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Fair's foie gras ban riles French official

July 28, 2011 at 1:32 PM

PARIS, July 28 (UPI) -- A French official said a German food fair's refusal to allow foie gras, a dish condemned by animal rights groups, could have "global repercussions."

Pierre Lellouche, France's external trade minister, said the German government should "exercise the strongest authority over the (fair) organizers and get them to respect European law" on free movement and non-discrimination of goods, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

Organizers of the biennial Anuga food fair in Cologne, scheduled for October, said they decided to ban foie gras at the fair after pressure from animal rights groups. The groups said the dish involves cruelty to animals because it comes from ducks or geese that have been force-fed to bloat their livers.

It is illegal to create foie gras in Germany, but it is legal to consume and 170 tons of the food are consumed in the country each year.

"This is anything but anecdotal," Lellouche said.

German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner responded to complaints from French officials, saying the foie gras issue is up to fair organizers.

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