Unhappy Meals Print
Wednesday, June 23 2010

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (“CSPI”), a self-proclaimed public health watchdog group, has issued an ultimatum to McDonald’s:  Remove the toys from McDonald’s Happy Meals or risk a lawsuit.

In a letter to the fast food giant, CSPI said that the toys lure children to McDonald’s restaurants where they are likely to order food that CSPI claims is too high in calories, fat and salt, and contributes to childhood obesity.  According to California law, a warning letter must be issued prior to filing suit under the state’s consumer protection statutes.

"McDonald's is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children," Stephen Gardner, litigation director for the advocacy group said in a statement. "McDonald's use of toys undercuts parental authority and exploits young children's developmental immaturity."

The news of the lawsuit threat comes within weeks of Santa Clara County’s (CA) decision to ban toys and other food promotions aimed at children. 

McDonald’s countered that its meals are right-sized for kids and that its menu offers healthy options.

—Source:  Los Angeles Times