Walter Olson reports that those who know better than the rest of us what’s good for us have struck at an important target menacing life as we know it in America: McDonald’s Happy Meals.
With perfect Grinch timing, a consumer group has sued McDonaldâ€™s demanding that it take the toys out of its Happy Meals.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group, claims it violates California law for the hamburger chain to make its meals too appealing to kids, thus launching them on a lifelong course to overeating and other health horrors. Itâ€™s representing an allegedly typical mother of two from Sacramento named Monet Parham. Whatâ€™s Parhamâ€™s (so to speak) beef? â€œBecause of McDonaldâ€™s marketing, [her daughter] Maya has frequently pestered Parham into purchasing Happy Meals, thereby spending money on a product she would not otherwise have purchased.â€
Youâ€™re probably wondering: How is this grounds for a lawsuit? No one forced Parham to take her daughters to McDonaldâ€™s, buy them that particular menu item, and sit by as they ate every last French fry in the bag (if they did).
No, sheâ€™s suing because when she said no, her kids became disagreeable and â€œpoutedâ€ â€“ for which she wants class action status. If she gets it, McDonaldâ€™s isnâ€™t the only company that should worry. Other kids pout because parents wonâ€™t get them 800-piece Lego sets, Madame Alexander dolls and Disney World vacations.
The really interesting thing about all this was discovered by Ira Stoll. Monet Parham is actually a California state employee, posing as an aggrieved ordinary citizen aided by liberal advocacy organizations in an attempt to use the courts to further coercively the “healthy lifestyle” agenda she is paid to advocate by the state.
Ms. Parham is the same person as “Monet Parham-Lee”. Monet Parham-Lee is an employee of the California Department of Public Health. Interestingly, her name has been scrubbed from the website of Champions for Change, the Network for a Healthy California. She has given numerous presentations and attended conferences on the importance of eating vegetables and whatnot.
She presents herself as an ordinary mother. She is not. She is an advocate, and an employee of a California agency tasked with advocating the eating of vegetables.