California kids still have the right to chow down on Happy Meals. A San Francisco judge has tossed out a class-action lawsuit that aimed to block Happy Meal sales in the state. The suit claimed McDonald's was violating consumer protection laws by using toys to lure children to eat nutritionally unbalanced meals that can lead to obesity. The burger company is delighted. A spokeswoman said the "meritless" suit detracted from the "important issue of children's health and nutrition." She added: "We are proud of our Happy Meals."
The action was brought by a mom and the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which called the use of toys to market food a "predatory practice that undermines parents, and harms kids' health." McDonald's "must stop exploiting children at some point," said the group's executive director. The suit aimed to bar the inclusion of toys in meals marketed to children, and sought no damages. The judge did not provide a reason why he tossed it out, reports the Los Angeles Times. The city of San Francisco currently bans toys in Happy Meals. But McDonald's has dodged the crackdown by selling the toys separately.