Los Angeles, CA – On January 7th, 2015, a Federal District Court judge in California overturned the two and a half year old ban on sales of foie gras in California. (Ruling attached) California chefs rushed to put foie gras back on their menus, to the delight of California diners.
Hudson Valley Foie Gras, with an association of Canadian foie gras farmers, including Rougié, and Hot’s Kitchen, a Hermosa Beach, California, restaurant, challenged the lawsuit the day after the law took effect in 2012.
The court ruled that federal law regulates the distribution and sale of all poultry products in the United States. California exceeded its authority in implementing the ban on foie gras sales.
Support for and understanding of foie gras farming has grown since the California law was originally passed in 2004. In documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (attached), it was found that even then, the California Department of Food and Agriculture stated that “foie gras production is…well established in conformity with humane animal management” and urged Governor Schwarzenegger to veto the bill. The governor eventually signed the bill at the urging of the California foie gras farm, Sonoma-Artisan Foie Gras, which received immunity from legal action, civil and criminal, until 2012. Several other states considered similar legislation after California and all rejected attempts to ban foie gras sales or farming.
As Sean Chaney of Hot’s Kitchen said, “Let the foie start flowing again!”