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Federal Court of Appeals Upholds CA's Ban on Foie Gras

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Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

A panel of three judges from the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California's ban on foie gras on Friday. The L.A. Times reports that the judges were unanimous in their decision to agree with "a district judge's refusal to block the law," rejecting arguments from Canada's Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Quebec (a duck farming association), Los Angeles' Hot's Restaurant Group, and Hudson Valley Foie Gras in a lawsuit filed last year. These groups argued that the law "was unconstitutionally vague and regulated interstate commerce," but the judges disagreed on the grounds that the law "applies only to a product that is produced by force feeding a bird to enlarge its liver." The decision can be appealed or returned to the US District Court in Los Angeles.

While this does mean the ban is still in effect, plenty of chefs have been working around the ban by hosting private dinners and by giving foie away as a complimentary dish. Some chefs who have tried the latter have faced death threats from anti-foie activists and threats of legal action from PETA.

· California's Foie Gras Ban Is Upheld By Appeals Court [LAT]
· All Foie Gras Coverage on Eater [-E-]