A San Francisco judge has dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit that sought to stop McDonald's Corp. from using toys to market its meals to children in the Golden State. The suit had been filed in late 2010 by Monet Parham, a California mother of two, and The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.
The suit had claimed that the world's biggest hamburger chain was violating consumer protection laws and exploiting children's vulnerability by using toys to lure them to eat nutritionally unbalanced meals that can lead to obesity. The lawsuit did not seek damages.
McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said that the lawsuit was without merit and detracted from "the important issue of children's health and nutrition."
"We are proud of our Happy Meals and will vigorously defend our brand, our reputation and our food," Proud said in the statement. "We stand on our 30-year track record of providing a fun experience for kids and families at McDonald's."
This is quite possibly the stupidest proposed class-action “lawsuit” on record. What’s particularly vexing, though, is the way the grievance is framed. Evidently, according to the liberal hacks who filed the complaint, McDonalds is an evil corporation trying to “lure” children into eating unhealthy foods. What a disgrace. Does any thinking person really believe that the McDonald’s Corporation is maliciously and purposefully trying to exploit children? The company has been giving away toys with their Happy Meals for over 30 years as a way to make their restaurants more family-friendly. It’s part of the experience.
On the other hand, the company has taken steps to make their meals less caloric and healthier. Last July, for instance, the company reduced the portion of French Fries in Happy Meals by half and replaced them with apples. In other words, if they really didn’t care about consumers – as the proposed lawsuit suggests – they wouldn’t be altering their policies or offering healthier choices. And surely, banning toys in Happy Meals will not deter families from going to McDonalds, let alone reduce obesity rates in California, either.
In the end, the essential point is this: if you really don’t like the policy, don’t take your children there. It’s as simple as that. And please – whatever you do – stop trying to ruin the experience for everyone else.