CSPI: McDonald's Happy Meal Lawsuit Will Happen In Next Couple Weeks

With so much attention being paid to San Francisco’s proposed law that would take the toys out of most kids meals, it’s easy to forget that the fast-food haters at the Center for Science In the Public Interest had given McDonald’s 30 days to remove toys from Happy Meals or face a lawsuit. That was back in June. Over 90 days ago. So what happened?

The CSPI’s litigation director says that, while the group obviously didn’t make good on its 30-day ultimatum, the lawsuit is still in the offing.

“Everything takes longer than I think because I am an optimist,” Daily Finance quotes the CSPI lawyer as saying. “It could be next week [when it will be filed], but it’s more likely to be the week after.”

When the plans for the suit were announced in June, the fast food chain’s CEO said, “CSPI is wrong in its assertions and frivolous in its legal threats… CSPI’s twisted characterization of McDonald’s as ‘the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children’ is an insult to every one of our franchisees and employees around the world.”

Anyone want to give odds on whether or not this lawsuit ever sees the light of day?

Health Group Says It Will Sue McDonald’s Over Happy Meals [DailyFinance.com]

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  1. Rocket says:

    Is this only McDonald’s? What about BK, Taco Bell, etc.? They all include toys too.

    • PsiCop says:

      They’re going after McDonalds because it’s a big target and the suit will be noticed. What the Food Police really want is to control people’s lives. They’re using this case to get publicity for that cause. They are really just snivelling whiners who want to get their own way.

    • NickelMD says:

      Because McDonalds was the first, and is currently the biggest offender.

  2. Dragon Tiger says:

    So…. even if this comes to pass, McDonald’s then offers a free toy available, one per happy meal purchased. No longer included, just free upon request. Pretty easy to sidestep.

  3. ExtraCelestial says:

    “Everything takes longer than I think because I am an optimist,”

    Holy crap that is the best spin on piss poor planning ever! I’m immediately adding that to my repertoire. Who wants to counter something like that with a negative?

  4. Doubts42 says:

    So this optomist has such a dim view pf human nature that he feels the need to dictate what people feed to their children. hate meet a pessimist.

  5. jeffjohnvol says:

    I hope McD’s fights it in court. I can’t stand it when people try to force their opinion on the public. If its that big a deal, make it illegal. Until then sit down and shut up.

    • jeffjohnvol says:

      Oh. Yeah, I just RTFA. Strike that last sentence. Californian’s are nuts (some of them anyway).

  6. nova3930 says:

    Maybe McDs will countersue them into bankruptcy so we don’t have to hear their sniveling nannyism any more…

  7. PsiCop says:

    More of the Food Police. Just what the world needs more of. (Not!)

  8. bluecoyote says:

    I think we should trust the Scienticians they hire at the “Center for Science In the Public Interest”

  9. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    They should also go after cereals marketed toward children. Just saying. I hated Lucky Charms as a kid (nasty wheat bits and stale sharp marshmallows? yick) but I often selected it for the toy … then ate Chex or Kix.

    • outlulz says:

      What a terrible childhood.

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        I was the sort of kid who preferred fancy grown-up dried fruit and nuts and granola cereals, but wanted all of the toy-filled goodness of the sugary kid cereals. Since Mom did not audit our cereal-eating habits (except “Cereal is NOT a snack”) … I managed to get away with eating Dad’s cereal a lot of the time. I had enough sibs that the sugary crap got eaten by someone eventually.

        It was an awesome childhood.

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          When kids around me were eating Cap’n Crunch or Cookie Crisp, I was rockin’ out on Grape Nuts, Cracklin’ Oat Bran, and Raisin Mini Shredded Wheat.

          Internet high five!

      • dolemite says:

        I concur. Kix blowed, and I liked chex as an adult (with lots of sugar on it).

        As a kid…it was Tricks, Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, etc.

  10. marks2l says:

    CSPI only makes such threats when they are jonesing for attention…which seems to be about every three months or so. Must be related to their fund-raising schedule or something.

    Didn’t they also threaten to sue the makers of Sprite for calling the soda “all-natural” or something? What ever happened to that one?

