Lawsuit Seeks Foie Gras Ban in U.S.

Several animal advocacy groups including the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Compassion Over Killing, the Animal Protection & Rescue League and Farm Sanctuary, along with pro bono attorneys from Steptoe & Johnson, have joined forces to bring a lawsuit against the USDA claiming that the production of foie gras violates the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), which prohibits the sale of diseased poultry.

“The USDA is effectively exempting force-fed foie gras from the scrutiny required by federal law, allowing foie gras producers to market diseased organs as gourmet delicacies,” said ALDF executive director Stephen Wells.

Foie gras production involves force-feeding restrained ducks by shoving metal pipes down their throats multiple times a day, called gavage, and pumping them full of grain, or corn and fat, which leads to acute hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, which in turn leaves ducks suffering with malfunctioning livers that are ten times their normal size. The practice is considered cruel and inhumane and has already been banned in a dozen countries, while several others have a ban on force-feeding.

The complaint also addresses concerns about human health, citing “abnormally high levels of toxins” that accumulate in ducks and geese, along with a study published by the National Academy of Sciences about the associated risks of developing secondary amyloidosis for people with inflammatory diseases who eat foie gras, in addition to the connection to its consumption and other diseases, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Meanwhile, California is set to impose the first statewide ban of foie gras in the U.S. on July 1, 2012, but chefs are still trying to fight it.

Related Stories:

Foie Gras: A Diseased Delicacy

Foie Gras Off the Menu for Canadian Festival Dinner

Foie Gras Burgers on Wendy’s Menu in Japan


Photo credit: Thinkstock

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Malgorzata Zmuda
Malgorzata Zmuda2 years ago

Chętnie nakarmiłabym w ten sposób tych, co przymusowo karmią kaczki i gęsi.

B A Robinson
BA R.2 years ago


Colin Wright
Past Member 2 years ago

Patricia, while I applaud anyone who decides to go vegetarian, there is still cruelty in any eggs and any milk products. Even egg farms that say "cage-free" and "cruelty-free" still grind millions of male chicks alive when they are only days old, and very few milk farms actually treat cows well.

Personally, I encourage everyone to go completely Vegan and advocate for the abolishment of using animals in any food, clothing or entertainment. It's the only way to make sure there is absolutely no chance for abuse

Janet H.
Janet H.2 years ago

How about restaurants concentrate on serving organic meals w/o GMO's &, stop the inhumane treatment of these poor creatures!

Patricia Bacon
Pat Bacon2 years ago

There are tons of good foods out there to enjoy. We need to ban foods that cause pain and suffering to living things. I am a vegetarian and am so glad I made the change. My conscience is clear as to my impact on farm animals and other animals.I am totally enjoying my deit. Please consider making the change and only buy cage free eggs.

Wala G.
Wala G.2 years ago

How do humans have the audacity to call something that's so cruelly created "a delicacy"

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Huber F.
Huber F.2 years ago

No way toxins in your diet.

Gail M.
Gail M.3 years ago

Start with Chef Gordon Ramsey. He's a proponent of foie gras and poo-poos anyone who doesn't. He's FIRST on my list of boycotts.

Lynn Juozilaitis
Lynn Juozilaitis3 years ago

I wish someone would treat these people like they're treating these poor animals. Let them feel this same suffering and then maybe they would ban this cruelty forever!
God help these poor little things! It breaks your heart!