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European Journal

France: foie gras vs. animal welfare

The French love their foie gras, and the fatty liver product is a must at up-market events. But the producers of the luxury food are coming under attack.

The production of foie gras involves force feeding birds to enlarge their livers. Fatty goose livers are considered a special delicacy. Animal rights campaigners are demanding an end to the practice. Nearly 20 countries around the world have banned it, but France continues to be the leading producer and consumer of foie gras.

Martine Sanspiche holds pieces of foie gras in Toulouse market, southwestern France, in this Feb.25,2004 photo. French foie gras makers angrily objected to a California bill aimed at banning the sale of the creamy delicacy. The reaction came a day after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will end the force feeding of ducks, geese and other birds to produce the gourmet liver product by 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)