Animal Legal Defense Fund Files Appeal against New York State for Allowing Sale of Diseased Foie Gras

Posted on February 27, 2013

Ongoing Legal Fight against Foie Gras Industry Continues

For immediate release

Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Megan Backus, ALDF

ALBANY — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed an appeal in a lawsuit against the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets ("the Department") for allowing the ongoing sale of foie gras. The original lawsuit, which was dismissed in February for lack of standing, alleges that the Department violates its own Agriculture and Markets Law by allowing the sale of foie gras. New York’s state law requires the Department to declare "the product of a diseased animal" an adulterated product.

In the appeal, the Animal Legal Defense Fund will defend its legal standing to bring the case, noting it has diverted substantial resources to warn the public of the dangerous health risks posed by foie gras and, will assert that the Department’s failure to regulate has resulted in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands (and possibly millions) of diseased birds whose organs are distributed into the human food supply. 

Foie gras is the pathologically diseased liver of force-fed ducks and geese, a process which causes the livers of the birds to swell to many times the normal size and induces a liver disease known as hepatic lipidosis. In addition to the animal cruelty concerns, studies show consuming foie gras may lead to a fatal disease in humans called secondary amyloidosis. ALDF and the Department will now have the opportunity to file new briefs with the appellate court.

"New Yorkers depend on the Department to properly regulate food products for the health and safety of the public," said Stephen Wells, ALDF Executive Director. "We’re continuing our legal fight to ensure the state complies with its own law to protect consumers from the unhealthful products of the cruel foie gras industry."

Copies of the appeal are available by request.

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