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Please email BBC, they are promoting the cruelty of foie gras

June 16, 2012


The hypocrites at the BBC are defending creating the GREAT BRITISH MENU using Foie Gras.  The production is banned here, but they are promoting Foie Gras: “The nation’s most ambitious chefs are striving to create a breath-taking menu for a stunning Olympic feast,” and, “We’re talking about pushing the boundaries to show Olympians what food at the highest level is all about.” They also write, “We think it is important to recognise that the focus of this programme is on producing a menu for a banquet, not questioning or analysing the methods by which the various ingredients are produced.” I find this disgusting and this is promoting the importation of a banned product.  Additionally, it is funding the Foie Gras industry and allowing Foie Gras to be “acceptable” and its not! Please show them that their defense in all of this is wrong..


Online webform HERE (online form does not fit all characters in sample letter, please modify and shorten)


To Whom It Concerns,

I am shocked to learn that foie gras, the production of which inflicts incredible suffering and cruelty upon sentient animals, is being offered as part of the Great British Menu for Olympians. As such, I respectfully request you take immediate steps to eliminate foie gras from your offered programs.

Foie gras, French for “fatty liver,” is made from the grotesquely enlarged livers of male ducks and geese. The birds are kept in tiny wire cages or packed into sheds. Pipes are repeatedly shoved down the birds’ throats, and up to 4 pounds of grain and fat are pumped into their stomachs two or three times every day. The pipes puncture many birds’ throats, sometimes causing the animals to bleed to death. This cruel procedure causes the birds’ livers to become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Many birds become too sick to stand up. The birds who survive the force-feeding are killed, and their livers are sold for foie gras.

Globally, people have spoken out against the cruelty of foie gras. In 2004, California passed a law banning the sale and production of foie gras, effective this year; his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI denounced foie gras, the force-feeding as being in violation of Biblical principles; and foie gras production has been outlawed, as you know, in the U.K., and also in Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Israel.

As such, I respectfully request you please reconsider and make the compassionate and ethical decision to ban foie gras from your programming. You may be interested to know in addition to those people and places indicated above, many regional chefs and colleagues have recently removed foie gras from their menus as it serves no purpose or tradition.

Please feel free to watch the following video illustrating in disturbing detail the inherent cruelty of foie gras production:

Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue; I look forward to a positive response.


When you get a reply with a ref/case no, you will then be able to escalate your complaint to the BBC appeals, please send your appeal to the following using the sample letter.


Email: (including full postal address as responses are made by post)

Remember to include your complaint code (should be on your reply)


Dear BBC,

Thank you for your response. Whilst I find it totally unsatisfactory, I do welcome the opportunity to make my case to the Editorial Complaints Unit.

Whilst I may support the views of certain groups, I want to make it clear that the views below represent and agree with my own personal views – and I wish them to be treated accordingly.

I find the libertine attitude of the BBC when it comes to the use of foie-gras deeply disturbing. I do not accept that foie-gras is British food and I am not sure how you can justify that assertion. I also do not understand how you can compare foie-gras to other food stuffs regularly used on the corporation’s cookery shows. Whilst it is certainly true that there are other debates to be had on the wider subject of the use of meat and dairy, I do not think it is helpful to move away from what is the core complaint in this instance. Namely that we are talking about a product that is illegal to produce in Britain because it would break existing animal welfare guidelines. Indeed, the EU has now banned the production of foie-gras in any country that does not currently have an industry. That is the important distinction and that is why I believe that the BBC should make an ethical ruling in this case.

I also reject the notion that it would be impractical to prevent foie-gras from being used in BBC cookery programmes. Surely you have measures in place to prevent chefs from cooking animals protected by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). What about dog or cat meat from South Korea or China or how about horse meat? Would the BBC be happy for chefs to use these if they were feeling “creative and adventurous”?

The BBC editorial guidelines state that: “Across our output as a whole, we must be inclusive, reflecting a breadth and diversity of opinion.” It also says: “… the omission of an important perspective, in a particular context, may jeopardise perceptions of the BBC’s impartiality.” Despite this, I am not aware of the BBC ever examining the serious welfare implications of foie-gras production in your programming. Yet, currently, foie-gras is being actively promoted without any objective criticism regularly on your cookery shows. I assert that is a serious breach of your editorial guidelines and certainly does bring into question the BBC’s impartiality.

Indeed, how can the BBC claim with regards to its use of foie-gras?: “Impartiality lies at the core of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences. We will apply due impartiality to all our subject matter and will reflect a breadth and diversity of opinion across our output as a whole, over an appropriate period, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented. We will be fair and open-minded when examining evidence and weighing material facts.” Without any debate on the BBC about the ethics about the use of foie-gras I would strongly argue that this area is “… knowingly unreflected” and “under-represented”.

The guidelines also state that: “Contributors expressing contentious views, either through an interview or other means, must be rigorously tested while being given a fair chance to set out their full response to questions.” I would argue that using foie-gras is expressing a contentious view, yet none of the chefs have been challenged about its use on air. Again, this is a clear failure to follow guidelines and I would ask why is this the case? The guidelines also state that: “We must not knowingly and materially mislead our audiences with our content.” I would argue that the BBC is misleading audiences by not balancing the use of foie-gras by also telling audiences about its contentious nature.

Finally, I would also like reiterate that I find it deeply offensive that my licence fee is being used to fund programmes that uncritically feature a product that causes abject suffering to tens of millions of birds each year to produce a product that would be illegal to produce in this country. Again, I believe that this is the majority view and so therefore is likely to breach your guidelines.

I look forward to your response and I request you tell me what avenues of complaint are open if I am not satisfied with your response.

Yours faithfully,

[your name and address] important

olympians feasting
on foie gross?
would you like a dose,
of food force fed
upon your head.
think of that
when you go to bed:(

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

4 Comments leave one →
  1. gnosticmind permalink
    June 16, 2012 11:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Gnosticmind.


  2. karenlyonskalmenson permalink
    June 17, 2012 5:39 am

    olympians feasting
    on foie gross?
    would you like a dose,
    of food force fed
    upon your head.
    think of that
    when you go to bed:(


  3. June 20, 2012 9:49 am

    Reblogged this on STOP ANIMAL ABUSE.


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