McDonald's Vs Today newspaper

The Today paper was issued with a libel writ after publishing an article implicating McD in the destruction of tropical rainforests. Taken to court the newspaper apologises.

1989-M-No 4280





Statement in Open Court

Plaintiffs solicitor/Counsel:

May it please your Lordship, I represent McDonalds Restaurants Limited, which owns and operates the McDonalds Restaurant chain throughout the United Kingdom. My friend Miss Kean represents the Defendants, the publishers of the "Today" newspaper.

The proceedings concern articles published in "Today" on 7th and 8th August 1989 whlch alleged that tbe Plalntiff and its parent company had beeninvolved in buying beef for hamburgers from cows reared on recently deforested tropical ralnforest land. Infact, these allegations had previously been made by third parties whose comments had been reported in "Today" in October 1988 and June 1989, following whlch the newspaper accepted that tbe company had been fully exonerated.

The Defendants now recognise that their allegations concerning the Plaintiff were wrong, and have agreed to apologlse to the Plaintiff, to pay all its legal costs and to provide for it free of charge a full page of advertising space in "Today". The Plainiff accordingly is content to let this matter rest.

Defendants' solicitor : Caroline Kean of Messrs Simon Olswang & Co

May it please your Lordshlp, the Defendants accept everything my friend has said. The Defendants accept that their defamatory allegations against the Plaintiff were unfounded, should never have been printed and consequently they withdraw them. They also apologise to McDonalds for any embarrassment caused. Through me, they undertake not to repeat the defamatory allegations complained of.

Plaintiff's solicitor :

May I ask your Lordship to grant leave to withdraw the record?

The following is The Today's published apology:

The Today
17 April 1990


In August 1989 we reported allegations that McDonald's in America was involved in buying beef from cattle raised on land cleared from rain forests in South America. McDonald's has in fact been exonerated from cutting down rain forests for the purpose of making hamburgers. We unreservedly apologise to Mcdonald's for any embarassment our article may have caused them.