Foie gras is a cruelly-produced, high-priced “gourmet” delicacy that comes from force-feeding young ducks (or geese) until their livers swell to eight or more times their natural size.
For a more in-depth overview of our work on this issue, read our foie gras feature.
Timeline of Events
- September 15, 2017: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of California’s milestone law banning the sale of foie gras in a unanimous decision reaffirming the law’s constitutionality. The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed an amicus brief urging the court to support the law. Unfortunately, the ban won’t go into effect immediately due to continued appeals from the foie gras industry. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is committed to continuing to fight against legal attacks on this landmark law.
- December 14, 2016: A federal judge grants summary judgment to the USDA in lawsuit brought by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and a coalition to compel the agency to declare foie gras a diseased product. However, the court ruled the Animal Legal Defense Fund did have standing to bring its suits against the USDA.
- December, 2016: Oral arguments are heard in California’s appeal of the Jan. 7 District Court ruling that overturned the state ban on foie gras.
- August 15, 2016: The Animal Legal Defense Fund gives oral arguments in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in lawsuit against the USDA for allowing diseased poultry products into the food supply.
- November 5, 2015. ALDF sues the USDA for the Department’s “undue delay” in responding to ALDF’s 2011 petition to require that foie gras bear a warning label stating, “NOTICE: Foie gras products are derived from diseased birds.”
- August 2015. ALDF submits amicus brief in support of California’s appeal of the Jan. 7 District Court ruling that overturned the state ban on foie gras.
- June 11, 2015. the Supreme Court of California denies Napa restaurant La Toque’s petition for review, letting stand the appellate court’s decision in ALDF’s favor.
- March 5, 2015. The California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District rejected the Napa restaurant La Toque’s attempt to circumvent the state ban on selling foie gras.
- February 4, 2015. California Attorney General Kamala Harris appealed the Jan.7 District Court ruling that overturned the state ban on foie gras; Animal Legal Defense Fund expects the ban will be reinstated.
- January 7, 2015. ALDF urges appeal after district court invalidates California ban on foie gras.
- October 14, 2014—U.S. Supreme Court declines to disturb California ban on foie gras.
- August 30, 2013—Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds California ban on foie gras.
- June 25, 2013—District court grants the Animal Legal Defense Fund groundbreaking legal standing to bring a “humane” false advertising lawsuit as an advocacy organization, in this case against Hudson Valley Foie Gras.
- April 12, 2013—Landmark victory for ALDF in lawsuit against Hudson Valley Foie Gras, which agrees to remove deceptive use of “humane” descriptions from its promotional materials.
- March 4, 2013—The Animal Legal Defense Fund sues Napa, California-based La Toque restaurant for serving force-fed foie gras in violation of the state ban.
- November 13, 2012—The Animal Legal Defense Fund files false advertising lawsuit against Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the largest producer of foie gras in the nation, for unfairly calling itself “the Humane Choice.”
- September 25, 2012—ALDF files lawsuit against New York’s Department of Agriculture and Markets for allowing the sale of diseased poultry products, known as foie gras.
- May 9, 2012—ALDF and coalition sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violating Poultry Products Inspection Act by allowing the sale of adulterated poultry, known as foie gras.