Economy

Judges reinstate California foie gras ban

Judges reinstate California foie gras ban”

The main question was whether the state was banning an ingredient or a process. But animal rights activists have long maintained the market for the delicacy drives poultry producers to cruelly force-feed the birds.

California enacted a law in 2004 that banned serving foie gras that was produced through force feeding birds in order to fatten up their liver before slaughter.

The ban took effect in 2012 in California but was suspended by a judge in 2015. Many chefs opposed the California law, saying they like preparing foie gras and their customers want to eat it.

But foie gras farmers in Canada and NY and the restaurant Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach targeted a second part of the law that banned foie gras produced out of state.

"It prohibits selling diseased livers of birds force-fed by jamming tubes down their throat and pumping concentrated food down their esophagus", Goodman said in an interview. Today three federal judges determined that the ruling in 2015 was in error.

Svetlana Kolpakova / DreamstimeHide your foie gras, California restauranteurs!

In sending the case back to Wilson, the panel also reasoned that the ban was not preempted even if it functioned as a total ban on foie gras. The PPIA prohibits states from imposing requirements on ingredients that contradict federal regulations. "Although plaintiffs invite us to expand the definition of "ingredients" to include animal husbandry practices, that is within Congress's bailiwick, not ours." . That part of the law, phased in over seven years, was not challenged.

Jared Goodman, a lawyer for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said that group was "thrilled" by the decision.

Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society, noted that the ruling could have implications beyond California.

A federal appeals court reinstated California's ban on foie gras Friday, finding that a state law preventing sales of the luxury liver pate made by force-feeding ducks and geese was not pre-empted by federal authority to regulate poultry products.

U.S. Circuit Judges John Owens and Harry Pregerson joined Nguyen in the opinion.



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