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June 20, 2012

California foie gras ban ends farmer’s ‘American dream’

A looming foie gras ban in California is pitting animal rights protesters against high-end chefs. Squeezed in the middle is Guillermo Gonzalez, lamenting the end of his "American dream".

Gonzalez, the only foie gras producer in the famously liberal US state, claims ignorant activists and "special interests" are unfairly throttling the livelihood he has built since arriving from El Salvador in 1986.

"I feel that a big injustice has been committed. I feel that emotion and intimidation have prevailed over reason and science. But this is bigger than us, so I just have to comply," he told AFP.

"It is in a way an offense to honest work, and I don’t lose the hope that reason will prevail," added the 60-year-old, packing up his business before the July 1 deadline.

Gonzalez founded Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras 26 years ago, after leaving his homeland and spending a year in France’s southwestern Perigord region to learn the traditional culinary craft from the Gallic masters.

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