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As the Foie Gras Turns ... Again

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Jun 13, 2007 5:30PM

A federal judge yesterday upheld Chicago's ban on foie gras, disappointing chefs across the city, and of course, giving renewed energy to both sides to persevere. 2007_06_foiegras.jpgIn dismissing the Illinois Restaurant Association's lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Blanche Manning ruled that the city does have a constitutional right to prohibit the sale of foie gras.

On a related note, we were alerted yesterday to a tiny section (Section 123) of the pending USDA Farm Bill that could potentially render all of this scuffling moot in the long run anyway. Section 123 denies states and localities the right to enact bans relating to food safety and animal welfare. From what we have been reading, the primary goal of this section is to prohibit states from regulating genetically engineered crops or food, not to allow Hot Doug's to go to town. However, the language is such that local- and state-level bans on foie gras and horse slaughter, for example, would also be affected.

If you can't get enough foie gras talk, Ald. Bernard Stone (50th) will reintroduce a repeal of the year-old foie gras ban at today's City Council meeting. Bon Appetit!