CALIFORNIA—Foie gras, a French delicacy made from the fattened livers of ducks or geese, has been allowed back on menus at restaurants after a California judge determined that the sale of foie gras does not violate the law if the seller is outside of California. The state has had a ban on foie gras since 2004, after the process for production of foie gras was deemed as animal cruelty.
On July 14, U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson oversaw a trial in which plaintiffs from farmers in Canada and New York challenged part of the California law that banned foie gras products produced out of state from being imported into California.
Judge Wilson ruled that the out-of-state sale of foie gras cannot necessarily be controlled, and will not violate the law as long as the seller is located outside of California and and the product is transferred to a third-party delivery service to be brought into state.
The judge’s final ruling was written in a public statement that read:
“There is no principled way to distinguish between foie gras purchased out of state and transported into California by the purchaser and that which is delivered by a third party.”