Foie gras ban proposed for New York City restaurants

By Kate Gibson

/ MoneyWatch

New York City may join California in banning the sale of fattened duck and goose liver — aka foie gras.

City Council member Carlina Rivera is pushing a bill that would prohibit restaurants and vendors from offering the classic French delicacy on grounds it involves animal cruelty. Foie gras is made from the specially enlarged livers of ducks and geese that have been force-fed corn.

Under Rivera's proposal, violations would be a misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and a year in jail.

A California law banning foie gras proved controversial, and provoked a six-year legal battle that last month had the U.S. Supreme Court refusing to hear a challenge to the 2004 ban, and leaving in place a 2017 ruling upholding it.

Foie gras ban ruffles feathers

But Rivera dismissed the notion of her proposal having any broad impact in a city known globally for its restaurant industry, telling the New York Post that foie gras is "not part of the diet of everyday New Yorkers."

While California is the first U.S. state to ban foie gras, New York would not be the first city to do so. A similar ban was passed in Chicago in 2006 and existed for two years, until the Chicago Council voted to repeal it in 2008.

First published on February 5, 2019

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