Foie gras back on menu in California
Opponents of foie gras, produced by force-feeding geese or ducks, slammed the ruling by a federal court.
"Foie gras is French for fat liver. And fathead is the American word for the shameless chefs" who serve the gourmet food, said animal rights protection group PETA.
"A line will be drawn in the sand outside any restaurant that goes back to serving this torture in a tin," it added in a statement.
California lawmakers agreed the ban in 2004, but gave the western US state's foie gras producers seven and a half years to comply before it came into effect on July 1, 2012.
Restaurants serving the gourmet item can be fined up to $1,000.
The ban has for the last 18 months outlawed force-feeding ducks or geese to make foie gras within California and bars sales of foie gras produced elsewhere if made by force-feeding a bird to enlarge its liver beyond normal size.
In his ruling Wednesday, US District Judge Stephen Wilson wrote that the law was unconstitutional because it interferes with an existing federal law regulating poultry products.
The ruling came after an association of producers who supply Canada's foie gras imports to the United States and Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the largest US producer, sued in Los Angeles to overturn the law.
Lawyer Michael Tenenbaum, who filed the civil suit against the state of California, said his clients alone are losing at least $15,000 per day as a result of the law.
California's Attorney General Kamala Harris did not immediately respond to a request for comment. – Rappler.com
Close-up foie gras photo by smuay from Shutterstock