countries or from certain American States.”
What can France do?
Since France is the producer of more than 80% of the foie gras (19,500 tons a year) of the world, it is but natural that the country should be worried about the ban in California, which was implemented last month. In fact, France is worried that the ban in California may get replicated elsewhere in America as well as in other countries like Italy, Germany, and Britain. It is not hard to guess that if that happens, France’s foie gras export would be affected despite the fact that it sends out of country only a portion of the total product. The fact that the French President took out time to visit the Monlezun foie gras farm in Southwest France last weekend reflects how much importance is being attributed to the safe exports of this delicacy.
The California Ban
Although about a 100 Californian chefs, some of whom are celebrities in their own right, have already revolted against the ban on foie gras consumption, including some of the producers, and owners of hotels and restaurants, there seems to be no let up in the ban. In fact, former Californian legislator John Burton, who sponsored the ban in the legislature, even threatened the chefs who were opposing the ban, when he said, “I’d like to sit all 100 of them down and have duck and goose fat – better yet, dry oatmeal – shoved down their throats over and over and over again.”
In between throwing challenges, President Hollande even managed to crack a little joke as he said, “We may sometimes not be able to afford to buy foie gras ourselves but I wouldn’t want the Americans to be deprived of it.” Well, his concern for the Americans’ foie gras-eating rights is touching but does he really need to meddle in the internal affairs of a friendly country? What do you have to say?