Looking for Robb Report UK? Click here to visit our UK site.

Foie Gras May Not Be Banned in NYC After All, Thanks to a New Ruling

The state has decided that the law is too restrictive to farms that sell the delicacy.

Foie gras from Le Coucou in NYC Jeremy Repanich

In a win for farms that produce foie gras and diners who enjoy the delicacy, New York City’s ban on the sale of the ingredient continues to face legal pressure.

Last week, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets said that the law would be “unreasonably restrictive” to two Sullivan County farms that sued earlier this year over the ban, according to The New York Times. That declaration might be enough to stop the ban altogether, which was scheduled to go into effect in November after being passed by the city in 2019.

In September, the ban was held up in the courts while the legal dispute played out. And at least for now, it seems like the farms—La Belle Farms and Hudson Valley Foie Gras—might be coming out victorious.

“It’s a weight off our shoulders,” Sergio Saravia, the president of La Belle Farms, told the Times. If the ban had gone into effect, his farm might have had to lay off workers or close completely.

The foie gras ban would have prohibited the sale of fattened duck and goose livers in New York City, one of the largest markets for the ingredient. Supporters argue that the process of creating foie gras—in which the animals are force-fed—is necessarily animal cruelty. But chefs love to cook with it, and it’s a big component of these farms’ business.

While the farms are pleased with the state’s most recent decision, the animal-rights groups fighting for the ban are less so. Some say that allowing the sale of foie gras is in direct conflict with New York’s animal-cruelty laws. “This is a product of cruelty, and it has no place in our city,” Allie Taylor, the founder and president of Voters for Animal Rights, told The New York Times.

It is still possible that foie gras could be banned in New York City. The letter sent by the Department of Agriculture and Markets to Mayor Eric Adams read, “The decision of the Commissioner is final, unless within 30 days the City institutes a proceeding to review the decision in the manner provided.” The city’s law department spokesperson told the Times that officials were reviewing the letter and figuring out next steps.

For now, though, foie gras fans and farmers can let out a deep sigh of relief—and take a bite of one of their favorite foods.

More Dining