back to article Have a gander at this: Amazon agrees not to act as Silicon Valley's foie gras dealer

Amazon will not sell pate made from the livers of force-fed ducks and geese in California, and has agreed to pay $100,000 in penalties after a civil suit was brought against its brown box delivery biz. Jeff Bezos' giant was accused of breaching state consumer protection laws enacted by Arnold Schwarzenegger after prosecutors …

  1. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Like abusive porn and some drugs, why aren't they raiding homes to looking for the banned item in peoples pantries (stop giggling, that's pantries)???

    1. jake Silver badge

      Well ...

      ... in 1972, a friend's father was arrested for having a large supply of Sichuan pepper at home, in California. Seems he was supplying restaurants in China Town (SF version) and somebody tipped off the Feds.

      Other people have been arrested for privately importing banned food substances into the US, or even across state lines. If you ever lived through infestations (like Medfly here in the SF Bay Area in 1981) you'd know why we try to keep certain foods out.

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Chacun à son goût

    Foie gras is enlarged duck or goose liver, which is made using the unpalatable process of gavage

    Personally, I find foie gras too rich but the fuss about force-feeding is more namby-pambyism. Yes, the practice is unpleasant but on the whole the ducks and geese have a much better time of it than say the majority of pigs and chickens do in the massive factory farms around the world.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Chacun à son goût

      "Yes, the practice is unpleasant"

      Maybe to the city-folks in the audience, but not to the critters in question. Back when I raised meat birds, the geese would line up for their free fill-up(0). Some would try to cut in, ahead of where they were in the pecking order(1), and got shoved back in place by the rest. A few would actually get back in line and ask for seconds!

      Trust me, as a dude who raises meat animals I can guarantee that you don't want their lives to be miserable. It makes the end product taste terrible. Likewise, you do NOT want to "cause painful diseases" in meat birds, so the OA was somewhat misleading. To put it mildly.

      Strangely enough, I'm not fond of fois ... and no, I don't sell it. No law against giving it away, though, as you can discover in most high-end restaurants here in California.

      (0) It's hardly "force feeding" when they WANT it, now is it?

      (1) Where did you think the phrase came from, city-boy?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Chacun à son goût

        So basically any city geese and ducks where I live could produce foie gras, since they have effectively unlimited food thanks to people feeding them all the time and food dropped everywhere? I find that difficult to believe.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Chacun à son goût

          Yes, Doug, that is exactly what would happen. If the city-folks were feeding them corn, instead of cheeseburgers and fries/chips, that is. The diet of birds in the city makes for really crappy texture and flavo(u)r ... IF the poor critters make it to an age where they are worth harvesting, that is. Most die young because their nutritional needs aren't being properly met. Yes, folks, allowing your kids to "feed the ducks" is probably going to contribute to killing them prematurely. Isn't that special?

          The liver fattens up as part of a natural process in migratory birds. It is their fuel tank during the migration. Why do you think we eat goose & duck in the fall, when they are on their way South for the winter instead of in the spring, when they are almost back home?

          Some producers of fois allow the birds to eat naturally ... I used this method on about half my stock for the last couple years of production. The end result was a slightly smaller product (10% or thereabouts), but otherwise no difference. I'd probably go with the natural method if I were to get back into fois production, simply because the labor of hand feeding costs more than an extra 10% of harvest.

          1. MiguelC Silver badge

            Re: Chacun à son goût

            For those who say it's nice for the birds, how about a nice video (remember, this one was filmed as a demo, so there's some extra care not to show any brutality)...

          2. What? Me worry?

            Re: Chacun à son goût

            https://www.eater.com/2017/9/22/16349926/california-foie-gras-ban-explained (okay it's from 2017) but it sounds like enforcing the ban is not as simple as taking a jab at Amazon. And @jake, are you referring to the producer Eduardo Sousa, in Spain? https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_barber_s_surprising_foie_gras_parable?language=en

          3. Chris Parsons

            Re: Chacun à son goût

            Complete crap. Read about gavage. It is not the same as the animals eating whatever they want, it is forced down their throats.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Chacun à son goût

        Maybe to the city-folks in the audience, but not to the critters in question. Back when I raised meat birds, the geese would line up for their free fill-up(0).

