Foie gras industry ignores the key research

Posted: June 20, 2007

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

Washington

mpark@humanesociety.org

Trans-fat ban

I can understand the local bakeries and restaurants complaining about their inability to continue to kill us with trans-fat laced goodies. However, I can't understand someone writing to the paper and calling the trans-fat ban "taking away another one of our freedoms" ("City's trans-fat ban infringes on freedom," June 14). I would make a large wager that those who are opposed to the ban are significantly overweight and/or smokers.

How about the chutzpah of people at places like Stock's Bakery in Port Richmond complaining about the ban ("Bakers frosted by trans fat ban," June 1). They need to be happy about their past profits earned clogging people's arteries.

Sam Barnes

Philadelphia

Share surplus

Thanks Gov. Rendell for the good news on our economy ("Pa.'s economic recovery is strong," June 14). But what would really cheer me up would be for him to share the state's surplus and cut our taxes. Any chance?

Vince McNichol

Lafayette Hill

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