Press Release

Hearing Today on Lawsuit to Compel USDA to Remove Foie Gras from Food Supply

Alleges force-feeding process produces diseased duck and goose livers


Los Angeles, CA — The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments today in a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s leading legal advocacy organization for animals, and a coalition of animal protection groups against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for allowing diseased poultry—specifically, foie gras—into the food supply.

The suit stems from a petition for rulemaking asking the USDA to keep foie gras, a diseased poultry product, out of the food supply as required by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act. The USDA denied the petition, leading ALDF to seek relief in the courts.

Foie gras consists of the pathologically diseased livers of ducks and geese, who are force-fed massive amounts of grain, which causes their livers to swell to ten times their normal size and induces numerous painful conditions in the birds.

A recent study published by the National Academy of Sciences linked the consumption of foie gras to secondary amyloidosis—the build-up of abnormal proteins in tissues and organs—in humans. People with chronic inflammatory disease, including the 2.1 million Americans who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, are at greater risk for developing secondary amyloidosis after eating force-fed foie gras.

Animal Legal Defense Fund has also petitioned the USDA to require warning labels on foie gras reading, “NOTICE: Foie gras products are derived from diseased birds.”

Morgan Hector of Steptoe & Johnson LLP will represent Animal Legal Defense Fund in court today.

When: Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 1:00 P.M.
Where: UCLA School of Law, A. Barry Cappello Courtroom, 385 E Charles Young Dr. East, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

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