Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Where the Nanny Statists Begin, the Trial Lawyers Surely Follow

I've written more than once about the so-called "Happy Meals ban." Well, it's got legs.  This nonsense bagan last spring in San Mateo County.  The notion is that if the government forbids  fast-food restaurants from using toys and similar items to induce kids to order meals there, childhood obesity will fall.  As I anticipated at the time, this will likely become a windfall for trial lawyers.

Of course, bad ideas migrate quickly through the political class, so San Francisco soon passed a similar law.  In this case, the momentum was achieved with help from a bloated public-health department, gorged on freshly minted tax revenue.

But two counties are not enough for the trial-lawyers lobby, so they've decided to go on a fishing expedition using state laws against "unfair competition" and "false advertising."  The so-called, self-styled, Center for Science in the Public Interest has recruited a mother (who declines to take responsibility for what her kids eat) to be the named plaintiff for the entire class of people whose children kick and scream and whine that they want to go to McDonald's for a Happy Meal.

If they can do this when it's still legal for a restaurant to market its meals, imagine what they'll try once it's illegal!

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