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Foie Gras Feeding Frenzy Grows As California Ban Nears

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An order of 'Artisan Foie Gras and Liberty Farms Duck' by Mark Dommen of 'One Market' in San Francisco awaits being served at the "Melisse" eatery in Santa Monica, California, on May 14, 2012 as animal-rights activists held a protest outside. A simmering row between animal rights campaigners and a handful of California's top chefs is coming to the boil, ahead of a looming ban on foie gras in the western US states. Protesters took their message to the streets this week as a series of high-end restaurants staged events -- with menus including foie gras ice cream -- to celebrate the gastronomic delicacy.   (credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages)

An order of ‘Artisan Foie Gras and Liberty Farms Duck’ by Mark Dommen of ‘One Market’ in San Francisco awaits being served at the “Melisse” eatery in Santa Monica, California, on May 14, 2012 as animal-rights activists held a protest outside. A simmering row between animal rights campaigners and a handful of California’s top chefs is coming to the boil, ahead of a looming ban on foie gras in the western US states. Protesters took their message to the streets this week as a series of high-end restaurants staged events — with menus including foie gras ice cream — to celebrate the gastronomic delicacy. (credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages)

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As a statewide ban on foie gras looms, some California chefs are loading their menus with the duck liver delicacy to sate customer demand before it’s gone.

The July 1 ban on producing and selling the liver that some say is produced cruelly has created such a demand it’s hard to find.

Tracy Lee, who has held 15 foie gras dinners in the San Jose area, says the price has doubled in recent weeks. She keeps the locations secret to avoid animal welfare protesters.

Animal advocates say it’s ironic that diners are gorging themselves, when the cruel practice of force-feeding ducks to enlarge their livers is what has come under attack.

The legislature passed the ban in 2004, but gave the industry more than seven years to change its practices.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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