As Supreme Court bans foie gras, restaurant association says change will impact California restaurant industry

By Carrie Bradon | Jan 18, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — The Supreme Court has allowed California to ban foie gras after six years of the state waiting to enforce a ruling that was initially made 15 years ago.

A fatty liver delicacy, foie gras is produced through the force-feeding of ducks and geese by using a tube to pour grain into the birds' throats, a practice which many animal activist groups deem to be cruel. 

In 2015, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson ruled that the ban on the delicacy was a violation of the Poultry Products Inspections Act, permitting the item to be returned to menus in the state, but two years later the ruling was reversed by California's state attorney general, according to

Chefs in the state are already contemplating how to work around what has for so long been a staple in fine dining establishments, but are not yet in a place of desperation.

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association said the Bay Area will face unique struggles, as foie gras has graced many menus of world-famous restaurants.

"This will have some impact on the state restaurant industry as foie gras is featured on many tasting menus, especially in fine dining, where it is seen as a delicacy by gourmands," Gwyneth Borden told the Northern California Record

Borden added that the challenge will not be without hope.

"The San Francisco Bay Area specifically has a large amount of internationally acclaimed, Michelin-starred restaurants, many of whom have included foie among menu items," Borden said. "However, we do have some of the most creative and innovative chefs around so deliciousness won't be compromised." 

According to, a number of chefs are planning to fight the ban, though it is unlikely that their protests will have any lasting change on the ruling.

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