LOS ANGELES (AP) — Foie gras lovers in California can rejoice after a federal judge on Wednesday blocked the state’s ban on the sale of the fatty duck and goose liver.
U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson permanently blocked the state attorney general from enforcing the law that took effect two years ago, finding that the federal government’s authority to regulate foie gras and other poultry products supersedes the state’s.
California barred farmers from force-feeding birds with a tube, which is how foie gras is produced. The state also banned sales of the delicacy.
The federal ruling came in a lawsuit brought by foie gras farmers in Canada and New York and by the Hermosa Beach restaurant Hot’s Kitchen.
Their attorney, Michael Tenenbaum, called the ruling a victory “not just for foie gras but for freedom.” His statement said Hot’s Kitchen chef Sean Chaney is shouting from the rooftop, “Let the foie start flowing again!”
Some restaurants had defied or tried to find loopholes in the ban, including the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco, whose managers contended the law didn’t apply to them because the restaurant is on land administered by a federal agency.
Chicago passed a similar ban on the delicacy but later repealed it.
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