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Ban on foie gras planned by NYC violates law

Ban on foie gras in New York City was to go into effect on November 25 but according to documents filed in New York City Superior Court, the ban violates law.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets informed city officials on Wednesday that the ban “unreasonably restricts” the operations of two farms that sued the city over the ban, La Belle Farm and Hudson Valley Foie Gras.

The Bill

According to CNN, “New York City had originally passed a bill in 2019 to ban restaurants and retailers from selling the fatty duck or goose liver, considered a delicacy by some.

In a letter to New York Mayor Eric Adams and Division of Legal Counsel Chief Stephen Louis, the department requested that the “City confirm that it will not enforce its ban on the sale of force-fed products” marketed by Hudson Valley Foie Gras and La Belle Farm.

The city ban on foie gras was to go into effect November 25. However, a state Supreme Court judge in September put the ban on hold as the lawsuit by the two Upstate New York Farms proceeded through the courts.

The original bill to ban foie gras called the luxury good a “force-fed product” and, in a statement to CNN in 2019, city Councilwoman Carlina Rivera — the prime sponsor of the bill — called force-feeding an “inhumane practice.””

According to AP News, “State agricultural officials found it “unusual” that the city was barring the sale of a lawfully produced farm product “not for reasons of the health, safety or welfare of its citizens — but to change animal husbandry practices occurring on farms outside its jurisdiction to which it objects.”

An attorney for the farms, Edward J. Phillips, said the state order is a “game changer” for litigation, since the decision is final unless the city challenges it promptly.

A city law department spokesman said in an email that officials were reviewing the state’s decision “and will respond accordingly.””

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