To the People

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Chicago Foie Gras Suit Tossed

This is garbage.
A federal judge Tuesday upheld Chicago's controversial ban on foie gras, but proponents say they're planning a new battle to get the delicacy back in restaurants.

The elder statesman of the City Council is planning to reintroduce a repeal of the year-old foie gras ban at today's City Council meeting. Mayor Daley has ridiculed the ban and several aldermen have indicated they may support a repeal.

In dismissing the lawsuit by the Illinois Restaurant Association, U.S. District Judge Blanche Manning ruled that the city had a constitutional right to enact the ban.

Repeal, appeal possible

The Illinois Restaurant Association said it was considering an appeal. "We feel that foie gras is a legal product and the ban is infringing on our owner's right to sell it," said Kenneth Sawyer, director of government relations for the association.
I've read the suit (for a piece in the upcoming issue of Doublethink) and found it not only spot-on constitutionally but also pretty damn brilliant. I hope they do appeal (especially since a judge reviewing a dismissed suit would have to look at the facts in a light most favorable to the plaintiff -- the association -- when reviewing a dismissed suit like this one).

Good News Update (via Chicagoist):
On a related note, we were alerted yesterday to a tiny section (Section 123) of the pending USDA Farm Bill that could potentially render all of this scuffling moot in the long run anyway. Section 123 denies states and localities the right to enact bans relating to food safety and animal welfare. From what we have been reading, the primary goal of this section is to prohibit states from regulating genetically engineered crops or food, [...but...] the language is such that local- and state-level bans on foie gras and horse slaughter, for example, would also be affected.

If you can't get enough foie gras talk, Ald. Bernard Stone (50th) will reintroduce a repeal of the year-old foie gras ban at today's City Council meeting. Bon Appetit!

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