Governance Civil Justice
December 20th, 2022 1 Minute Read Amicus Brief by Ilya Shapiro

Amicus Brief: Association des Éleveurs de Canards v. Bonta


The federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), which regulates commercially sold poultry, preempts parallel state regulations, providing that “ingredient requirements . . . in addition to, or different than, those made under this chapter may not be imposed by any State.” Foie gras, which is made from the fatty livers of ducks and geese, is covered by the PPIA.

Nevertheless, California has banned products made through “force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size.” A group of Canadian and American farmers sued—and even though the district court assumed that this ban covers all foie gras, not just that produced from birds raised in California, it upheld the regulation, as did a split panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The farmers now seek Supreme Court review.

MI has joined the Reason Foundation on an amicus brief arguing that restrictions on the free flow of goods between states are exactly the sort of interstate trade barriers that the Constitution was intended to prohibit. California’s regulation both contravenes the PPIA and regulates extraterritorial conduct in violation of the dormant Commerce Clause. It also poses a grave challenge to the future of food and agriculture in this country. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling could undermine our national markets in food and decide ultimately whether one state could outlaw all future meat production in America. The high court should take this case and show that the Constitution really is all it’s quacked up to be.


Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow and director of Constitutional Studies at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here.


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