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A federal judge in California has struck down the state's ban on foie gras, which was implemented in 2012 because of concerns that the process of making foie gras - made from the liver of fattened ducks, it often requires ducks to be force-fed through a tube placed in their esophagus - is cruel.

The Wall Street Journal writes that "A group including two out-of-state foie gras producers and a California restaurant business sued the state in federal court in 2012 saying the ban caused them to lose millions of dollars in sales. They argued that the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act pre-empts California’s ban because it prevents states from imposing 'ingredient requirements' that interfere with commerce. This week the court agreed, finding that the federal law 'expressly pre-empts' the state ban."

The California Restaurant Association released a statement praising the ruling, saying that it was “a great day for consumers who don’t want to be told by a finger-wagging state what to eat.”

The office of the California Attorney General said that it was reviewing the ruling. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said that it was confident the ruling would be reversed on appeal.
KC's View:
I have to admit that this is one of those stories about which it is hard for me to get too excited - I don't like liver, don't like foie gras. But I also have to say that all the descriptions of how they feed the ducks to get foie gras kind of make me queasy ... and so I was sort of cheered by the ban.

This debate and legal fight will no doubt continue. But my feeling is that we can do better than this ... there's got to be a more humane way to get food than this.