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Effective July 1st 2012, foie gras made from force feeding ducks, geese or any bird will be banned in California. In other words, the actual force feeding in California is prohibited as well as merely selling the pate if made elsewhere using the force feeding technique.
The law was passed in 2004 but it's effective date was delayed almost 8 years to give producers a chance to convert to a humane method of feeding the birds. The only producer in California, Artisan Foie Gras, in Sonoma, has declined to make those changes.
Recently, a group of chefs was unsuccessful in urging the legislature to repeal or extend the effective date of the ban. Though drowning their sorrows with their customers in secret foie gras parties (to avoid protesters), the chefs are really concerned that this ban will spread to other states. It is already banned in other countries such as Argentina, Israel, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Italy and lawsuits against the USDA as well as public pressure could soon create more momentum to stop this form of pate.
There once was a goose named Dakota,
who lived on a farm in Sonoma.
With a tube down her throat and a chef at the moat,
she called on the people to help her.
The votes were amassed.
A foie gras ban passed.
And Dakota's liver is much slimmer.
Bon soir foie gras....