Foie Fight Isn’t Over

Senator may back a bill to repeal foie gras ban

Guillermo Gonzalez of Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras / Christopher Chung PD

Guillermo Gonzalez of Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras / Christopher Chung PD
Guillermo Gonzalez of Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras / Christopher Chung PD

Just days  before the July 1 foie gras ban goes into effect, the national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a complaint with the California Attorney General’s office asking her to sue foie gras industry advocates who they claim are disseminating false and misleading information about humanely produced foie gras. Named in the complaint: Napa’s Ken Frank of La Toque, Guillermo Gonzalez of Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras, Rob Black of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and New York’s Hudson Valley Foie Gras.

Why? The timing of the complaint comes just days after foie gras enthusiasts seem to have found some support in Sacramento. Though the legislature pushed aside last minute efforts to overturn the bill in 2012, there are reports that at least one legistlator, Sen. Lois Wolk of Davis may be interested in authoring legislation to repeal the ban in 2013.

“I don’t like single-product bans, period,” Wolk told McClatchy Newspapers on Sunday. “These are never easy issues, usually characterized by a lot of intense feeling and not much fact. The chefs have been very open in how to approach this, and now we have a chance to look at this.”

With a new round of chef pushback, animal rights activists including the ALDF have continued to fight against “gavage”, the practice of force feeding geese used for foie gras production. ALDF’s complaint asks Attorney General Harris to use her power to commence civil enforcement action in superior court against the industry advocates under California’s Unfair Competition Law.  For each false or misleading statement addressed in the attorney general’s complaint, the court has the power to impose fines of up to $2,500. The ALDF has also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

This brawl ain’t over folks. Expect more fierce foie fighting to come.

Recent foie stories in the news:

Atlantic: The Last Days of Foie Gras

There May be Hope: Grubstreet

Foie Fight Over: Press Democrat