A Los Angeles restaurant group is among plaintiffs suing the state and various officials in an attempt to overturn California's recently enacted ban on sale of foie gras, the goose liver delicacy usually prepared from the force-feeding of ducks and geese, according to papers obtained today.
-- which operates eateries in Hermosa Beach and Northridge -- along with the Canadian duck-farming trade organization Association des Eleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Quebec and New York-based producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras contend that the statewide ban is "unconstitutional, vague and interferes with federal commerce laws."
The law banning the production and sale of foie gras -- fatty duck and/or goose liver -- and its byproducts went into effect Sunday. Restaurants serving the gourmet item can be fined up to $1,000.
Foie gras is usually produced through a process in which ducks or geese are force fed corn through tubes inserted in their throats, a practice seen as inhumane by animal rights activists which helped prompt the ban.
Attorney Michael Tenenbaum, who filed the suit in Los Angeles federal court this week, said that because California represents such a large potential market for the item, the ban severely hurts business for foie gras producers.
He said he would seek a preliminary injunction to temporarily halt the law until the suit can go to trial. Along with the state, the complaint names Attorney General Kamala Harris and Gov. Jerry Brown.
Animal lovers crusaded against force feeding, persuading the Legislature to outlaw the practice, which effectively banned the delicacy in the state.
But Tenenbaum insists the law is too vague because it does not detail methods to measure the point at which a bird has been illegally overfed.