  11. SagarikaLumos says:

    I’m sorry but, ahem, F the CSPI. Bunch of rabblerousing idiots. Our courts have better things to do…anything. They aren’t even worth going in front of Extreme Akim (I have too much respect to sully the name of Judge Judy by throwing this to her).

  12. Rachacha says:

    CSPI: OK Lawyers, we want to file a lawsuit against Mc Donalds for including a free toy in their Happy Meals.

    Lawyers: {LAUGHING}

    CSPI: No Seriously, the inclusion of the toys makes kids fatter

    Lawyers: OK, before we start, we need cash up front, cause you are not gonna win this case. What law has McD broken

    CSPI: They are making our kids fat, causing obesity in american kids

    Lawyers: We need more, McD will counter sue for Stupidity.

    30-60-90 days pass while the “discussion” Continues

    CSPI: “Everything takes longer than I think because I am an optimist”

    Lawyers: I’ll say he is an optimist, after 3 months, he still thinks he has a case. I wonder how long we can drag this on and how many billable hours we can get.

  13. Costner says:

    Prime reason why we need “loser pays” tort reform. Frivolous lawsuits like this do nothing but cost us taxpayers in the end.

  14. MOFD says:

    Good for McDonalds. It’s about time somebody told the nannies at CSPI to go pound sand.

  15. Lokisince89 says:

    So what again is CSPI’s legal standing in this?

    • Brontide says:

      I believe the legal standing is called “California”. I’m not sure what it means in Latin, but roughly translated it means “whatever the hippies want”.

    • Starrion says:

      I believe they’re going with the “We’re aggravating know-it-all jerkwads and you have to listen to us” theory.

      With any luck Mcdonald’s can deploy a couple divisions of lawyers to keep these guys tied up for a while.

  16. JulesNoctambule says:

    Being a fan of neither, I do sort of hope the case makes it into court initially just for the amusement factor.

  17. kataisa says:
  18. kataisa says:
  19. AngryK9 says:

    It will, because this is America, where you can break into someone’s house, trip over their cat, break your arm, sue the homeowner, and win.

    • dg says:

      This is why when someone breaks into your house, trips over your cat, and breaks their arm – you have to SHOOT AND KILL them inside the house because you feared for your life when some unknown intruder broke in and started tearing up the place.

  20. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I call them the “food police”. Have you ever seen them on TV? Always a bunch of skinny, skeletal looking people who look miserable.

    I hope McDonald’s finds a way to shut them up once and for all.

  21. Conformist138 says:

    o.O there are kids who seriously put up a fuss just to get a stupid trinket that comes in Happy Meals? And enough of those kids have parents who agree often enough that the kid becomes obese off McDonald’s food? And this is… the fault of the toy? I think the wrong part of this equation is being targeted here.

    Hey CSPI, I would like you to meet my mother. She never needed a lawsuit to tell me what I could and could not have. It was enough that she was the mom and she made the rules and there was nothing I could do about it.

  22. ldavis480 says:

    I’m kind of hoping McDonalds Restaurants changes their policy and includes a free attorney with each happy meal!

  23. dragonfliLABS says:

    Erm, McDonalds offers healthy choices with each Happy Meal regardless – you CAN have apples instead of fries, y’know.

  24. haggis for the soul says:

    I’m all about people educating themselves about their food choices, but the CSPI annoys the crap out of me.

  25. Galium says:

    So would they also sue toys r us if they gave away a free hamburger with every toy?

  26. StuffThingsObjects says:

    I’m all for educating yourself about food choices, but there is a distinct psychological side to this. By offering a toy inside a Happy Meal, they are advertising directly to children. You are essentially dictating this to a creature whose moral sense is somewhere “this is right because it makes me happy” and “getting a reward from someone means that I’m doing something right”.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all children are ‘evil’ and ‘selfish’ and only think about the short term but you have to consider the strategies marketing agencies use. They are seeking to instill a concept.

    Also, I do expect a fast food place to serve healthy meals that are within my diet range and if they don’t I simply don’t buy from them. It’s that simple.