California Ban on Sale of Foie Gras Upheld by Court

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

A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in San Francisco today 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 U.S. and Hudson Valley Foie Gras LLC, the largest U.S. 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.

The case is Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec v. Harris, 12-56822, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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