Albion Monitor /News

...McDonald's sued the pair, claiming the six-page leaflets they distributed contained false statements about the company, its products and practices...

In September 1990, writs were served on Helen Steel and Dave Morris for distributing a six-page "Factsheet" published by London Greenpeace. What charges were made in that allegedly libelous brochure? It claimed McDonald's is guilty of:

  • STARVING THE POOR by using large land masses in poor countries for cattle ranching or growing grain to feed animals to be eaten in the West, according to the pamphlet, which also stated McDonald's promotion of meat products wastes great amounts of food resources. The tract claimed 145 million tons of grain fed to livestock produces only 21 million tons of meat and by-products.

  • DESTROYING THE EARTH Many of the world's forests are rapidly being destroyed, it claimed, by multinational companies, including McDonald's. The brochure said McDonald's admitted using beef reared on ex-rainforest land, preventing the regeneration of forests. And, according to the pamphlet, every year McDonald's uses thousands of tons of unnecessary packaging, much of which ends up littering streets or polluting the land by being buried in landfill sites.

  • RUINING YOUR HEALTH Although McDonald's promotes their food as "healthy," the circular claims it is high in fat, sugar and salt, and low in fibre and vitamins. A diet of this type is linked with a greater risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. It said McDonald's food also contains many chemical additives, some of which may cause ill health and hyperactivity in children.

  • MURDERING ANIMALS The burger chain menus, according to the pamphlet, are based on the torture and murder of millions of animals. It claimed most are intensively farmed, with no access to fresh air and sunshine and no freedom of movement. Their deaths are barbaric and "humane slaughter" is a myth, it said.

  • EXPLOITING THEIR STAFF Workers in the burger chains are paid low wages and the company does not pay overtime rates, the brochure claimed. According to the brochure, pressure to keep profits high and wage costs low results in staff having to work harder and faster. As a consequence, accidents, particularly burns, are common, it stated.
  • -- Bruce Tober

    Albion Monitor September 2, 1995 (

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