The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has denied a petition seeking review of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding a California law prohibiting the sale of commodities, such as foie gras, produced by “force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size.” Association des Éleveurs de Canards et d’Oies du Québec v. Harris, No. 13-1313 (U.S., certiorari denied October 14, 2014). Details about the Ninth Circuit decision appear in Issue 497 of this Update. Among other matters, the Ninth Circuit had found that a number of the issues presented by the plaintiffs were premature because they had appealed the denial of a motion for preliminary injunction. The question that out-of-state fois gras producers presented to SCOTUS was “[w]hether the Commerce Clause allows California to impose a complete ban on the sale of wholesome, USDA-approved poultry products from other States and countries—in this case, foie gras—based solely on the agricultural methods used by out-of-state farmers who raise their animals entirely beyond California’s borders.”


Issue 542

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.