First it was the state of California, which banned foie gras on July 1. Now, French foie gras producers face a more formidable opponent. His name is Moore, Sir Roger Moore, the British actor famous for his role as James Bond in no less than seven movies.
Hard on the heels of the Californian ban on the French food delicacy foie gras, as reported earlier in Digital Journal, former James Bond star, Sir Roger Moore has entered the fray, supporting a campaign by PETA’s UK branch (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), against French foie gras production.
Some 27 years after he hung up his shoulder holster as the iconic British secret agent “007,” Sir Roger Moore has returned to the screen, admittedly not in a role as action hero, to do battle with the producers of French delicacy foie gras.
In a short film entitled “Sir Roger Moore Sets His Sights on Foie Gras,” primarily aired over the Internet, Sir Roger Moore lends his voice to the animal rights organization PETA. The campaigning film attacks, in particular, two French farm producers of foie gras, a French culinary delicacy made from the swollen livers of geese fed on a special diet. The new film, with voice-over from Sir Roger Moore, also calls for a boycott of the prestigious London grocery store of Fortnum & Mason, an outlet for the offending foie gras.
The 2009 PETA UK campaign against sales of foie gras, fronted by Sir Roger Moore
It’s not the first time that the James Bond star has come to the aid of PETA. In 2009, Sir Roger Moore fronted a campaign by the UK branch of PETA against sales of foie gras in the UK which resulted in a leading London based department store, Selfridges, removing foie gras products from sale.
The five minute film is not for the faint-hearted. It shows images, captured by a hidden camera, of geese crammed into crates and being force fed by tubes pushed down their throats and deep into their innards. In some cases it is claimed that the birds’ internal organs are ruptured as a result.
The force feeding ultimately causes liver dysfunction in the force-fed geese and as a result the birds become diseased and unable to move. It does not make for pleasant viewing.
Speaking to French current affairs magazine Le Pointe, Marie-Pierre Pé, Delegate General of Comité interprofessionnel des palmipèdes à foie gras (CIFOG), a French foie gras producers’ association, invited those who doubt the conformity of the production cycle, which is supposed to include outdoor rearing of the geese for three months, to visit foie gras producing farms saying, “They will see for themselves that there is really nothing to see. Of course, it is never pleasant to see an animal die but these are dramatised images.” She also commented that the campaigning organisation PETA sometimes used violent means towards restaurants and producers and referred to PETA as being classed as a terrorist organisation in the United States.
Just two weeks ago, the Californian ban on foie gras was confirmed by a Californian court. Health authorities in the US are currently awaiting French producers to modify their means of production but they may wait in vain since France previously exported only a minuscule amount of foie gras to the United States as a whole.
The ‘Bond’ film, produced by the UK branch of PETA, may hurt French foie gras producers slightly more since it is estimated that 300 tonnes of foie gras are exported annually from France to the UK. Those figures must, however, be seen in the context of the largest market for foie gras which is France itself. According to Le Pointe, the estimated annual production of foie gras in France amounts to some 20,000 tonnes, most of which is destined for the home market where, according to France’s ‘Code Rural’, foie gras is “a product of cultural and gastronomic heritage of France.”