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Foie Gras Producers Go To Court Against Ban

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Foie Gras 4Americans are reacting strongly to bans related to their everyday food and drink items. It happened with the soda ban in New York City and it is happening again with the Foie Gras ban in California. As mentioned earlier, a group of Foie Gras producers have joined hands to file a lawsuit against the ban in federal court. The lawsuit was filed the same day on which the ban came into force – July 1, 2012. But that is not the only irony  behind this opposition to the ban.


The Lawsuit


Some of the largest producers of Foie Gras in North America are behind this legal challenge to the State’s ban. The people behind this lawsuit are Canada’s Associated des Eleveurs de Canards ed d’Oies du Quebec (that’s a mouthful in itself!) and Hudson Valley Foie Gras of New York, along with a restaurateur from Southern California, Hot’s Restaurant. The suit was filed Monday and it seeks an injunction against the new law, on the grounds that it forbids sale within the State as well as production of this delicacy from force-fed birds. The petitioners find the legislation “unconstitutional, vague and interferes with federal commerce laws.” 


The Story Behind Foie Gras 5


Everybody knows that this bird liver-based delicacy is made by plumping up the livers of ducks and geese through force-feeding the poor birds. The fattened liver is basically a kind of disease for these birds and something which humans find delicious to eat. However, the parties behind this lawsuit do not think likewise. The lawsuit reads, “The Bird Feeding Law (a part of the ban) does not provide any intelligible measure – such as weight, volume, or caloric value – by which those involved in the feeding of the ducks … may determine at what point a duck has been fed ‘more food’ than the statute allows.” The petitioners are saying that the ban being so vague could easily be applicable to all the products that are raised from ducks, such as feathers, bones, and skin. However, by their own admission, the most important point in the lawsuit is that the ban violates the US Constitution’s commerce clause. It is this last point, which makes the most sense, don’t you think?


Foie Gras 6The Violators


The ban entails a fine of $1,000 per day of violating the Foie Gras ban but that is not deterring the Foie Gras fans from going all out with their defying attitude. One such fan is Antoine Price, who threw a party at his restaurant in San Clemente, where everything that he served was made with Foie Gras. His party menu was aptly titled, “Foie You!” When asked by a newspaper whether he feared the ban or not, Price replied, “They can lock me up if they want. I don’t mind.”


With some of the most celebrate chefs of California, the producers, hoteliers, restaurateurs, as well as fans among general public up against this ban, it seems likely that something drastic will come out of this protest very soon. Which side are you on?


Image Courtesy: rawstory, peta, france24

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Foie Gras Producers Go To Court Against Ban