And this looks very much like proof.
A mother of two from Sacramento, Calif., says that McDonald’s uses toys as bait to induce her kids to clamor to go to McDonald’s and to develop a preference for nutritionally poor Happy Meals. With the help of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, today the mom, Monet Parham, is filing a class action lawsuit aimed at stopping McDonald’s use of toys to market directly to young children. The suit will be filed in California Superior Court in San Francisco shortly after the court opens for business Wednesday morning.Yes, you did read that right. McDonalds are being sued (text of the claim here) by someone who has no concept of personal, or parental, responsibility.
According to Parham, the main reason her six-year-old daughter, Maya, asks to go to McDonald’s is to get toys based on Barbie, i-Carly, Shrek, or Strawberry Shortcake. The food seems almost beside the point to the kids, says Parham, because the toy monopolizes the attention of Maya and her two-year-old sister Lauryn.
“I am concerned about the health of my children and feel that McDonald’s should be a very limited part of their diet and their childhood experience,” Parham said. “But as other busy, working moms and dads know, we have to say ‘no’ to our young children so many times, and McDonald’s makes that so much harder to do. I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat.”
But hold on, Dick, I hear you cry. How is that anything to do with the war on tobacco?
Well, since you asked, this case is very reminiscent of the early anti-tobacco suits filed by US lawyers on behalf of those who claimed they were suckered into smoking by the wiles of the tobacco industry. Many, many failed, for over a decade in fact, but eventually - bolstered by massive pharmaceutical investment - the Master Settlement Agreement stuck. Anti-tobacco then had their precedent and the rest of their descent into absurdity is history.
Not only that, the flood of cash it unlocked was generous enough to fund the very same lawyers in pushing for more censorious actions - aided and abetted by fellow newly-enriched dodgy epidemiologists providing junk science bullets - which has consequentially given us the quite ludicrous claims we are now seeing.
Now then. What is the link? Well, the world's most obscene anti-smoking lawyer (who made himself obscenely rich from anti-smoking) has been pursuing such legal action for quite a while.
You see, money is running out for anti-smokers. They need to find another way to please their pharma masters, and obesity drugs are the new game in town.
Here we are witnessing the opening salvo (in California, natch) of the war against fast food.
Funds are drying up for tobacco controllers, but there is a vast untapped wealth just sitting there taunting them in the form of multi-national food outlets (oh sorry, did you still think it was about health?).
You would probably have missed the early exchanges. Like tobacco, advertising bans were first, for the ease of getting them past legislators with minimal resistance. But it's all part of the template.
Where there's a government staffed by pompous authoritarians, there's a public health angle; where there's a public health angle, there's someone to blame; where's there's blame, there is a claim.
And where there's a claim, there is someone to profit from it, and 'scientists' to secure their funding for the next decade or so by pumping out shonky research.
This suit will fail, almost certainly. But the idea of a malevolant industry preying on kids for profit has laid its foundations in the minds of the terminally health terrified. Sooner or later they will make an absurd claim like this stick. And when that happens, the gates will open to a vast new seam of public health rent-seeking on the polluter pays principle.
Plus, numpty-packed governments aren't going to resist too much seeing as they can profit by it too. It is, as in this case, all for the chiiildren, after all.
I've lost count of the times I've listened to people stating that "I'm a libertarian, but I love the smoking ban". I generally tend to smile sweetly before looking around for someone more clever to talk to.
As I've mentioned before:
You simply cannot pick and choose which freedoms you like and which you don't. You either stand up to all of the dictatorial bullying, or you will inevitably become a target.Where tobacco control leads, interference in other areas will gleefully follow. Often helped along by the very same joyless bansturbators who have so demonised tobacco.
If you like bans on any particular lifestyle choice, fine. Just prepare to be next in the firing line is all.