Looking (once more) to garner attention, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) made a considerable media splash after they announced yesterday that they were starting a lawsuit against McDonald’s. CSPI and California mother Monet Parham are going after Ronald McDonald and friends with mysterious claims that the toys found in the fast-food restaurant’s Happy Meals violate consumer protection laws.
Apparently, CSPI believes that parents are not to be trusted with the responsibility for deciding what foods their children should eat. They hold that McDonald’s craftily devised toys appeal to children in a “highly sophisticated scheme” that “exploit[s] children’s developmental immaturity,” according to CSPI’s complaint. Not to mention parents’ vulnerability to these schemes, it goes without saying.
Expressing his confusion with the entire lawsuit, ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross believes that the judge presiding over this case should “laugh it out of court.” He adds, “CSPI’s real intention in filing this suit is to receive greater press and recognition, not to counter obesity.”
“When we look more closely, we find that this all comes down to the failed pattern of using simple solutions, like banning toys from Happy Meals and implementing soda taxes, to fight the complexities of obesity,” says ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.
However, there must be an elixir for logic floating around in the Midwestern water supply, since the city council of Superior, Wisc., voted seven to one to dismiss a proposed ban of toys in fast food kid’s meals that do not meet strict nutritional guidelines. A similar ordinance was recently enacted by San Francisco legislators, overriding Mayor Newsom’s veto.