A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: McDonalds Happy Meals

New York to Banish Happy-ness?

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The LASIS Staff

First San Francisco proposed a ban on Happy Meals. Now New York gets grumpy, too…

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A Downer for Happy Meals

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Today’s New York Times reported that San Francisco is seeking to ban free toys with meals that don’t meet certain nutritional standards.

Legal as She is Spoke ran a piece about legal issues involving McDonalds Happy Meals in July.  Read it here.

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Unhappy Meals: Industry Watchdog Says “No” to Toys

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By Jeremy Potter

On June 23, the LA Times and Associated Press reported that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) issued a demand letter to McDonald’s.   The public interest group stated that it would sue the fast food chain unless it immediately stops offering toys with its Happy Meals.

“McDonald’s is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children,” said CSPI litigation director Stephen Gardner.  Marketing unhealthy food by offering the inducement of toys to children says CSPI, is deceptive, inappropriate, and illegal.   According to CSPI, McDonald’s actions are “a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction.”

As soon as news about the possible lawsuit was announced, reactions came in from mainstream media, bloggers, and industry watchers alike.  The LA Times simply reported the story factually with no mention of the validity of the legal threats.  The pro-business bloggers at BNET.com came to McDonald’s defense; one called CSPI’s case “weak” while another advocated compromise.

But most mainstream stories were silent on the legal matter.   And that’s the question we have:  Even if we all agree that  Happy Meals are not vitamin-packed and nutritionally sound, is McDonald’s violating any law?

(more…)

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