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April 27, 2010

County in California looking to ban McDonald's Happy Meal toys

Posted on Tue Apr 27 2010

Happy-meal

Leave it to the crunchy granola types in California to rain on the Happy Meal parade. County officials in Silicon Valley want to outlaw toys from the famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) McDonald's kids meals. That way, children won't want them as much, and they won't be as fat. Or so the thinking goes. Santa Clara County is proposing a ban on toys in any restaurant meal with more than 485 calories, more than 600 milligrams of salt or high sugar or fat content, according to the Los Angeles Times. If the proposal passes, it won't affect much—there are only about a dozen fast-food restaurants within the county's jurisdiction. But its broader implications, and its first-of-a-kind status, have the California Restaurant Association and others in a tizzy about government interference in action-figure and mini-stuffed-animal distribution. For Hollywood studios, it would be disastrous if they couldn't link their Ice Ages, Shreks and Alvin and the Chipmunks with the caloric, pint-sized meals. Even though Disney got out of that business when it didn't renew its long-term McDonald's deal, other movie makers rushed to fill the void, keeping the McD's calendar packed with entertainment promotions. We'll keep an eye on the situation, so check back for the vote.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

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