California bans duck and goose liver delicacy

01-05-2012 | | |

Foie gras, the French delicacy consisting of the enlarged liver of a duck or goose, is to be banned in California as of July 1, leaving Californian chefs aghast.

The ban, put in place in 2004 in a reaction to the manner of feeding, gave the industry seven years to comply.
Foie gras is a duck or goose liver enlarged through force feeding, a practise that enlarges the liver to up to 10 times its original size.
In 2004 the state of California banned foie gras, going into effect 1 July, 2012, on the grounds that the treatment and manner of feeding the ducks and geese was cruel. The ban, taken up in the Calfornia Health and Safety Code, prohibits the force feeding of birds with an intent to enlarge their livers, as well as the sale of products made in this way.
The force feeding to produce foie gras is prohibited in most EU countries, with the exception of France, which along with Belgium, Bulgaria, Spain and Hungary still produces foie gras. There is currently no prohibition on importing or selling foie gras in the EU.
California chefs have put together a petition and submitted it to California Assembly Speaker John Perez, in the hope of repealing the ban.
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