Foie gras imports to the UK could be banned after Brexit, according to an environment minister.
Conservative frontbencher George Eustice said the UK is required to observe law which restricts the introduction of measures which hinder the movement of goods within the EU market.
But he added leaving the EU will offer an opportunity to examine restrictions on sales.
His remarks came after Tory MP Henry Smith (Crawley) questioned why there was a UK production ban on foie gras, but not an import ban.
The product is made from duck or goose livers. They are force fed as part of the process before their over-sized, fatty livers are extracted, MPs heard.
Around 98% of duck foie gras imports to the UK come from France, while total imports amounted to around 100 tonnes in 2017, Mr Eustice said.
Mr Smith told the Commons: «Foie Gras is cruel to produce, unhealthy to eat and it’s expensive to purchase.
«The ultimate cost though is paid by the ducks and geese who suffer so greatly before their slaughter, and it’s time we banned this outdated practice.»
For the Government, Mr Eustice said in his reply: «While we are a member of the European Union, as (Mr Smith) pointed out, we are required to observe law which places restrictions on the introduction of measures that impair the movement of goods within the EU market.»
Mr Eustice went on: «When we leave the European Union, we do indeed have an opportunity to look at restrictions on sales along the lines that (Mr Smith) pointed out.
«We know there are no barriers under WTO law, something which is sometimes raised by some people — there are clear precedents for putting in place ethical bans when it comes to WTO law.
«Some countries — notably India — have brought forward bans on the sale of foie gras.»