The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to reverse California’s ban on foie gras.
Producers of the fatty liver pâté – including Canadian nonprofit Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec, which represents duck and goose farmers – rallied together to appeal against the ban.
However, the Supreme Court declined to hear the challenge, leaving the law against the delicacy intact. The 2004 state law explicitly prohibits the sale of foie gras – a fat-rich duck and goose liver product – from birds which were force-fed.
E-commerce giant Amazon recently found itself in hot water after breaching California’s ban and shipping foie gras to the state’s residents. Following a lawsuit, the retailer agreed to stop sending the item to Californian customers. A settlement between Amazon and the prosecutors was approved by a judge and Amazon agreed to pay civil penalties to the value of $100,000.
Foie Gras Falling Out of Favor
To create foie gras, ducks and geese are fed through a tube until their livers expand; the practice is considered cruel and unnecessary by many animal rights activists. Vegan celebrity Pamela Anderson recently called out chef Gordon Ramsay for serving the item in his London restaurant, explaining that the pâté was “nothing more than a diseased liver produced in a real-life Hell’s Kitchen.”
Other celebrities, such as actors Evanna Lynch, Ricky Gervais, and Ellen DeGeneres, have spoken out against the production of foie gras. DeGeneres even dubbed the industry “the cruelest thing ever.”
In the UK, vegan actor Thandie Newton joined animal rights organization Animal Equality to demand a complete ban on foie gras. While domestic production of foie gras is outlawed in the nation, it is still legal to sell it. Animal Equality launched a petition to prohibit sale and importation post-Brexit which was delivered to Downing Street last September by “Downton Abbey” actor Peter Egan.
London’s Tate Modern art gallery also recently removed foie gras from its Christmas menu after pressure from the organization. Executive director of Animal Equality Toni Shephard said, “offering foie gras is completely at odds with the idea of a ‘modern’ institution. It is produced in a barbaric and outdated way.”
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