California’s ban on the sale of foie gras upheld by appeals court

San Francisco court rejects argument that ban interferes with interstate and foreign commerce and is too vague

Ducks intended for slaughter for food, including foie gras, roaming  at Hudson Valley Foie Gras. Photograph: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Ducks intended for slaughter for food, including foie gras, roaming at Hudson Valley Foie Gras. Photograph: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Sat, Aug 31, 2013, 01:00

California’s ban on the sale of foie gras, made from the livers of force-fed geese, remains in effect after a US appeals court upheld a lower-court decision not to block the law.

A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in San Francisco yesterday rejected arguments that the measure interferes with interstate and foreign commerce and is too vague. The court sent the case back to a federal judge in Los Angeles.

An association of producers who supply all of Canada’s foie gras imports to the US and Hudson Valley Foie Gras , the largest US producer of foie gras, had sued to stop the 2004 law. It bans force-feeding ducks or geese to make foie gras within California and bars sales of foie gras produced elsewhere if it’s made by force-feeding a bird to enlarge its liver beyond normal size. Violators can be fined as much as $1,000 a day.

Enforcement was postponed to allow producers to find an alternative to force-feeding. None was found. – (Bloomberg)