Thursday, June 21, 2007

Editorial: Foie Gras Industry Ignores the Key Research

Normally I do not print editorials, but this one does contain many true facts.

For those who don’t know, foie gras is essentially the liver from a dead duck who was force-fed via a tube overly large quantities of foods in order to increase the liver beyond its usual size. As you might imagine it’s an extremely painful process. So, essentially, it’s hell on earth for them, and then they’re slaughtered. Quite a life.

More information on foie gras can be found at:


Foie gras industry ignores the key research
The June 13 commentary, "Examine the facts in debate over foie gras," from the industry's public relations group, Artisan Farmers Alliance, could hardly have been more misleading.

If Nicolas Maduros, its executive director, truly wanted to "examine the facts," he would acknowledge that the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare, an independent council providing expert scientific analysis to the European Commission, found that the liver condition of force-fed birds is pathologic and force-feeding is "detrimental to the welfare of the birds."

The "only recommendation that the Committee can properly make is that force-feeding of ducks and geese should stop and that this could best be achieved by the prohibition of the production, importation, distribution and sale of foie gras," as committee member Dr. Dennis J. Alexander concluded.

The foie gras industry wants consumers to believe that force-feeding birds until their livers become diseased and engorged far beyond their normal, healthy size is "humane." Citizens and governments of 15 countries, state of California, and city of Chicago, who have all legislated against foie gras, disagree. Force-feeding ducks and geese through a pipe thrust down their throats merely for the sake of a so-called "delicacy" is clearly unnecessary and clearly inhumane.

Miyun Park

Vice President, Farm Animal Welfare
The Humane Society of the United States

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