A Los Angeles federal judge ruled Tuesday that foie gras — the French delicacy made from the fattened livers of force-fed ducks and geese — can be sold in California restaurants as long as it is delivered from out of state by a third party.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson is a win for out-of-state foie gras producers, who claimed they lost nearly a third of sales due to California’s foie gras ban.
A state law went into effect in 2012 banning the sale of foie gras, but it was challenged in Los Angeles federal court by an association of foie gras producers in New York and Canada, along with a Hermosa Beach restaurant operator, who argued that the measure was vaguely written and interfered with state commerce.
A 2017 ruling by the Pasadena-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the statute.
Under the law, a restaurant caught serving the gourmet item in California could be fined up to $1,000.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear arguments in the foie gras industry’s challenge to the ban against the French delicacy, leaving intact the Pasadena ruling.
Animal lovers throughout the state crusaded against the gourmet pate.
Foie gras is usually produced through a process in which ducks or geese are force-fed corn through tubes inserted in their throats, a practice seen as inhumane by animal rights activists.
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