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California’s Foie Gras Ban Is Back On The Table And Chefs Are Pissed

California’s foie gras ban has been a topic of controversy for years. However, a recent decision from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has moved the ban one step closer to being given the green light.

foie gras ban

Photo: H. Alexander Talbot on Wikimedia Commons.

A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court overturned an earlier decision from a California district judge that found the state ban interfered with federal laws and was illegal. The Ninth Circuit judges, however, claim that the state ban did not interfere because “Congress did not intend to occupy the field of poultry products” and the federal laws in question consider state involvement.

While PETA was popping champagne corks in celebration, according to a statement, chefs were not happy with the ban. Michelin-starred chef Josiah Citrin told the Los Angeles Times that he didn’t like “being told what I can and can’t use” and that his foie gras dish would stay on the menu for the time being.

Citrin and other chefs who keep their foie gras on California menus are still acting within the law. That’s because the ban will not take effect until appeals processes are completed. That will happen with a larger appeal and hearing in front of a larger panel of Ninth Circuit Court judges. If the ban is upheld there, challengers can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Overall, that leaves a long winded legal battle to still follow, with the future of California foie gras in its hands. We’ll have to wait and see what the final decision ultimately turns out to be.

By Constantine Spyrou

Constantine's life revolves around eating, studying, and talking about food. He's obsessed with eggs, gyros, and the future of food.