        Sorry, I didnt want to ignore that. I'm not a coutry boy but that's my understanding, too. However, the foie gras bit does usually involve some additional feeding, that may include force-feeding, in the last few days.

        The whole law i, based on squeamish hyprocrisy: the lifestyles of many of the proponents is dependent upon exploitation which they find acceptable just as long as they don't have to watch videos of it.

    2. Chris Parsons

      Re: Chacun à son goût

      So they don't suffer so much as other animals...IYHO...well, that's all right, then.

  3. iron Silver badge
    Linux

    In what way does this law protect consumers in California?

    This a duck protection law and nothing more.

    1. big_D Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      That was my first thought. Animal welfare? Yes. Consumer protection? How? The geese aren't consumers, they are the consumed, at the end of the day.

  4. hamakei

    ...the revelation that merchants using Amazon's UK marketplace were selling recreational cannabis. In that case, El Reg grassed the vendors up

    I see what you did there....

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Weed be lost without their puns.

  5. Credas Silver badge
    Trollface

    Serves them right

    They should have stuck to selling more morally acceptable products that aren't banned, like guns.

    1. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge

      Re: Serves them right

      Ever tried to find a firearm for sale on Amazon? Oh that's right, you can't.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Serves them right

        Who would be stupid enough to purchase a firearm sight unseen?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Serves them right

          Buying guns from a cloud services supplier is silly.

          They should offer SAAS - Shooting as a Service - you just put in the address and somebody goes and shoots for you.

          1. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

            Re: Serves them right

            "They should offer SAAS - Shooting as a Service - you just put in the address and somebody goes and shoots for you."

            I think that service was around a long time before the internet and computer tech came along. I seem to recall members of families with Scilian heritage having quite a nice little business in that direction.

            1. big_D Silver badge

              Re: Serves them right

              @FuzzyWuzzyys but just think of the scale and the profit you could make by using the cloud.

              Sort of like Mechanical Turk.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Serves them right

            "you just put in the address and somebody goes and shoots for you."

            No, thank you. I don't trust an un-named shooter to clean my food properly. And they are certainly not going to be around in time to fend off varmints. Mayhap you don't know what guns are for?

  6. katrinab Silver badge
    Coat

    There's worse

    They are also selling Kinder Eggs. Yes, that's on the amazon.com site and priced in US$.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: There's worse

      Kinder eggs are fine - so long as you list them as anti-personal mines.

    2. Alterhase

      Re: Kinder Eggs

      Ahh, kinder eggs! That's the only kind that will be legal in California when Proposition 12, which was passed last month, goes into effect. It requires that all egg-laying hens have at least 1 square foot of usable floor space by the end of 2019 and be cage-free with accommodations like scratching posts, nests and perches by the end of 2021.

      Oh, you mean "Kinder", the German word for "children". I didn't know we harvested eggs from them....

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Kinder Eggs

        >Oh, you mean "Kinder", the German word for "children". I didn't know we harvested eggs from them..

        That's why they're called Kinder surprise.

        ps. Note to non-americans. The toys inside Kinder eggs constitute such a clear and present danger to the safety of American children that they are banned. To the extent of Canadian grandmothers being dragged out of their cars at assault-rifle point for trying to take one across the border.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Yet Another AC - Re: Kinder Eggs

          I don't know why you got down-voted but it's true. You get into trouble if at US borders agents will discover you have one in your bags. To them it's like you smuggle a weapon designed specifically to murder an innocent US child.

          Onto the other hand, Canadian children can cope with those eggs quite happily since they can recognize the edible part.

  7. John Sturdy
    Big Brother

    So selling the liver of geese force-fed on cannabis is going to be right out!

    1. Mephistro Silver badge
      Coat

      I seriously doubt you need to force feed them cannabis. Most animals like being high now and then. Instead of force-feeding, provide them with a trough filled with their usual food mixed with cannabis, and another trough filled with snacks, and they'll do all the hard work themselves!.

      Hmmm... seeing a business opportunity here...

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