The foie gras bill has not yet passed but it has been amended again, for the better this time.
First, the bill still provides immunity until 2012 for foie gras producers but the bill now makes clear that the immunity only prohibits lawsuits based on force feeding. This means that if the producer is not complying with, for instance, environmental or labor law requirements, a lawsuit before 2012 would be possible on that ground. I can't imagine that a duck factory farm isn't vulnerable on some environmental issues.
Second, and this is very important, the immunity would cover only persons/entities or their employees who were engaged in force feeding when the bill is enacted. Right now there's only one foie gras producer in California. This amendment means that, if the bill passes, we can be confident that there will not be more than one foie gras producer in California, before or after 2012.
The newly amended version of the bill can come up for a vote as early as Aug. 19, but must be voted on in both the Assembly and the Senate (which must vote to accept the Assembly's amendments) by Aug. 31, or the bill dies. Then, of course, the Governor must sign it into law.
Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to make the letter-writing event on Thursday, but this would certainly be a great topic to write to your legislators & the gov about. (Was that a subtle enough hint?) To find out how to contact them, go to: http://vote-smart.org.
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