In a victory for animal rights activists, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed California to continue to ban foie gras, a delicacy produced from the enlarged livers of ducks and geese that have been force-fed corn.
Rejecting a legal challenge to the state law, the court declined to hear an appeal filed by restaurants and producers of foie gras. In doing so, the high court left intact an August 2013 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the law.
California enacted the law in 2004 but it did not go into effect until 2012.
Foie gras means "fatty liver" in French. The product is produced by force-feeding corn to ducks and geese to enlarge their livers, which are harvested to make gourmet dishes. Animal rights groups contend that the force-feeding process is painful, gruesome and inhumane.
The law specifically bans any product created by "force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird's liver beyond a normal size."