New Foie Gras Lawsuit Demands USDA Respond to Petition to Label Product as "Derived from Diseased Birds"
The good people at the Animal Legal Defense (ALDF) have been busy making sure the United States Deptartment of Agriculture (USDA) responds to their petitions about foie gras marketing. This past Wednesday, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from the ALDF about a 2007 lawsuit stating that the product should not be sold or consumed in the U.S. because it comes from diseased poultry.
One day later the ALDF followed up with another lawsuit in regards to the USDA’s lack of response to a 2011 petition demanding that the product at least come with a warning label. Such a label would state that the food found to be so precious has origins in the:
“pathologically diseased livers of ducks and geese, who are force-fed massive amounts of grain, which causes their livers to swell to 10 times their normal size and induces numerous painful conditions in the birds.”
To say the ALDF are upset would be an understatement. And it would be safe to say that their sentiments reflect that of many of the population. The much-celebrated ban on foie gras in California endured a bitter turn when U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson struck it down earlier this year, claiming that it unconstitutionally interfered with the U.S. Poultry Products Inspections Act, which overshadows state rights.
The new lawsuit is borne not only of indignation at the treatment of ducks and geese, but also cites a study investigating the health risks of consuming foie gras:
“Despite these dangers, USDA has not only failed to stop the entry of foie gras into the food supply, but has also flouted its statutory obligation to prohibit false and misleading labeling with respect to foie gras.”
The USDA has reportedly not commented on the new lawsuit, yet it will be interesting to see how things unfold. It appears that the ALDF is not backing down any time soon.
Photo credit: Animaux