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High court rejects Calif. foie gras case

The law banning sale of the dish has been in effect since 2012.

Farm Press Staff

May 24, 2023

1 Min Read
Courtroom gavel
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to California's ban on foie gras.Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court this week rejected a challenge to California’s more than decade-old ban on sale of foie gras, a delicacy made by overfeeding ducks or geese to enlarge their livers.

As is typically the case, the high court didn’t comment as to why it would not consider a case brought by New York and Canadian foie gras producers, The Associated Press noted.

It’s the second time in four years the Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to the foie gras ban, which was passed by the Legislature in 2004 at the urging of animal welfare groups.

The latest decision on May 22 followed the high court’s ruling earlier this month upholding Proposition 12, a 2018 initiative that set minimum pen sizes for breeding pigs. The court in 2019 took a pass on 15 states’ effort to overturn Proposition 2, a 2008 initiative requiring minimum cage sizes for hens laying eggs sold in California.

Lawsuits have been making their way through the courts since lawmakers banned foie gras, a fatty goose or duck liver made by force-feeding the birds. The French-born dish is considered a delicacy in high-end restaurants, although most such restaurants in California had stopped serving it by the time the law took effect in 2012.

A federal judge in 2020 allowed restaurants to serve the dish if it’s brought in from out of state.

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