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Justice Bell's Verdict
19th June 1997

Key quotes from the Judgement


In my judgement a diet high in fat (including saturated fat) and animal products, and low in fibre, sustained over very many years, probably does lead to a very real risk of heart disease in due course.

... the small proportion of McDonald's customers who eat McDonald's food several times a week will take the very real risk of heart disease if they continue to do so throughout their lives, encouraged by the Plaintiffs' advertising.

... I do find that various of the First and Second Plaintiffs' advertisements, promotions and booklets have pretended to a positive nutritional benefit which McDonald's food, high in fat and saturated fat and animal products and sodium, and at one time low in fibre, did not match.


... the sting of the leaflet to the effect that the Plaintiffs exploit children by using them, as more susceptible subjects of advertising, to pressurise their parents into going to McDonald's is justified. It is true.


... the First and Second Plaintiffs are culpably responsible for cruel practices in the rearing and slaughter of some of the animals which are used to produce their food...


The Second Plaintiff does pay its workers low wages, thereby helping to depress wages for workers in the catering trade in Britain. To this extent the defamatory charge in the leaflet is partly justified.

Full summary of the verdict