Day 024 - 15 Sep 94 - Page 05
1 Q. I am just going to ask you to briefly summarise what the
2 dispute with McDonald's was that you were involved in on
3 their ingredient brochures in 1986?
4 A. In early 1986, through co-ordinated communications
5 with the New York Attorney General, I learned, my
6 counterpart in California learned, that the New York
7 Attorney General was investigating McDonald's for
8 potential violation of New York law. We then learned that
9 McDonald's had agreed with the state of New York for the
10 state of New York only, as we understood it, to put out on
11 a short term basis nutrition and ingredient brochures in
12 order, from the state standpoint, in order to make the
13 information in those brochures available at the restaurant
14 locations to New York consumers.
16 Because my office and other California Attorney Generals
17 office had worked in the nutrition area in the past on
18 other subjects, we believed it would be in the public
19 interest to open an investigation into fastfood in general
20 as to the ingredient and nutrition information.
22 We, therefore, invited a total of six or seven -- I cannot
23 recall now -- of the top selling fastfood restaurants,
24 including McDonald's, to meet with us in California in the
25 first half of 1986 so that we could make known to them our
26 concerns about American consumers not getting the truth
27 about what was in the various products of these fastfood
30 We did meet with them. We did conclude that under our
31 laws disclosure was required and, having heard from the
32 companies -- in general, I cannot tell you what McDonald's
33 told us at one meeting versus what Burger King told us at
34 that same series of meetings, but the companies as a whole
35 expressed to us the difficulty of labelling their products
36 on a piece basis, so you would get the information you
37 wanted on the hamburger as it was handed to you.
39 We, therefore, in order to accommodate the companies'
40 marketing practices but also to accommodate our desires
41 that the American consumers get the information they
42 wanted, suggested to the companies that they agree to give
43 out a brochure that would contain the ingredient nutrition
44 information and to make known at the point of purchase in
45 the stores that these brochures were available.
47 We asked McDonald's and the other restaurants to agree to
48 do that. McDonald's, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken,
49 Wendys Hamburgers, and Jack-In-the-Box restaurants agreed
50 to do so. I would note that McDonald's was the one to
51 fight us the strongest, and I believe McDonald's agreed
52 the last to do this. The brochures did go out.
54 There was some dispute where McDonald's, I think, pulled
55 the wool over our eyes and jumped the gun in terms of
56 telling the public that it had done this of its own
57 accord, when in fact, I believe, in conclusion they only
58 did it because they were dragged into it by the threat of
59 enforcement action by our officers. But they did do it.
60 That was the first conflict with them in 1986.