The Anuga trade show, which each October attracts thousands of the world's top food experts to the Rhineland city, has pointed to German ban on producing foie gras to justify the move. Making it requires the force-feeding of ducks or geese to fatten their livers, which animal rights campaigners say is unnecessarily cruel.
But French government officials are strongly protesting the decision, which they say ignores foie gras legal production in France. And some official consider the ban a deep insult, according to the daily Rheinische Post newspaper.
“It's as if we prohibited wiener sausages in France!” complained French Senator Alain Fauconnier to the newspaper.
In recent days French Minister of Food and Agriculture Bruno Le Maire has threatened to skip a planned appearance at the trade show. He also penned an angry missive to Ilse Aigner, Germany's minister of agriculture and consumer protection, demanding the ban be rescinded.
Pierre Lellouche, France's minister for foreign trade also told Germany's ambassador to France to exert “maximum pressure” on conference organizers to rescind their decision.
But so far the German government has avoided involvement. And Anuga's organisers say they're continuing their convention as planned – without foie gras.