Federal judge calls foul on California’s foie gras ban

Federal judge calls foul on California’s foie gras ban

[Ed. – It takes a really special state to have a foie gras ban.  This judge clearly has no sense of humor.]

West Coast nanny-state proponents took a hit Wednesday when a federal judge struck down the state’s two-year-old prohibition on foie gras, a delicacy made from fattened duck or goose liver.

U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson said in his opinion that California health and safety codes that ban restaurants from serving foie gras run afoul of federal law, namely the Poultry Products Inspections Act. According to the judge, this federal statute supersedes any state law in governing the production and sale of the pate. …

The California state legislature passed a foie gras ban in 2004 under pressure from animal rights advocates, who argued that foie gras is inhumane because it is traditionally made by force-feeding birds in order to enlarge their livers.

The law went into effect in 2012 after legal challenges failed, but it was habitually undermined by restauranteurs who continued to serve foie gras, saying they were not selling it but giving it away as a gift, which is not prohibited under the law.

Chef Ken Frank of La Toque restaurant in Napa, who was sued by the Animal Legal Defense Fund for continuing to serve foie gras, sponsored an essay contest in June on the topic, “Why California’s Foie Gras Ban Is Foolish,” according to San Francisco Eater.

Foodies rejoiced at the decision.

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