And the foie gras wars continue: According to Courthouse News, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and other animal-rights organizations filed a lawsuit this week against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for continuing to permit the sale of foie gras. The lawsuit claims that the federal agency's failure to ban the delicacy effectively violates the Poultry Products Inspection Act, which prohibits the sale of products derived from diseased poultry. In its press release, ALDF executive director Stephen Wells says, “The USDA is effectively exempting force-fed foie gras from the scrutiny required by federal law, allowing foie gras producers to market diseased organs as gourmet delicacies.”
In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue that foie gras is a product of diseased ducks and geese. Specifically, because foie gras “is created by a force-feeding process called gavage, which is engineered to induce acute hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease” and results in an excess of fat deposits, “the livers of force-fed birds begin to degenerate and their capacity to filter toxins from the circulatory system diminishes.” The suit claims that the toxins then “accumulate in the blood” and cause disease in the animal. They further allege that foie gras poses a health risk to not only the poultry but to humans as well.