Foie Gras Is Back On The Menu In California After Judge Blocks 2012 Ban

Californians with a hankering for duck liver will soon be reunited after more than two years, as a judge has put the kibosh on the statewide ban on foie gras, saying it was the federal government’s job to regulate poultry products, not the states’ role.

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson permanently blocked California’s state attorney general from enforcing the part of the foie gras ban dating back to 2012, reports the Associated Press.

Chefs with a taste for the delicacy are happy, of course, while animal-rights groups, likely not so much. Opponents of foie gras call the practice of fattening geese and ducks for their livers cruel and inhumane, and have urged Attorney General Kamala Harris to fight the decision.

Yesterday’s ruling was handed down with enough time in the day for producers to ship foie gras to restaurants overnight, according to the attorney for one of the chefs and some foie gras farmers from out of state who’d challenged the law. That means Californians could be seeing it on the menu today and through the weekend.

Farmers in New York and a restaurant in Hermosa Beach had argued that California couldn’t enforce its rules beyond state borders in earlier lawsuits, later changing it to say that state law was pre-empted by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act. That law says states can’t use their own labels, packaging or impose ingredient requirements that are different from federal standards.

California had argued the ban was imposed on products created by a particular process, but the judge rejected that.

“California cannot regulate foie gras products’ ingredients by creatively phrasing its law in terms of the manner in which those ingredients were produced,” Wilson wrote.

Ruling puts foie gras back on California menus [Associated Press]

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