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Friday, May 29, 2009

Costco Confirms Ban of Foie Gras from Online Inventory

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2009 at 2:37 PM

click to enlarge The mega retailer couldn't confirm its foie gras supplier's claims - RYANRULES VIA FLICKR
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  • The mega retailer couldn't confirm its foie gras supplier's claims
A representative of Costco called SFoodie today to clarify the retailer's position around yesterday's reported foie gras ban, announced in a press release by anti-cruelty group the Animal Protection and Rescue League. Mike Dorpat, wine and food buyer for Costco.com, said he did indeed make the decision to banish the controversial luxury item from the company's online inventory, though he acknowledged it was never a significant presence there in the first place.

"We did carry goose foie gras, and we did take it off," Dorpat said. Costco.com offered canned foie gras from a French producer as a seasonal item starting in September. Dorpat declined to say how much foie the $72 billion retailer based in Issaquah, Wash., typically sold, though he said the amount wasn't large. "This was not a million-dollar decision," he said.

Dorpat said he'd researched force-feeding practices in foie gras production. "We purposely didn't put duck foie gras on, because they do have smaller necks, so it's easier to damage them in the feeding process." He said the French company that supplied Costco had assured the retailer its feeding practices were "believed to not be a stressful experience for the animals." "Quite honestly, we couldn't verify the vendor's claims," Dorpat said. Since consumer demand for foie on Costco.com was already low, and a 2012 foie gras ban is looming in California, Dorpat made the decision to eighty-six the gourmet goodie.

"No harm, no foul," he said.

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