Spotlight on McDonald’s – Food Labeling
This case focuses on McDonald’s Corp.’s Happy Meal that consists of an entrée, a small order of french fries, a small drink, and a toy. McDonald’s started to direct their marketing of the Happy Meal to children between the ages of one to three in the early 1990’s. Later in 1995, McDonald’s released documents known as “McDonald’s Nutrition Facts” that made the nutritional information for its foods products available. While each document provided a list of food items with a nutritional breakdown that the restaurant serves the Happy Meal was not included amongst the documents. Alleging, among other things, that McDonald’s had violated state laws prohibiting consumer fraud and deceptive business practices by failing to adhere to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) of 1990, Marc Cohen Filed a suit in an Illinois state court. There are definite requirements for products specifically intended for children under the age of four set out the NLEA where generally, the products’ labels cannot declare the percent of daily value of nutritional components. The legal issue being presented in this case are states imposing obligations that are different than federal law.
There are two questions posed in this case the first examines a consumer’s familiarity with nutritional standards and the second questioning whether state courts should be allowed to impose regulations under NLEA. According to the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) Requirements (8/94 - 2/95), foods for infants and children less than 4 years of age must be presented in two separate columns of nutrient names and quantitative amounts; also percent Daily Values may only be listed for protein, vitamins...
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...enterprise 's affairs," one must have some part in directing those affairs (Reves v. Ernst & Young, 1993). In this case, the key to determining if Grant Thornton could be held liable for violations of federal laws lies within the extent of their directing and participation of the bank’s practices. Grant Thornton was unaware and had no way of foreseeing that the financial records they were provided had been falsified. Since Grant Thornton did not participate directly or indirectly in the bank’s practices they could not have engaged in unsafe and unsound banking practice as the Comptroller alleged. In the actual case on which this problem is based, the courts vacated the civil monetary penalty and cease and desist order the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) imposed on Grant Thornton (Grant Thornton, LLP v Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 2008).
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