Why Don’t You Go Foie Gras Yourself!

(Editor’s Note: It is always a pleasure for California’s Capitol to showcase the erudition and linguistic élan of former Senate President Pro Tempore John Burton, who now heads the state Democratic Party. While background on the issue which is the subject of the missive below isn’t  necessary to appreciate the contents, here’s a synopsis:)

In 2004, a bill by Burton — SB 1520 — was signed into law which said that, effective July 1, 2012, it was illegal for birds including, but not limited to, a duck or goose to be forced to “consume more food than a typical bird of the same species would consume voluntarily” in order to enlarge their liver “beyond normal size.”

Force feeding ducks and geese large amounts of meal through a 10 to 12 inch tube — up to three times each day — is how foie gras is created. 

Foie gras is “fatty liver” in French.

Burton contends that the “force feeding process is so hard on the birds that they would die from the pathological damage it inflicts if they weren’t slaughtered first.”  

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed, signing the measure on September 29, 2004.

Comes now a group of restauranteurs — the Coalition for Ethical Farming Practices —  who object to the ban on sale of foie gras in the  state, which also begins July 1, that results from Burton’s bill.  

Burton, in turn, voices his opposition to their opposition.

This letter is addressed to his former staffer, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, a San Francisco Democrat. (Click on it, to enlarge.)


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