McDonald’s sued over Happy Meals

by Walter Olson on December 15, 2010

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, also known as Busybody Central, is filing a would-be class action under California consumer law over the hamburger giant’s marketing of fast food with toys. I have much more to say about that at the New York Daily News online opinion section (& linked at Above the Law, John Hayward/Human Events, Jammie Wearing Fool, Andrew Stuttaford/NRO “Corner”, Chris Robinette/TortsProf, Ira Stoll/Future of Capitalism), and am also quoted in the Reuters coverage. Earlier on Happy Meal law here, including a pointer to this Bruce Nye post from June on why CSPI’s claims are unlikely to prevail.

P.S. Happy to see that as of late Wednesday evening my piece is the most read, most emailed, and most discussed at the Daily News opinion site. Followups and links here.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Advice Goddess Blog
12.17.10 at 4:42 am
Nanny-Statist CSPI Sues to Ban Happy Meals at McDonald’s | OpenMarket.org
12.17.10 at 8:26 am

{ 8 comments }

1 Scott 12.16.10 at 9:05 am

What’s ironic for me is that I buy my kids McDonalds food every once in a while but I refuse to buy the happy meal. My kids think the toys suck anyways. Getting rid of the toy will have no impact on my kids consumption of McNuggets, which they love.

2 No Name Guy 12.16.10 at 12:00 pm

They had better sue Toys-R-Us & every other advertiser selling to kids during cartoons as well, if that’s their theory (that kids will pester and “pout” if they don’t get their way, so mom buys them crap she wouldn’t have otherwise).

3 Ron Miller 12.16.10 at 1:17 pm

I totally disagree with Scott. My kids rather like the toys. A month ago, they gave out girls’ watches. That thing last for just a month I’m calling it a good toy. Little known fact: they don’t make the toys here. They make them in China. Who knew?

4 Hans Bader 12.17.10 at 4:33 pm

McDonald’s food is actually healthier than the meals served in the public schools of San Francisco, whose city government recently passed an ordinance banning Happy Meals in the city.

That’s something that Ira Stoll was quoted about at this link at this very web site:

http://overlawyered.com/2010/12/happy-meal-lawsuit-contd/

I meant to also cite to that post in my blog post linking to this one.

5 Patrick 12.17.10 at 4:44 pm

Why don’t you just edit your post Hans?

Problem solved.

6 Hans Bader 12.18.10 at 12:54 pm

I can’t, Patrick.

Openmarket is a group blog. Any CEI employee can submit a blog post, but only a couple employees at CEI can actually post a blog post that has been submitted, or make revisions to a blog post once it is posted.

That’s why I haven’t yet been able to change the glitch in the CEI blog post that discusses the above blog post, or the more recent CEI blog post that links to Overlawyered, but mistakenly attributes a quote from Point of Law to Ted Frank, rather than his fellow Point of Law blogger, Carter Wood, who is the actual source of the quote.

The glitch will probably be fixed by Monday, though.

7 Hans Bader 12.18.10 at 12:57 pm

Oops. The link in my comment above was wrong.

It should be to this link.

Sorry about that.

8 steve mansfield 12.21.10 at 1:39 pm

As someone with a 140 plus IQ, an elite education and experience as an atty and appellate court judge, I deeply resent self-appointed unelected groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest having the nerve to try to dictate to me what I should eat or what my children should eat. These groups use trial lawyers to enforce their views through a compliant press (which rarely questions their assertions with the notable exception of Fox News) and through a campaign of litigation which, thanks to no loser pays, is intended to extort legally from their targets what they want. By the way, if tobacco is so bad (there’s no doubt smoking is bad for you) why isn’t it banned. Oops, I forgot: the government makes a ton of money from tobacco taxes, especially liberal bastions like Mass., New York and California.

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