Mc Donald's Has a Mommy

On June 22, 2010 Jim Skinner, Vice Chairman, CEO and President of McDonalds Corporation, received a letter from Stephen Gardner, Litigation Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). In this letter CSPI "demands" that McDonald's USA, LLC ("McDonald's") immediately stop using toys to market Happy Meals to young children" and "This letter details McDonald's illegal practices and offers to discuss resolution before CSPI files a lawsuit."

A lawsuit? Over toys?

The letter goes on to name the amount of money McDonald's spent in advertising, and then states, "By advertising that Happy Meals include toys, McDonald's unfairly and deceptively markets directly to children. When McDonald's bombards children with advertisements or other marketing for Happy Meals with toys, many children will pester their parents to take them to McDonald's."

My, my, my how awful! And parents can't possibly say no to their child! So thank goodness we have CSPI to say no for them!

CSPI alleges that, "Once there, they are more than likely to receive a meal that is too high in calories, saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium, and devoid of whole grains. Developing a lifelong habit of eating unhealthy meals is likely to promote obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening or debilitating diet-related diseases."

Gasp! People were dragged into McDonald's at the point of a gun screaming and kicking in protest. Then the food was jammed down their throats against their will. This is just horrible.

The letter goes on, you can read it for yourself. It is disgusting. I'd like to know who they think they are to dictate to ME, the consumer, as to what I think is appropriate or healthy for my child to eat or drink. The nutritional value of McDonalds food is not the issue here. The issue is that it is MY choice what to feed my child and not theirs. It is a little thing called freedom. I wonder if they have ever heard of it? As Mr. Skinner said in his letter of response to them, "Parents, in particular, strongly believe they have the right and responsibility to decide what's best for their children, not CSPI. It really is that simple."

Mr. Skinner also pointed out CSPI's disrespect for individual people who can make those choices: "When CSPI refers to America's children as ‘an unpaid drone army', you similarly denigrate parents and families, because they are fully capable of making their own decisions. You should apologize."

Love it! We need more CEOs who can stand up like this, proudly, confidently and uncompromisingly.

If CSPI had any real and genuine concern for the children of this country, they would support the parent's right to choose for their own children what is best for them. They would not be fighting to take our rights away from us, but they would be fighting to restore them. Instead they pose as our mommy, telling us what we are allowed to purchase by threatening McDonald's. Thanks but no thanks. I don't need another mommy and neither does McDonald's.

Charlotte Cushman is a Montessori educator at Minnesota Renaissance School, Anoka, Minnesota. She has been involved in the study of philosophy since 1970.

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