The fight is not over for chefs and foie gras fans in California. The law banning the sale or production of foie in California went into effect on Sunday July 1st. But amid controversy and confusion about enforcement of the law
, the legal battle to overturn the law began on Monday July 2nd with a suit filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The pro-foie plaintiffs include a coalition of L.A. chefs, the Canadian Association des Éleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Québec and Hudson Valley Foie Gras farm.
The suit maintains that the law is unconstitutional, vague and interferes with federal commerce laws. "The statute defines 'force feeding' as using a process that causes a bird 'to consume more food than a typical bird of the same species would consume voluntarily,' " the suit explains. "In practice, the vagueness of this purported standard makes it impossible for anyone to know at what point a particular bird has been fed 'more food' than the Bird Feeding Law allows." The legalese also contends that the new law has international trade implications and interferes with the "supreme power of the federal government to negotiate with foreign countries, such as it has with Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement, for its duck products to be freely sold in the entire American Market." Attorney Michael Tenenbaum tells the San Francisco Chronicle that he's also going to be seeking a preliminary injunction, which would then make the sale of foie gras legal again until the details of the law can be hashed out in court.