McDonald’s eager to dispel ‘myths’ with online grilling

McDonald’s is continuing its fight back against critics of its business practices with the launch this week of a UK website that aims to explain its position on environmental, labour and health issues.

The site, www.makeupyourownmind.co.uk, allows users to submit specific questions to McDonald’s and offers a “frequently asked questions” area to deal with common criticisms.

The company says the site invites people to “grill it on aspects of its business” and will eventually “create an open dialogue between McDonald’s and its customers”.

The move is part of a concerted effort by the burger chain to challenge what it says are “myths” about the way it works. Campaigners accuse it of promoting obesity, poor animal welfare and offering low-wage jobs, all of which McDonald’s denies.

Last week, UK chief executive Steve Easterbrook appeared in a live televised debate with arch McDonald’s critic Eric Schlosser, author of critical book Fast Food Nation – the first such televised discussion.

A spokeswoman says of the debate: “It was great talking through some of the things that came out of the book. It was fair and balanced so people can make up their own minds. We just want to make sure we communicate the facts about our business in the right kind of way.”

Within the information on the website appears the fact that McDonald’s is one of the largest purchasers of Irish and British beef in the UK, dealing with 16,000 farms.

It tackles specific criticisms made by Schlosser, and it is creating a Quality Panel, a group of volunteers who will ask questions put by the public and report back with answers.

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