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Foie gras off the menu in Japan after complaints about animal cruelty

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A chain of convenience stores in Japan has scrapped plans to sell foie gras after customers complained about alleged animal cruelty in the way the traditional French delicacy is produced.

FamilyMart, a chain of about 10,000 stores across Japan, had planned to launch a new “premium” bento box product featuring a cut of marbled “wagyu” Japanese beef and a slice of foie gras, to be sold at a price of $6.73.

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But the company decided to pull the product after receiving 22 complaints from customers.

“We understand foie gras is a common food stuff in Japan,” a FamilyMart spokesman said. However, the launch was cancelled after “carefully considering opinions from customers, different views abroad on foie gras and the production process of foie gras itself”.

He added: “We don’t intend to make anyone feel uncomfortable.”

Animal rights campaigners object to foie gras because it involves the forced feeding of birds to engorge their liver, a process activists say is painful for the creatures.

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In 2012 the US state of California made both producing and selling foie gras illegal, a move that did not go down well in France, by far the world’s largest producer of traditional foie gras.

“Foie gras is an important part of the French gastronomic heritage and it has been recognised as such by UNESCO. There is no reason France should accept this state of affairs,” a French diplomat told Reuters at the time.

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The same year a group of European MPs, including one from France’s Green Party, called for a similar ban to be implemented across the EU.

Japan may seem like an unlikely place for consumer squeamishness over animal products because the country has often come under criticism for its animal rights record, including its hunting of whales, whose meat is available in many restaurants and supermarkets.

An annual dolphin hunt at Taiji, western Japan, has also caused international furore. The hunt sees hundreds of the mammals herded into a cove before being slaughtered for their meat or captured alive to be sold to aquariums.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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He ‘knows where lots of Trump bodies are buried’: Ex-Mueller associate says president’s latest dissension spells trouble

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President Donald Trump has reportedly fallen out with a decades-long friend, private equity real estate investor Tom Barrack, who is currently the focus of a federal investigation into how the money from Trump's inaugural fund was raised and spent.

On Monday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner laid out a key reason why Trump may want to distance himself from Barrack at this point:

Televised hearings are in our future (can’t come soon enough). Tom Barrack knows where lots of Trump’s bodies are buried (figuratively speaking), inaugural committee bodies and others. Let’s hope Barrack is already quietly assisting prosecutors. https://t.co/BlgsiaX0YP

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro takes on Norway for whaling, but bungles it

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Monday responded to Norway's decision to halt its forest protection subsidies, taking to Twitter to criticise the Scandinavian country for its whaling practice and post spectacular -- albeit misleading -- images.

"Look at the killing of whales sponsored by Norway," Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter.

The post includes a video and photographs of a spectacular whale hunt, where mammals in the shallow waters of a bay are slaughtered by people wading on shore, armed with hooked knives. The whales' blood turns the waters red.

However, the images, reportedly taken on May 29 in Norway, illustrate a "grind", a type of pilot whale hunt practised exclusively in the Faroe Islands -- a Danish territory in the North Atlantic.

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Orange County teens busted for singing obscure Nazi song while giving Hitler salutes

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Nearly a dozen high school students from Southern California delivered Nazi salutes and sang a Nazi marching song in a video posted on social media.

The video was uploaded to Instagram by one member of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, California, along with lyrics to the song played for German troops during World War II, reported The Daily Beast.

A spokesperson for the Garden Grove Unified School District told the website administrators learned of the incident in March, four months after the video was posted, but declined to say whether any of the students were disciplined.

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