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French Official Calls For Boycott Of California Wines

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NAPA (CBS SF) – California’s recently-enacted ban on foie gras has prompted a French agricultural official to urge his countrymen to boycott wines from the Golden State, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report.

Philippe Marin, a member of the French National Assembly who represents the agricultural region of Gers, called for the ban among French restaurateurs to show solidarity with foie gras producers. Gers is one of the better-known regions for foie gras production, according to the report.

“We had to send a strong signal because we think this is an unfair measure,” Martin said  in a telephone interview with the newspaper.

The controversial dish, known by its French name meaning “fat liver,” is made from the liver of a force-fed fattened duck or goose. The practice has become the target of animal rights activists in recent years.

A law banning the delicacy was enacted more than seven years ago, but California’s only foie gras producer, Sonoma-Artisan Foie Gras, was given a grace period to come up with a more humane way to make the dish. It wasn’t able to, so it was forced to cease production when enforcement of the California ban began July 1st.

The Chronicle reported that France produces two-thirds of the world’s foie gras and consumes nearly 75 percent, citing statistics from retailer Mirepoix USA. California distributors told the newspaper that a boycott would likely have little impact on the state’s wine business because France imports only a small fraction of the state’s exports.

A legal challenge to the foie gras ban was filed last week on behalf of producers and distributors.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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