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Judge to Hear Foie Gras Ban Arguments

Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach is suing the state over its ban on foie gras.

Representatives from restaurants in Hermosa Beach and Northridge are expected to ask a federal judge Wednesday to sign a temporary injunction halting California's recently enacted ban on the sale of foie gras, the delicacy usually prepared from the force-feeding of ducks and geese.

Hot's Restaurant Group, along with the Canadian duck-farming trade organization Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Quebec, and New York-based producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras contend that the statewide ban is "unconstitutional, vague and interferes with federal commerce laws."

Hot's Restaurant Group owns in Hermosa Beach.

The law banning the production and sale of foie gras—fatty duck and/or goose liver—and its byproducts went into effect July 1. Restaurants selling the gourmet item can be fined up to $1,000.

In response to the law, Hot's Kitchen is currently serving foie gras for free "on the side" of one of its dishes. If a customer doesn't want the delicacy, the price for the dish remains the same.

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson will be asked to sign an order allowing sales of the delicacy to resume temporarily until the issue can be decided permanently.

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.

Animal lovers crusaded against force feeding, persuading the Legislature in 2004 to outlaw the practice, which effectively banned the delicacy in the state.

But attorney Michael Tenenbaum insists the law is too vague because it does not detail methods to measure the point at which a bird has been illegally overfed.

Tenenbaum, who filed suit against the law two weeks ago in Los Angeles, said that because California represents such a large potential market for the item, the ban severely hurts business for foie gras producers. Along with the state, the complaint names Attorney General Kamala Harris and Gov. Jerry Brown.

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Always Right July 18, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I hope this stupid law is over turned. It seems this states lawmakers ( mostly democrats) will do anything to do as much harm to businesses as they can. Like your president, not mine, they are doing their part to destroy this state like he is trying to destroy America.
Suzanne July 18, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I used to eat foie gras, and was resolved to remain ignorant as to the exact practices for deriving the delicacy. Then I accidentally stumbled upon a matter-of-fact description of said process, and I can't in good conscience eat foie gras anymore. While I respect others' rights to eat what they want, I believe the ban is intended to protect geese from inhumane treatment, not to hurt business. With that in mind, California should probably also KFC from selling chicken...just for starters. - a happy meat-eater
Robert H H September 15, 2012 at 02:14 AM
You ARE Always Right! It's amazing. How did you know the big democrat socialist pinko plot is to deliberately destroy all businesses? And in the secret master plan, banning foie gras is a top priority.
Robert H H September 15, 2012 at 02:25 AM
But the Real, Secret Conspiracy, which you seem to have miraculously Discovered, is that all the US Citizens you disagree with Politically, are Indeed trying their sincerest to Destroy their great Country, America. Foie Gras is just a starting Point, due to Its strategic importance To the American economy.

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