Top US court upholds California foie gras ban

Animal rights activists are on the attack against foie gras in a drive that threatens an important industry in metropolitan New York. The city council's health commission was to debate a bill that would ban all sales of foie gras under penalty of a $1,000

The US Supreme Court on Monday upheld California's foie gras ban, ending a long legal battle between animal rights activists and defenders of the delicacy.

The highest US court rejected an appeal filed by foie gras producers against a law prohibiting the sale of products from force-feeding geese or duck, to enlarge their liver. 

The law, passed in 2004 by California in the name of animal rights, carries a fine of 1,000 dollars (875 euros).

It took effect in 2012, and then was suspended by the courts in 2015 -- but then upheld on appeal in 2017. 

Producers of foie gras from Canada and New York, as well as a California restaurateur, then appealed to the Supreme Court in defense of this delicacy they called "perhaps the most maligned (and misunderstood) food in the world."

They argued that a state could not ban a federally authorized product.

They had support from France which called California's law "an assault on French (gastronomic and cultural) tradition."

Monday, the court threw out the appeal with no explanation.

As such, California's law remains in effect.

"This victory for animals follows tireless efforts from animal rights activists to oppose the archaic foie gras industry," the animal rights group PETA said.