Judge Tosses Happy Meal Lawsuit Into The Deep Fryer

It’s been a while since we heard about that lawsuit against McDonald’s alleging that the fast food company exploits children by using toys and other kid-centric marketing techniques to get them to want Happy Meals. But earlier today, a judge in San Francisco dismissed the suit.

The lawsuit had been bought by a mom in California, in conjunction with the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The plaintiff had hoped to stop McDonald’s from putting toys and other freebies in Happy Meals in California.

McDonald’s had previously argued that the case should be thrown out of court because it’s generally parents, and not small children, who have the final say on food purchases.

According to Reuters, the judge dismissed the lawsuit without giving the plaintiff the opportunity to file an amended lawsuit.

“We are proud of our Happy Meals and will vigorously defend our brand, our reputation and our food,” said a rep for the restaurant chain.

Meanwhile, the CSPI says this is not the end of the road for them:

In time, the practice of using toys to market junk food will seem as inappropriate and anachronistic as lead paint, child labor, and asbestos.

Resolving this question will not hinge on whether the plaintiff in this lawsuit suffered a monetary loss in this case, though we maintain she did. We’re studying the judge’s decision and will discuss with the plaintiff whether to appeal. We will continue to urge all branches of government, including the courts, to stand up for parents and protect children from unscrupulous marketing techniques.