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Talk back: Should California restaurants serve banned foie gras?

November 29, 2012 | 11:39 am

Seared foie gras. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

Foie gras was banned in California in July, but there's still duck-liver drama in the Golden State.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced Wednesday it was suing a Hermosa Beach restaurant over the delicacy, alleging that Hot's Kitchen is breaking the law by changing the name of its "Foie Gras Burger" to "THE Burger" and serving foie gras on the side.

Talk back LAAs The Times' Michael J. Mishak reported on PolitiCal:

Foie gras is made from geese and ducks who are force-fed through a pipe to plump their livers, a practice that animal welfare advocates have long decried. California's ban forbids the in-state sale and production of products derived from force-fed birds. Violators face a potential fine of as much as $1,000 a day.

"No restaurant can act outside the law by illegally selling the diseased livers of abused birds, and PETA will help make sure that this one doesn't," said PETA attorney Jeff Kerr in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Hot's Kitchen, Kelley Coughlan, said the restaurant had not been served with a lawsuit so far. "Hot’s stands by its previous statement that foie gras can be made humanely, and we continue to provide our customers with wholesome, humane animal products," she said in a statement.

The eatery's parent company, Hot's Restaurant Group, joined with foie gras producers in July to file its own lawsuit seeking an injunction against the new law, which it argues is too vague.

In July, one of the restaurant's managers, Christina Parrott, defended the foie gras burger in an interview with a local news site after the ban took effect.

"Technically, we're not breaking the law," she said, explaining that the foie gras is served, not sold, as a side.

The foie gras ban went into effect July 1. Do you support the move? Has your opinion changed since the ban went into effect? Share your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet us @lanow.

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Photo: Seared foie gras. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

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