Animal Legal Defense Fund Urges Investigation of California Foie Gras Purchases Revealed in Published Client List

Posted on April 25, 2013

Attorney General Asked to Investigate State Foie Gras Ban Violations After List of Hudson Valley Foie Gras Purchasers Is Made Public

For immediate release

Contact:
Lisa Franzetta, ALDF

SAN FRANCISCO — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris urging her to enforce California’s ban on force-fed foie gras, a day after hackers released a list of sales from New York’s Hudson Valley Foie Gras (HVFG), the nation’s largest foie gras producer. The list reveals that HVFG has been flouting California law by selling to nearly 250 customers in the state after the ban went into effect last year. ALDF’s letter appeals to General Harris to thoroughly investigate and enforce these violations, which will allow the fiscally troubled state of California to potentially recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars via fines levied on HVFG.

Under California Health and Safety Code section 25982, which took effect July 1, 2012, "a product may not be sold in California if it is the result of force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size." Foie gras, a food made by force-feeding geese and ducks until their livers expand up to eight or more times their natural size, is the product of a painful liver disease known as hepatic lipidosis. A civil penalty of an amount up to $1,000 for each violation may be payable to the state, according to California Health & Safety Code section 25983(b).

"Hundreds of thousands of ducks suffer immensely in the cruel process of force-feeding," said Stephen Wells, ALDF executive director. "At a time like this, we cannot afford to be subsidizing rich out-of-state corporations by ignoring the money they owe this state. We hope Attorney General Harris will act on this information, which indicates Hudson Valley Foie Gras has intentionally disregarded California law."

Read the Letter