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Foie Gras Companies Sue State Of California Over Ban

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Just a day after California's foie gras ban became official on Sunday, a group of businesses filed a lawsuit against the state alleging that the law is unclear about what products are actually banned and unfairly burdens restaurants and distributors with finding out.

Plaintiffs in the suit, filed Monday, include Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Association des Éleveurs de Canards et d'Oies du Québec (a nonprofit group that represents farmers and distributors) and Los Angeles' Hot's Restaurant Group Inc.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the groups' lawyer, Michael Tenebaum, plans to file a preliminary injunction that would freeze the law until the issue is sorted out in court.

The move is in keeping with widespread dissent over the ban. Eater tells us that San Clemente restaurant Cafe Mimosa was serving a six-course "Foie You!" menu for $150 three days into the ban. "They can lock me up if they want ... I don't mind," owner Antoine Price told the OC Register.

Selling foie gras probably doesn't mean jail time, but those who do could face a $1,000 fine. It's unlikely, though, that the ban will be strictly enforced.

Still, intrepid Los Angeles foie-seeker Jason Kessler at Food Republic went out in search of it post-ban, and came up empty-handed:

This could be because it's the very first day of the ban and nobody knows how lenient the foie police are going to be. It could also just be that there was such a run on foie before the ban went into effect, that even those stores that plan on selling the beautiful meat butter are merely out of stock.

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Photo by Flickr user nordique.

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