THE French have never been my favourite nation and after reading about the truly horrific way in which foie gras is produced (Letters, February 23), that is putting it mildly.

French cuisine has always held a high place in the world of food and it is beyond my understanding that they have to offer this product to diners. It is bad enough that animals often have to suffer unnatural living conditions and cruel deaths in order to feed us, but this goes well beyond the pale.

I had heard that this product was produced by over-stuffing of birds’ livers but could not have imagined the barbarism of the reality. How on earth do the French justify treating living creatures in this way? Are there no rules in place that can stop it?

The fact that this product is banned by so many outlets should alert food manufacturers to consider banning it completely? There is more than enough choice nowadays to satisfy even the most adventurous diner without encouraging this kind of behaviour.

Heather Causnett, Escrick Park Gardens, Escrick, York.