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Eatery: Foie Gras Ban 'Unconstitutional'

Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach joins a lawsuit against the foie gras ban in California. It's unknown whether Aimee's Bistro in Redondo Beach will protest the ban.

in neighboring Hermosa Beach is among plaintiffs suing the state and various officials in an attempt to overturn California's recently enacted ban on sale of foie gras, the goose liver delicacy usually prepared from the force-feeding of ducks and geese, according to papers obtained Thursday.

In addition to Hot's Restaurant Group—which operates an eatery in Northridge in addition to the one in Hermosa Beach—along with the Canadian duck-farming trade organization Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Quebec and New York-based producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras contend that the statewide ban is "unconstitutional, vague and interferes with federal commerce laws."

  • Previously:

The law banning the production and sale of foie gras—fatty duck and/or goose liver—and its byproducts went into effect Sunday. Restaurants serving the gourmet item can now be fined up to $1,000.

Foie gras is usually produced through a process in which ducks or geese are force-fed corn through tubes inserted in their throats, a practice seen as inhumane by animal rights activists, who lobbied for the ban.

Attorney Michael Tenenbaum, who filed the suit in Los Angeles federal court this week, said that because California represents such a large potential market for the item, the ban severely hurts business for foie gras producers.

He said he would seek a preliminary injunction to temporarily halt the law until the suit can go to trial. Along with the state, the complaint names Attorney General Kamala Harris and Gov. Jerry Brown.

Animal lovers crusaded against force-feeding, persuading the Legislature to outlaw the practice through a bill passed in 2004, which effectively banned foie gras in the state. As part of the bill, the Legislature gave foie gras producers eight years to find a more humane way of producing the delicacy before the ban went into effect.

Tenenbaum, however, insists the law is too vague because it does not detail methods to measure the point at which a bird has been illegally overfed.

Though Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa has been vocally opposed to the ban, Chef Charlie Negrete told Patch last week that the impending implementation prompted dozens of reservations at the South Redondo Beach restaurant.

Negrete said he did not know whether restaurant owner Aimee Mizrahi planned to contest the ban.

In 2011, outside local Mexican restaurant in protest after celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre took over the eatery for his show LudoBites America. As part of the one-night only menu, Lefebvre served up a .

Patch Editor Nicole Mooradian contributed to this report.

Diane July 06, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Even Martha Stewart opposes this practice. If you would like to see this practice for yourself, please watch this short video. I oppose the production of foie gras, and I am not an animal activist or a terrorist. I'm someone who realizes the abuse and cruelty that goes into this, and who realizes that we don't need this "delicacy" (in fact, it's bad for you). I choose compassion and nonviolence, and I hope you will too. Tell Hot's Kitchen and Aimee's Bistro that you hold compassion and nonviolence as a value too, and that you encourage them to let foie gras go. You have to be willing to look at how our food is produced, and make an informed decision. It's the only ethical thing to do. Turning your head from it and refusing to look at it square on is unethical.
Diane July 06, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Opps, forgot to give you the video, sorry. Here is the link: http://www.care2.com/causes/martha-stewart-takes-on-factory-farming-video.html
Diane July 06, 2012 at 07:26 PM
Watch this video : http://www.stopforcefeeding.com/
Roberta Painter July 07, 2012 at 06:07 AM
I so totally agree with you Diane, and I just can't stomach to watch the video.. I just can't believe how people half to go to such great lengths and animal cruelty to have this "delicacy"!! I too choose compassion and non violence, and I so hope more people will also ..
Sally Tephany July 08, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Ah, jeez! Find something else to eat and leave the poor animals alone. Isn't civilization beyond this miserable practice?

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