France Suspends Foie Gras Production Due to Deadly Bird Flu
Do you hear that? It’s the sound of disgruntled French chefs everywhere scrambling to replace the no-show foie gras on their menus. France has officially decided to stop selling most foie gras nationwide over concerns of a particularly virulent strain of bird flu. The sales of the popular and expensive fatty goose or duck liver will halt until at least August. France produces 75 percent of foie gras consumed worldwide.
The H5N1 strain of bird flu was identified on a farm in November, and has been spreading since. According to WHO, H5N1 cases in humans are fatal 60 percent of the time.
In total, this year, there will be 9 million fewer ducks and geese on the market this year, according to Fox News, so consumers or restaurateurs with an appetite for the rich dish will have to find their delicacy elsewhere. French breeders will be compensated by the government for their financial losses.
Some may see the impending foie gras shortage as a blessing in disguise: The controversial food has been banned (and un-banned) in multiple places including California, for purported animal cruelty. The geese and ducks from which foie gras is created are force-fed continuously until they are slaughtered.