Scientists Urge French to Cut Down on Frog Legs

French taste for the delicacy was called out by 557 experts as overconsumption
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2024 7:45 AM CDT
Scientists Urge French to Cut Down on Frog Legs
Plate with frog legs.   (Getty/Salvador-Aznar)

Hundreds of concerned scientists are asking French President Emmanuel Macron to put the brakes on a very French custom: eating frog legs. The open letter, signed by 557 research, veterinary, and conservation professionals, notes that the European Union isn't exactly practicing what it preaches in how native frogs are protected. "It's absurd," Sandra Altherr, the head of science at Pro Wildlife, told the Guardian, "The natural frog populations here in Europe are protected under EU law. But the EU still tolerates the collection of millions of animals in other countries—even if this threatens the frog populations there."

Pro Wildlife, along with conservation nonprofit Robin des Bois, organized the letter after conducting a study on how consumption of frog legs is affecting wild species outside the EU, particularly in Indonesia. Per the Washington Post, the EU imported the legs of up to 2 billion frogs 2010 through 2019, with the majority going to France, where frog legs are widely enjoyed. The letter says three specific frog populations—the fanged river frog, crab-eating frog, and rice field frog—are declining from overconsumption. Mirza D. Kusrini of Indonesia's IPB University told the Post she's not seeing the big deal. "I don't believe that most Indonesian scientists would agree with the letter," she said. (Cannibalistic tree frogs have spread to another state.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.