Foie Gras Proponents Sue California, Claim Foie Gras Ban is Unconstitutional

A lawsuit filed earlier this week in Los Angeles [PDF] alleges that California's recently enacted ban on foie gras is "unconstitutional, vague and interferes with federal commerce laws."

Canadian duck-farming trade organization Association des Éleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Québec joined forces with New York-based "duck delicacy" producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras and LA's Hot's Restaurant Group to ask the state to clarify the meaning of "force-feeding" — the most common method used to fatten up duck liver, the main ingredient in foie gras.

The law defines "force feeding" as "using a process that causes a bird 'to consume more food than a typical bird of the same species would consume voluntarily,' according to the suit, which claims that the existing language "makes it impossible for anyone to know at what point a particular bird has been fed 'more food' than the Bird Feeding Law allows."

Though the state-wide ban on the food item has been in effect since Sunday, the plaintiffs' attorney, Michael Tenenbaum, said he will seek a preliminary injunction, freezing the law until the suit is resolved. "I think the injunction will help all chefs from the risk of unknowingly breaking the law, and give our legislators time to fix it," Hot's Restaurant Group co-owner Sean Chaney told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The attorney general's office has yet to issue a comment.

Eater notes that the law is mostly toothless, given that the LAPD and SFPD "don't plan on investigating any cases at all," and neither do state animal welfare organizations.