Foie gras ban sets table for shark fin

Time is running out for chefs from Napa to Hollywood to remove a favorite star from their menus.

Foie gras is created from the liver of fowl, usually after they have been force-fed.  The fatty delicacy is available at gourmet restaurants all over California including the famed Gary Danko in San Francisco and French Laundry in Yountville.

Way back in 2004, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill banning inhumane foie gras production eight years after its signing. The ban goes into effect July 1.

More important than the gourmets and foodies being tragically effected by the law, the foie gras ban could give state lawmakers a taste of what they will face in 2013 when California’s shark fin ban comes into effect.

At the national level President Obama signed the Shark Conservation Act into law last month, which closed loopholes in laws already aimed at preventing shark-finning in U.S. waters.

The shark fin ban is a serious issue in San Francisco with over 33 percent of The City’s population being of Asian decent. Many consider it an attack on Asian culture.

On Thursday, Obama made an unannounced visit to The Great Eastern restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown, which still sells shark fin soup.

Though the president didn’t buy shark fin soup or anything else with shark in it, the Chron and others nevertheless seized upon the somewhat awkward coincidence.

The department of fish and game will be responsible for enforcing California’ shark fin ban at a cost that the state was unable to estimate in 2011.

California may find that both laws are too expensive to enforce. Chicago’s own foie gras ban lasted less than two years before being rescinded.