It’s official, the New York City Council voted by an overwhelming majority to ban foie gras on October 30. Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that he would sign the bill into law. But what exactly does that mean? Here’s what you need to know about New York City’s foie gras ban.
The ban on foie gras was passed on October 30 but it won’t come into effect until three years from when de Blasio signs it into law. So you have at least until the beginning of November 2022 to buy and consume foie gras in New York.
The law only applies to the city’s five boroughs, so it will still be legal to sell or consume foie gras in New York State after November 2022.
The law banning foie gras in New York does not apply to the importation of foie gras for personal consumption. Feel free take a trip to neighboring Connecticut or New Jersey to buy yourself a nice supply. As for bringing it in from France, nothing changes here either, so pâté and foie gras are (still) prohibited “if they are not cooked and hermetically sealed,” specifies Customs and Border Protection (CBP). And what if they meet those conditions? “Maybe” for foie gras. In short, it is the customs officer who decides. However, we do not recommend you try, given the current situation.
The law, which comes into force in 2022, specifies that “no retail food establishment or food service establishment, or agent thereof, shall store, keep, maintain, offer for sale, or sell any force-fed product or food containing a force-fed product.” While fines are provided for vendors and restaurateurs (“not less than $500 and not more than $2,000 for each violation”), there is no mention of penalties for the consumption of foie gras.
Professionals in the sector can still take the law to court, as was the case in California, where foie gras was banned, legalized, and then banned again in January 2019. Ariane Daguin, founder of D’Artagnan, who was significantly involved in the proliferation of foie gras in American restaurants, and was at the forefront of the legal battle in California, assures “that yes, we will fight and bring this ban to justice. When I say we, it’s not just the two producers [from New York State] and D’Artagnan.” Opponents are expected to announce in the coming weeks the legal action they wish to take on the case.
Featured image: Stock Photos from Norenko Andrey / Shutterstock