Following on the heels of yesterday's report that, as soon as the ban goes into effect, foie gras will turn into an underground treat for gastronomes—all of this fattened liver talk has made us very, very hungry for it, by the way—a noted animal rights group asked the government today to label the taboo treat with a warning to consumers. National non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a legal petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), asking that foie gras show a consumer warning label saying, “NOTICE: Foie gras products are derived from diseased birds.”
Diseased birds? How is this possible? Well, according to ALDF, "in U.S. foie gras farms in New York and California, ducks are force fed three pounds of mash a day through a pipe shoved down their throats—the equivalent of force-feeding 45 pounds of food to an adult human—inducing liver disease known as hepatic lipidosis that often cripples and poisons the birds." Which, yes, that would make them diseased. We guess. Anyway.
Questionably comparing foie gras to smoking, ALDF Director of Litigation Carter Dillard says, "Today’s petition, at the very least, alerts consumers to what they are eating. Just like someone buying a pack of cigarettes, consumers purchasing foie gras have a right to know what they are really buying, and to be warned about the risks involved.”
The odds of the USDA placing a warning label on foie gras are slim to none. Which is to say, it will never happen.
In July of 2012, California will ban the sale and production of foie gras. The selling of the succulent treat could result in a $1,000 fine.