Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006
Tony Blair in McDonald's
"Here - bite my finger - it's more nutritious"

'The State It's In' - Squall Editorial

Fat Mac And Fries

April 1999

Two press reports published on April 1st revealed high farce but no joke. The food and health.

One of the articles ['Health drive as obesity soars'] referred to a report published by the Department of Health expressing concern over rising obesity levels in the UK and apportioning much of the blame on high fat diets. The other article ['McLibel Two savour partial victory'] reported that three Lord Justice's of appeal had vindicated the allegation that "if one eats enough McDonald's food, one's diet may well become high in fat with the very real risk of heart disease."

In order to 'get tough on the causes of obesity', the Department of Health is spending public money on a Healthy Schools Programme in order to encourage school children to have higher nutritional standards. However, in the McLibel appeal decision, Lord Justice Pill said "It was true to say that the plaintiffs [McDonald's] exploit children by using them as more susceptible subjects of advertising to pressurise their parents into going to McDonald's." (Appeal judgement page 7).

Further farce reveals itself when it is remembered that Tony Blair himself appeared before press camera's serving burgers at a McDonald's in Coventry. No doubt one of his reasons for straying from the DoH line to provide such an unhealthy product endorsement, is McDonald's position as one of the UK's biggest employers. More bad news for the quality of Tony Blair's endorsements then, when the appeal judges ruled that it was fair comment to say that McDonald's employees "do badly in terms of pay and conditions".

Related Articles
For the full list of Squall articles about the McLibel Trial click here

Useful Links