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Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States Department of Agriculture

223 F. Supp. 3d 1008 (2016)

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Animal Legal Defense Fund v. United States Department of Agriculture

United States District Court for the Central District of California

223 F. Supp. 3d 1008 (2016)

Facts

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) within the United States Department of Agriculture (department) (defendant) issued a regulation under the Poultry Products Inspection Act (inspection act) that livers of force-fed poultry could be used for human consumption despite the livers being affected by a condition called hepatic lipidosis due to excess fat. The FSIS had previously issued a regulation under the inspection act that the livers of birds affected by hepatic lipidosis due to natural disease could not be used for human consumption. The FSIS provided the rationale that the diseases causing hepatic lipidosis often resulted in other issues making the liver unfit for human consumption. The FSIS also based its decision on the fact that a study attempting to link human consumption of foie gras to secondary amyloidosis was insufficient. The FSIS alleged that the study was insufficient because it used mice, which were more susceptible to secondary amyloidosis. The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sued the department on the ground that the FSIS’s rationale for allowing the consumption of livers affected by hepatic lipidosis due to force feeding was nonsensical and irrational and that the regulation was counter to scientific evidence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wright, J.)

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