Recently, McDonald’s was sued by two teenagers who claimed that eating there caused their obesity.
The pair had hoped to start a class-action lawsuit alleging that McDonald’s deceived customers into overlooking health risks, but their case was thrown out of court.
In his legal brief, Judge Robert Sweet charged that both teens were very much aware that fast food is unhealthy, and, yes, fatty.
However, Sweet gave the plaintiffs a wink and a nod in dismissing the suit.
He commented repeatedly about something called “Frankenfood” – that is, foods that were modified so many times that they became something entirely unknown in the history of nature.
If “Frankenfood” is less healthy than normal chicken or beef, and McDonald’s failed to publicize that fact, the plaintiffs might be able to give Ronald a run for his money.
Although Sweet refused to speculate on the odds of the plaintiffs winning on these grounds, his comments give anyone wishing to sue McDonald’s plenty of ammunition.
Ammunition, which includes the fact that those wonderful Chicken McNuggets contain an anti-foaming agent, as well as a mystery preservative called TBHQ.
As Sweet put it, “Chicken McNuggets, rather than being merely chicken fried in a pan, are a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook.”
This ammunition also brings to light the fact that McDonald’s hamburgers, helpfully listed on the company’s ingredients listing as “100 percent beef patty,” come from a company that has historically been one of the leading users of genetically modified foods.
The brief noted that McDonald’s beef patties are the one meat product that additional ingredients aren’t listed for, possibly because FDA regulations do not require beef to be labeled for preservatives, antibiotics or genetic modification.
But hey, isn’t it odd that McDonald’s will jump to tell you every last ingredient in their “McRib” sandwiches, but not one bit about their hamburgers?
Sweet’s comments on the case spanned 65 pages, approximately 40 of which dealt with the question: What is in McDonald’s food?
The idea of anyone suing McDonald’s for serving unhealthy food reeks of a lack of responsibility.
It is also gratuitous and utterly stupid.
It is as ridiculous as the smoker who refuses to admit that it was his choice to smoke, and it is further proof that Americans are unable to admit to their own mistakes.
But personally, I’d love to see someone sue McDonald’s for creating foods that don’t exist in nature.
When a reporter for The New York Times asked a McDonald’s representative why an anti-foaming agent was added to Chicken McNuggets, he told the reporter, “Here are the facts about our Chicken McNuggets. We use only top, trusted and well-known suppliers — the same chicken suppliers that stock grocery store shelves and kitchens across America. Our Chicken McNuggets are produced at USDA-inspected facilities and are made from marinated, boneless, white and dark meat with no fillers. The chicken is then battered and breaded and cooked in vegetable oil.”
So now we know where the anti-foaming agent comes from.
Neal Ungerleider can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.