Activists against animal abuse have won the battle against the defenders of a delicacy that, in 2006, the French legislators recognized as part of the "gastronomic and cultural heritage" of the European country. The Supreme Court of the United States has ratified this Monday the ban on selling foie gras in California, rejecting the appeal filed by producers of this hypertrophied duck liver against a law that went into effect in 2012 in the most populous state in the United States.
The struggle of the groups defending the rights of animals against the Foie gras, a luxury food that is produced by forcibly baiting grains to farm birds to expand the size of their liver, is historic. The decision of the highest court in the United States puts an end to a judicial battle that dates back to 2004, when California legislators approved, in the name of the fight against animal cruelty, a law that prohibited the sale of Foie gras in the State and included fines of up to 1,000 dollars (875 euros) for the restaurateurs who served the ingredient.
The ban came into effect in 2012, amid protests by numerous local chefs. But it hardly lasted three years, since in 2015 a federal judge declared the law unconstitutional, considering that it violated the federal legislation that regulates poultry production. The decision of the trial judge was appealed and, on September 15, 2017, the court of appeals reinstated the prohibition. "The champagne plugs jump because the appeals court has correctly estimated that the federal ban on Foie gras in California it does not contravene the federal law, "the association against animal abuse PETA said in a statement.
The producers of Foie gras New York and Canada, along with a Californian restaurateur, did not give up and went to the Supreme Court to defend a food that they considered "perhaps the most denigrated and misunderstood in the world." They had the support of France, which controls 70% of the world market for the production of Foie gras, whose government crossed out the Californian law of "an aggression against the French tradition". But on Monday, the Supreme Court, against whose decision there is no recourse, has put an end to the game of judicial ping pong and has refused to admit the proceeding.
"Yes! The decision of the Supreme Court to deny a review of the Californian prohibition of Foie gras means that selling the diseased livers of ducks and geese overfed by force will continue to be prohibited in the State, "PETA tweeted.
The news, obviously, was not so well received on the side of the producers. "It is unacceptable that such a decision, taken under the influence of the activity of lobby of activists who orchestrate misinformation about our products to advocate a dogmatic vegetarianism, could jeopardize the image of an emblematic dish of the French art of living, said Tuesday, in a statement, Michel Fruchet, president of the French group of producers of Foie gras Cifog. The main markets for French exporters of Foie gras are Japan, Spain, Holland and the Middle East, but none has managed to expand to the United States.
The sensitivity of the legal debate behind the judicial process attests to the fact that the Supreme Court decided to request, last June, the opinion on the matter from the United States Government. He responded that the prohibition of Foie gras in California it could remain in force, since it affected a mode of production and not a product in itself.