French up in arms at foie gras snub

A diplomatic row has broken out after the German organisers of the largest international food trade show reportedly banned foie gras at the event.

The French Minister for Agriculture Bruno le Maire has allegedly written to his German counterpart to demand that the ban be overturned and has threatened to boycott the event.

The ban will affect French, Bulgarian and Hungarian producers at the Anuga fair, which is being held in Cologne in October. It is is arguably the food and drink sector’s most important fair for new markets and target groups.

Le Maire said: "It is important that the French foie gras sector be present at the fair, which is visited by numerous buyers in the pre-holiday period."

However, the move has been applauded by animal-welfare activists, who maintain that the force-feeding of geese and ducks (known as gavage) is cruel. It creates the swollen and fatty livers that are considered a delicacy in France.

Le Maire has insisted that France “rigorously follows all common regulations regarding the well-being of the animals”.

The production of foie gras is banned in many countries, including Germany and the UK.

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