Manufacturers of foie gras in France have reacted angrily to a decision taken by the US Supreme Court to uphold a ban on selling the product.

The highest American court’s decision, taken on Monday (7 January), was a rejection of an appeal by several foie gras producers against a ruling dating back to 2004, but in force only since 2012, banning the pate-like delicacy produced from force-feeding ducks and geese in the state of California.

Because the production of foie gras involves the unnatural fattening of birds it is said to be cruel by many campaigners and animal rights group Peta said after the court’s decision was handed out: “This victory in the name of the animals comes from the efforts of animal rights militants who oppose the archaic foie gras industry.” 

However, foie gras is seen as a delicacy and part of the country’s cultural heritage in France which is responsible for about 70% of world foie gras production and exports on average about 5,000 tonnes of foie gras worldwide annually, according to statistics quoted by French news agency AFP.

The French foie gras producers association Cifog blamed campaigners for influencing the court’s decision.

“It is unacceptable that such a decision, taken under the influence of the lobbying of some activists orchestrating regular misinformation on our products to advocate dogmatic vegetarianism, could endanger the image of an emblematic dish of the French art of living,” Michel Fruchet, head of  Cifog, said in a statement on Tuesday (8 January).

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By GlobalData

French foie gras producers mainly export to Japan, Spain, the Netherlands and the Middle East.