Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Consumer Group Takes Aim Against Happy Meal Toys

You might say "they're hatin' it," in marked contrast to McDonald's long-running slogan: "I'm Lovin' It." The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has issued a notice of intent to file a lawsuit against McDonald's, claiming Happy Meals toys lure kids into unhealthy eating habits and break state consumer-protection laws in multiple states. "McDonald's is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children," states the news release announcing the impending lawsuit. CSPI claims they will continue with the Happy Meal lawsuit if McDonald's does not stop offering toys with Happy Meals within the next 30 days.

McDonald's of course, strongly objects to the CSPI claims, stating: "We couldn’t disagree more with the misrepresentation of our food and marketing practices made by CSPI." The McDonald's statement notes that McDonald's participates in the Better Business Bureau's voluntary initiative to address children's well-being. It defends Happy Meals and notes that since 2008, U.S. customers have purchased 100 million of the meals with Apple Dippers. According to the statement, McDonald's served 31 million gallons of milk, which is three times the amount of milk served in 2004. In addition, the statement points out that the recent ads featuring the lovable ogre Shrek offer Apple Dippers and 1% milk instead of french fries and sugary soft drinks.

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