California Upholds Foie Gras Ban

Court says banning foie gras is not unconstitutional

Wikimedia/Luigi Anzivino
The courts say California's foie gras ban is legal.

California's ban on foie gras will continue for the foreseeable future, as a federal court has upheld the law making it illegal to sell the livers of force-fed ducks and geese in that state.

The law went into effect in July of last year, and California restaurateurs and out-of-state foie gras producers had challenged it in court, saying the was too vague, as it could be interpreted to mean that all products from force-fed ducks or geese were banned, including meat and pillows stuffed with feathers. The court disagreed, and said the law was not vague at all.

"The plain meaning of [the law] is that it applies only to a product that is produced by force feeding a bird to enlarge its liver," Judge Harry Pregerson said in a statement.

He also said the law did not illegally regulate interstate commerce, as it applied in California regardless of where the foie gras was actually produced.

"Otherwise, California entities could obtain foie gras produced out of state and sell it in California," the ruling said.

According to UPI, the plaintiffs could possibly appeal the decision at a higher court, but the state of California would likely try to have the case dismissed.


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