Animal rights organizations were celebrating on Monday after several of Norway’s largest grocery store chains decided to stop selling the exclusive goose liver known as foie gras. The Meny, Ultra and Centra grocery stores along with Jacobs and CC Mat, all run by the dominant NorgesGruppen, are halting sales of foie gras and recalling what’s already on the shelves.
“We have been operating in line with Norwegian law (which has not forbidden sales of foie gras),” Trine Erichsen, spokeswoman for Meny, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “But a boycott of the goose liver has been up for evaluation recently.
“After a lot of feedback from customers, we’re stopping the sale of this product. We want to listen to our customers, and have made a thorough examination of the issue.”
Foie gras has long been controversial because it involves force-feeding of geese, which in turn leaves them with an abnormally large and fat liver. That’s been eaten as a delicacy around the world.
Such force-feeding is banned in Norway and in many other countries, on the grounds it’s cruel. Import and sale of foie gras has nonetheless been allowed. The grocery stores’ decision to halt import and sale was applauded by animal rights group Dyrevernalliansen.
France produces around 80 percent of the world’s total foie gras production, claiming it’s part of the national heritage. The Norwegian stores’ ban comes shortly after Danish grocery stores also mounted a boycott.