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First Chicago Foie Gras Fine

That? That would be a foie gras hotdog.

That? That would be a foie gras hotdog.

Chicago’s ban on the sale of foie gras, passed last August, has been widely flouted, ridiculed, and denounced, and is (by the Health Department’s own admission) under-enforced. But it finally resulted in its first fine.

Doug Sohn, proprieter of Hot Doug’s Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium, pled guilty to selling foie gras and will pay the minimum fine of $250. Sohn has been a loud opponent of the law. As he put it after his February citation, “I was poking the grizzly bear, and it snapped my head off.” (If only that were literally true!)

Although this is a victory on paper, the fine is hardly a punishment for Sohn, who has received far more than $250 worth of press in relation the bust. As Tim Hadac, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Public Health, said: “He has cashed in, in terms of publicity, make no mistake.”

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