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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 13:40 GMT
US Congress opts for "freedom fries"
French fries are off the menu for US legislators
French fries in the House of Representatives' cafeterias will now be known as "freedom fries" as part of a Republican protest at France's opposition to a war on Iraq.

Republican representative Bob Ney, whose committee is in charge of the eateries, said the action was "a small but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capitol Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France".

French toast from now on will be known as "freedom toast".

The move - following the lead of a North Carolina restaurant - reflects the anti-French sentiment among some lawmakers who feel President Jacques Chirac is betraying the US by opposing its policy on disarming Iraq.

France has said it will use its veto to block a second UN resolution to allow war to commence with Iraq.

Should we ban French wine, Belgian waffles or Russian dressing? If Mexico votes no, should Mexican restaurants also be banned?
Jose Serrano
Some legislators disagree with the menu changes.

A Democrat from New York, Jose Serrano, described the orders as "petty grandstanding" and urged legislators to concentrate on the US' pressing domestic needs.

"Should we ban French wine, Belgian waffles or Russian dressing? If Mexico votes no, should Mexican restaurants also be banned?" he asked.

Republican Jim Saxton from New Jersey has introduced legislation that would prevent any French company from receiving US funding or financing in the reconstruction of Iraq.

But House Majority leader Tom DeLay, from Texas, said he did not think Congress needed to take any formal steps to show its disapproval of France.

French isolation

"I don't think we have to retaliate against France. They have isolated themselves. They have resigned from any responsibility for the war on terror."

In February, a fast food restaurant called Cubbie's in Beaufort, North Carolina renamed its French fries "freedom fries" also in protest at France's anti-war stance.

The owner, Neal Rowland, said he got the idea from similar protest action against Germany during World War I, when sauerkraut was renamed liberty cabbage and frankfurters became hot dogs.

Rob Watson gauges opinion on the name change
"I guess it's a little childish, but may be tit-for-tat"

French fries off US menu
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