Last year, California mother Monet Parham sued McDonald’s Corp., claiming the fast-food chain’s Happy Meals violate consumer-protection laws by using free toys to lure children into the restaurants to eat unhealthy food. While some critics called Parham’s proposed class action frivolous, other experts noted that it reflected a national focus on health that could prompt industrywide marketing and product reform.
But yesterday, a San Francisco judge dismissed Parham’s lawsuit. According to Thomson Reuters, the court documents do not contain details of the judge’s legal analysis.
Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), which represented Parham, said CSPI would discuss the possibility of an appeal. “In time, the practice of using toys to market junk food will seem as inappropriate and anachronistic as lead paint, child labor and asbestos,” he said.
In a statement, a McDonald’s spokesperson said the company is proud of its Happy Meals and plans to “vigorously defend” its brand, reputation and food.