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Restaurant groups file suit against California foie gras ban

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Days after a foie gras ban came into force in California, a Los Angeles restaurant group and others have filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the bill outlawing the controversial gastronomic delicacy.

Hot’s Restaurant Group, Canada’s Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Quebec and New York-based producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras claim the ban is “unconstitutional, vague and interferes with federal commerce laws.”

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California lawmakers agreed the ban in 2004, but gave the western US state’s only foie gras producer seven and a half years to comply before it came into effect on July 1 this year.

Restaurants serving the gourmet item — made from force-feeding ducks or geese — can be fined up to $1,000.

But the legal challenge claims the 2004 law is unclear in defining what constitutes force-feeding, said attorney Michael Tenenbaum, who filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles this week.

“The Bird Feeding Law does not provide any intelligible measure — such as weight, volume, or caloric value — by which those involved in the feeding of the ducks … may determine at what point a duck has been fed ‘more food’ than the statute allows,” says the lawsuit, cited by the Los Angeles Times.

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Tenenbaum said he is seeking a preliminary injunction to halt the law until the lawsuit — which cites California governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris — goes to trial.

In the run-up to the July 1 ban, some of the Golden State’s top chefs including Thomas Keller, the only US chef with two three Michelin-starred restaurants, redoubled efforts to persuade lawmakers to overturn the ban.

Calling themselves the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards (CHEFS), they have staged a series of foie gras-rich evenings to raise money for the cause.

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But John Burton, the former California legislator who drafted the law, dismissed their calls, likening the tradition of foie gras to waterboarding and female genital mutilation.

“I’d like to sit all 100 of them down and have duck and goose fat — better yet, dry oatmeal — shoved down their throats over and over and over again,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle in April.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Has anything changed since Burning Man’s sex assault and labor issues were exposed?

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The last weekend in August marks the start of Burning Man, a week-long, festival in the Nevada desert consisting of freewheeling performance art, fanciful costumes, and a lot of drugs. The anarchic party with more than 50,000 attendees constitutes a pilgrimage for many attendees, lured by the promise of leaving the “default world” behind in exchange for a transformative or even spiritual experience.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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Truckers are facing a ‘bloodbath’ in their industry — and it’s turning many in the pro-Trump group against him: report

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WATCH: Trump’s collusion with Russia is now a topic for impeachment — along with obstruction and racism

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President Donald Trump's interactions with Russia are now a topic of the impeachment investigation.

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"Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois is one of the freshmen Democrats who flipped a Republican district last year in winning her election. She brings the total number of House Democrats supporting impeachment now to 126 -- a majority of the Democrats' 235 members of the House," he explained.

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