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Busy Parent Briefing: California Judge Dismisses Class Action Suit Against McDonald's Happy Meal Toys

By Meredith Carroll |

Happy Meal

Happy Meal toys will live to see another day in California

It’s a happy day for some kids in California today — and a sad one for some parents and health experts — as a judge has dismissed a proposed class action suit that attempted to stop McDonald’s from using toys to market Happy Meals to kids, according to Fox News.

A law in San Francisco had gone into affect in December 2010 mandating that restaurant kids’ meals couldn’t give away toys unless they met specific nutritional guidelines.

The lawsuit did not seek damages.

A mother of two had filed the suit in late 2010 along with the Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group The Center for Science in the Public Interest claiming McDonald’s was “violating protection laws by using toys to lure kids to eat nutritionally unbalanced meals.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has not decided yet whether to appeal.

A ban on Happy Meals toys had picked up some steam over the past few years, with some other cities proposing similar measures. McDonald’s in the UK recently started giving out books with Happy Meals instead of toys, although that move was also criticized by some for what they said was continuing to ignore the childhood obesity epidemic.

Photo credit: iStock

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About Meredith Carroll


Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “Busy Parent Briefing: California Judge Dismisses Class Action Suit Against McDonald's Happy Meal Toys

  1. Amanda says:

    Thank goodness this was dismissed. It’s a small victory for the concept of personal resonsibility.

  2. Meagan says:

    Good for him. I think McDonalds is gross, and yes, it’s maybe unethical the way they market to children, but I don’t want the LAW deciding that.i have the power to feed my kid Happy Meals or not. McDonalds has zero responsibility to make it easier for me.

  3. Catherine says:

    I am glad the law did not go into effect….when is enough enough.
    when are we going to stop blaming everything and body for (the lack of) raising our children and start raisng them ourselves? We as mothers and fathers had them so lets raise them. Teach them how to say “no thank you” and move on. It is not for McDonolds or anyone else to take the responsibility for what you should be doing.

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