New York City is set to ban the sale of foie gras from stores and restaurants

Off the menu! New York City is set to ban foie gras with any restaurateur or grocery store owner caught selling it faces up to a year behind bars and a $1,000 fine

  • New York City council members are expected to pass a bill banning the sale of foie gras in stores and restaurants 
  •  Those caught selling the delicacy could be slapped with a $1000 fine and up to 12 months in prison
  • Vendors and producers say the bill has the potential to eliminate 400 jobs and strip $150 million from the industry every year
  • New York City will be the second place in the US to outlaw the sale of foie gras, with California enacting a full state ban earlier this year 
  • The state first announced plans to ban the specialty food product back in 2004, but the move was subject to two high-profile court cases
  • Chicago banned the sale of foie gras in 2006, but the law was overturned just two years later

The sale of foie gras looks set to become illegal in New York City with city council members expected to pass a bill on Wednesday that bans the sale of the fattened liver of a duck or goose at restaurants and grocery stores. 

Under the bill, vendors and restaurateurs caught selling the French delicacy could be slapped with a $1000 fine and a year behind bars. 

Animal welfare advocates have long supported banning the sale of foie gras, claiming the practice of force-feeding a bird by sticking a tube down its throat is inhumane. 

However, farmers who produce the specialty food product say that the ducks and geese do not suffer during the fattening process.

Vendors and producers also say the bill could cause trouble for New York state, which is home to many farms that produce foie gras for the US market. 

Critics claim up to 400 jobs could be destroyed and that $150 million could be lost annually.  

New York City council members are expected to pass a bill banning the sale of foie gras in stores and restaurants on Wednesday

Animal welfare advocates have long supported banning the sale of foie gras, claiming the practice of force-feeding a bird by sticking a tube down its throat is inhumane

Animal welfare advocates have long supported banning the sale of foie gras, claiming the practice of force-feeding a bird by sticking a tube down its throat is inhumane

 ‘It’s crazy,’ restaurateur Ken Oringer told Bloomberg on Wednesday. 

‘We are talking about one of the classic fine dining experiences, a unique luxury from France made more affordable because these ducks are raised on local farms. The chickens these council members eat are raised a thousand times worse.’ 

WHAT IS FOIE GRAS AND HOW IS IT MADE? 

Foie gras – literally meaning ‘fat liver’ in French – is a specialty food made from the fattened liver of a duck or goose. Foie gras is rich in flavor, and smooth and buttery in its consistency.  

The delicacy is produced by force-feeding geese or ducks in order to enlarge their livers. 

Force-feeding via a six inch tube  inserted into the animal’s mouth usually occurs 12- 18 days before the bird is slaughtered.  

The production method originated around 2500 BC, with ancient Egyptians deliberately fattening fowl before killing them. 

The practice has long been criticized by animal rights activists who say it is inhumane. 

A report from EU’s  Scientific Committee on Animal Health back in 1989 concluded that ‘force feeding, as currently practised, is detrimental to the welfare of the birds’.

Only five European countries still produce foie gras, including France, where the law states that the delicacy ‘belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage’ of the country.

Oringer says he serves about 100 pounds of foie gras at his Toro New York restaurant each and every week. 

Meanwhile,  duck farmer Marcus Henley told the publication that animal rights activists ‘are completely misrepresenting our farming practices’.

He claims he has invited city council members to his upstate New York farm so that they can see firsthand that his practices are humane. 

Henley says his ducks are fed a liquid mixture three times a day through a six inch tube that is five-eighths of an inch wide. Force feeding usually takes place 12 -18 days before slaughter. 

New York City would be the second place in the United States to outlaw the sale of foie gras, after a ban on the production and import of the product went into full effect in California earlier this year. 

The ban was first enacted in 2004, but was subject to two court challenges. 

Meanwhile, Chicago outlawed the sale of foie gras in 2006, before the law was overturned just two years later.   

In 2014, India became the first country to issue a blanket ban on foie gras, causing dismay among the nation’s top chefs.  

Production of foie gras is banned in many other counties, although its import and sale is still legal. 

Vendors and producers also say the bill could cause trouble for New York state, which is home to many farms that produce foie gras for the US market. Up to $150 million could be lost annually

 Vendors and producers also say the bill could cause trouble for New York state, which is home to many farms that produce foie gras for the US market. Up to $150 million could be lost annually 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk