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Smithsonian's Gourmet Event Ruffles Feathers at Humane Society

August 13, 1999|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States has asked the Smithsonian Institution to cancel a program on pate de foie gras, noting that production of the French delicacy requires forced feeding of ducks and geese.

"These animals are tortured to produce the abnormally large and fatty livers, and no reasonable institution should abet this unmistakable inhumane treatment of animals," David Kuemmerle, the society's manager for farm animals, said Thursday.

In addition to its museums, the Smithsonian operates Smithsonian Associates, which organizes lectures and other functions for paying members.

The program, "Foie Gras: A Gourmet's Passion," is scheduled for Sept. 21., priced at $25 for members and $30 for nonmembers.

"Following the talk, sample several small specially prepared foie gras hors d'oeuvres along with a glass of wine," the announcement said.

Mara Mayor, director of the associates' programs, told the Humane Society that the goal is to reach the broadest possible number of people.

Mayor added that she is also interested in opinions of other groups, but she said nothing about canceling the program in response to the complaint.

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