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The Green Life: Will San Francisco Ban Happy Meal Toys?

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October 07, 2010

Will San Francisco Ban Happy Meal Toys?

Don't toy around with good health Ronald McDonald isn't smiling. Here's why: A proposed San Francisco ordinance would ban toys from Happy Meals and other kid-oriented fare unless the meals also include a fruit or vegetable and are low in sugar, sodium, and fat.

Proponents say the playthings contribute to childhood obesity by making unheathy foods more appealing. A board committee has recommended the measure, which is modeled after a recently enacted Santa Clara County law, but Mayor Gavin Newsom has indicated that he'll veto the controversial ordinance. And McDonald's executives have argued that the proposed legislation violates its customers' rights to free choice. Meanwhile, some people are betting on whether they'll get to keep their toys — a recent poll from Predicto shows that 46% think the measure will pass.

While Happy Meal toys are still a fond part of many people's childhood, if the ban does happen, at least there will be fewer plastic McNuggets and Shrek figurines headed to the landfill, bringing San Francisco a step closer to its zero-waste goal.

--Della Watson

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