“San Francisco bans Happy Meals”

by Walter Olson on November 3, 2010

Carrying out its previously reported threat. [L.A. Times] More: Atlantic Wire; BoingBoing (with “fatwa” Photoshop); Lowering the Bar.

{ 1 trackback }

“San Francisco overrides mayoral veto, bans Happy Meals with toys”
11.24.10 at 7:03 am

{ 9 comments }

1 mojo 11.03.10 at 11:36 am

Why they’re known far and wide as the SF “Board of Stupes”

2 Tom T. 11.03.10 at 11:43 am

Now, parents are still going to go to McDonalds, but they’re going to buy larger burgers and meals for their kids. And the people who passed this law are going to be mystified as to why obesity kept on increasing.

3 Mark Biggar 11.03.10 at 11:49 am

I don’t see how this will have the effect they think it will. Kid’s don’t buy happy meals, parent’s do and the toy is the last thing the parent considers. Price and convenience go into the decision to buy their kid one of these meals much more then the existence of the toy. What’s next, ban the pretty box/bag with the games and puzzles on it?

4 Kathryn 11.03.10 at 3:22 pm

Is there anything in the law that prohibits them from deducting $.05 from the meal and asking if the customer would like to purchase a toy for $.05? That’s what I would do if it weren’t prohibited by the law.

5 Mark Biggar 11.03.10 at 5:11 pm

Actually the headline is wrong. They didn’t ban the meals just the toys, probably under a mistaken belief that removing the toy will make it less likely that a child will buy the meal.

6 John Burgess 11.03.10 at 5:38 pm

If McD’s charges $0.01 for the toy, most problems will be avoided. For those who complain that they have to fork out an extra penny, well we have a great teaching moment!

7 Ed 11.04.10 at 10:38 am

First, this doesn’t just affect McDonald’s. Burger King, Wendy’s and all the other national chains include toys with their kids meals.
Secondly, Dictionary.com defines a toy as: “1) an object, often a small representation of something familiar, as an animal or person, for children or others to play with; plaything. 2) a small article of little value but prized as a souvenir or for some other special reason; trinket; knickknack; bauble.” How does the law define a toy? Using these broad definitions, it should include crayons and coloring pages, plastic cups with images and a bendy straw, or other things. These type items are given to kids at more upscale family type restaurants. Will these restaurants have to comply with the law? If not it will open a whole set of lawsuits by both sides of the argument. It sounds like the law of unintended consequences will cause this law to collapse under its own stupidity. See the CPSIA.

8 Jack Wilson 11.04.10 at 4:49 pm

McDonalds should call it the Unhappy Meal , but just in San Fran.

9 William Nuesslein 11.06.10 at 10:04 am

For Ed above,

CPSIA has not collapsed under its own stupidity or otherwise. In fact, Patty Murray, the grotesqly incompetent senator from Washington was reelected. From tea parties to CPSIA, 2010 was the year of STUPID!

Comments on this entry are closed.