McDonald’s cleared to use toys in Happy Meals

McDonald’s has been given the green light to continue to use toys to market its Happy Meals in the US after a lawsuit against the food chain was dismissed by a judge.


The lawsuit was brought against McDonald’s in California by a mother who claims that the restaurant unfairly uses toys to attract children.

She was backed by the US Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which wanted to force McDonald’s to stop giving away free toys with the children’s meals.

When the case was filed in December 2010, McDonald’s said it would “vigorously defend” its brand, reputation and food.

Despite the case being dismissed, the CSPI continues to stand by its original accusations calling McDonald’s tactics “predatory”.

CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson says: “McDonald’s must stop exploiting children at some point. Using toys, of all things, to lure young children to fast-food meals is not responsible corporate behaviour.

McDonald’s has also been accused of marketing unhealthy foods to children in the UK and consistently comes under fire from healthy eating campaigners, despite signing up to the government’s Responsibility Deal.

It recently partnered with publisher HarperCollins to give away children’s books with Happy Meals in the UK in a bid to tackle illiteracy among young children and encourage families to read together.

Danya Proud, a spokesperson for McDonald’s USA says: “We are pleased with today’s decision by the court to grant our motion to dismiss this case in its entirety. As we have maintained throughout these proceedings, we believe this lawsuit is without merit and detracts from the important issue of children’s health and nutrition.”

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