High court supports California’s ban on foie gras


By Carlo Maffatt | Nevada Watchdog

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal last week to hear an appeal challenging California’s ban on foie gras is leading many to fear the ban eventually could expand to include all kinds of meat.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2004 signed a ban on the production and sale of the delicacy in the state. The law didn’t take effect until 2012.

“The decision of the Supreme Court means that Californians have the right to prohibit the sale of products simply because they are products of animal cruelty,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, an attorney for the Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest organization for the defense of animals.

Foie gras, a French word meaning “fat liver,” is made by force-feeding ducks or geese to fatten their livers.


This method of feeding has been used for more than 4,000 years. On various occasions, the American Veterinary Medical Association has sent representatives to different farms where these birds are bred and says, in their experience, the practice has “minimal adverse effects on birds.”

On its website, the association concludes that “Under ideal circumstances, force fed ducks suffer no harm or necrosis in the liver.

Lawrence Bartoff, a veterinarian who appears in a video produced by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, says “we need to remember mammals and ducks are not the same.”

“Ducks in the wild are under more stress than in the feeding situation,” Bartoff said.

Some believe PETA’s underlying agenda behind its “animal cruelty” crusade has more to do with global warming than animal welfare. According to PETA’s website, “raising animals for consumption damages the environment more than anything else.”

Sierra Club, The United Nations and former Vice President Al Gore also support the cause. The World Food and Agriculture Organization said that “meats in our diet produce more gases that lead to global warming than those generated by mass transport or industry.”

This is not the first time activists have tried to sway public opinion by taking unsubstantiated claims or bad science and declaring them “facts” to support a claim or push an agenda. The ill-fated “Got Autism” billboard campaign, linking autism with dairy products, was hatched using two small, outdated studies and failed to show a definitive link between dairy and autism.