Advertising and McDonald's. Steve Gardner tells how they got McDonald's to toe the line in America.

Currently a member of the faculty of the School of Law, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas; Stephen Gardner maintains a limited private practice of law.

From November 1984 until December 1991, he was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Dallas Regional Office of the Texas Attorney General's Office. I operated almost exclusively within the Consumer Protection Division of that Office.

As Assistant Attorney General, he had the dubious experience of investigating McDonalds Corporation for various violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, as part of his responsibilities and duties as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas.

Stephen Gardner was interviewed in 1997 by One-Off Productions for their TV documentary, McLibel: Two Worlds Collide.

  • Once we'd forced McDonald's to tell the truth about what was in its products they decided to deceive the people by misrepresenting the nutritiousness of its products.

    Could you tell us about the situation when they didn't have the ingredients on the packaging and how that changed, how that came about.

    I was working at the Texas Attorney General's office and I worked together with the Attorney General of New York and California to work with McDonald's and other fast food establishments to persuade them to provide nutrition and ingredient information in a brochure and on posters in the restaurant, so people could make knowledgable choices about what products they were eating.
    After some effort on our part, McDonald's did agree to give this information out in booklet form. About a year after McDonald's had agreed to give out this information [they] apparently decided to try to pretend that the food was more nutritious than it in fact was, and that's when we, kind of turned up the heat on them.

    So would you say that without your involvement they wouldn't have had the labels on the packaging at all?

    I would say that without the several states persuading them and the others that they needed to under the law, they wouldn't do anything of the kind. In our first meetings with McDonald's and other fast food chains, they all said that there was no requirement that they do so and indicated resistance to giving out that sort of information. McDonald's was in fact one of the most recalcitrant of all the fast food chains in agreeing to give out the information, but, initially they did.

    And did they try to take the credit for it as well?

    Yeah. We had, at the request of the companies and perhaps at the request of our press offices, I don't know, cos I didn't deal with that aspect of it, but we had agreed to put out the press announcement of these settlements involving nutrition information with all of the companies on the same day rather than force McDonald's to take a press hit to get what would be for them bad publicity and then somebody else get it and then somebody else, we agreed to put it forth all in one day and as I recall we tried to put it, put a pretty positive spin on how co-operative the companies had been.

    McDonald's decided for whatever reason that it would try to steal the march on it and one day before [the major release] McDonald's put out its own release stating that it was providing this type of information to people, in what I think was a clear attempt to steal the credit for doing so. Not to steal it from us but really, I think, to steal it from their competitors so it would like they were setting the gold standard when in fact their motives were more base.

    And they continue to say that they were the first people to put the nutritional information...

    Well they were the first people to claim credit for it. And they had put it out, some in New York, for other reasons the New York Attorney General's office had persuaded them to put out the nutritional brochures solely in the state of New York, and that was a springboard for our dealing with all the companies, but as far as I can tell, it's just not true that McDonald's were taking the lead in doing this. In fact, in my opinion, [they were] dragged along kicking and screaming.

    Could you provide some background as to your role and the nutrition advertising campaign etc.

    Well, as I say it was sometime after we had worked with the various chains including McDonald's to put out the nutrition information. We learned that McDonald's was advertising it's products as basically nutritious and healthy [and] from our examination of the minute items examining the nutritional information, in our opinion the foods generally contained so much sodium and fat and so [few] helpful ingredients that they just flat weren't nutritious. Because of that we wrote to McDonald's and told them to stop. Stop using these advertisements, stop claiming that McDonald's food was nutritious.

    So what would you say happened?

    After a furious exchange of letters between McDonald's and, me, McDonald's and my Attorney General, McDonald's was represented in fact at one point by a lawyer in a large Washington firm who had been secretary, I believe, [to] the federal department of health educational welfare, Joe Calofatto. After this exchange of letters, the ads were pulled, McDonald's claims, as I understand it, was that [it] was just a natural happenstance. My experience is, and I've dealt with a lot of companies doing falsely deceptive advertising and ironically it seems that they always made the decision to stop running the ads the moment before my letter got there telling them that the ads were deceptive, so, it's an exercise in guesswork that I don't care to engage in as to whether or not our letters stopped them. I do know, and I do believe at any rate that our letters prevented them from doing things additionally in the future in this area.

    So what's wrong with McDonald's calling their food nutritious?

    as we said to them in the letters, .... McDonald's food overall is simply not nutritious.

    For McDonald's to call their food nutritious is deceptive because as we said to them in the letters, .... McDonald's food overall is simply not nutritious. McDonald's experts and McDonald's lawyers interpret nutritious to mean containing nutrients and almost every food contains a nutrient, I think the best McDonald's could come up with was black coffee as having no nutrients, although I think you could probably make an argument for caffeine. I think that's a facile argument and one that didn't suffice then and it doesn't suffice now. The public people, the people to whom these ads are aimed believe that nutritious means basically good for you, healthy, not deleterious to your health, and McDonald's food is, for whatever positive attributes it may have, it isn't healthy, it is in fact unhealthy and bad for many people, although it's got too much fat and too much sodium, and, we didn't mind them promoting their foods, we weren't trying to stop them from selling their foods, our concern was simply that they would be selling it under a false pretext, that they would be telling people "Don't worry about eating at McDonald's because you're really eating healthy food."

    What are the wider implications, are they lying to the public?

    An old spring court justice said "A half truth is a whole lie" and that's always been my operating procedure, if you try to shade the truth you are lying, it is a fairly right line standard. And I do believe that for McDonald's to call its food nutritious is a lie to the public, whether the British public or the American public. Studies have shown that American consumers, and I wont attempt to speak for British consumers, but American consumers eat at fast food restaurants a lot. One of the reasons for it is [that] kids are drawn to it by all the little toys they give away with the food, another reason is that with two worker families, we just don't always have time to prepare meals, so people do go to McDonald's and other fast food restaurants a lot.

    McDonald's is not by any means the only fast food restaurant whose overall menu selection is non nutritious, it is in fact unhealthy, so the fact that people are going to a significant degree to fast food restaurants is a health problem, people should, to the extent possible rely on other sources for meals other than McDonald's or other fast food restaurants. However, sometimes, and I'm not going to tell people how to make choices, that's never been my job, it was, it isn't now that I'm a lawyer, private practising, it wasn't my job when I worked for the State Attorney General.

    An old spring court justice said "A half truth is a whole lie"..... And I do believe that for McDonald's to call its food nutritious is a lie to the public

    Our only concern was that people who are going, get the truth about what they're buying, that they not be misled or have their concerns about the unhealthiness of these products swayed by false and deceptive advertising, that hurts a lot; but we were looking at it from an advertising standpoint, we were focusing on health issues, there were any number of other cases in the mid to late 1980s when this occurred, the State AAGs Attorney General were working on dealing with deceptive claims involving healthy or health-related attributes of foods. There was a huge increase in, a wide variety of advertising claims of that nature, this was just one of them.

    Can you tell us more about the campaign, it's overall message.

    the entire ad campaign, not one little claim and one little ad but a whole campaign was intrinsically deceptive..... there's no question this is one designed, executed campaign.

    Because the point was the entire ad campaign, not one little claim and one little ad but a whole campaign was intrinsically deceptive. And that is not typical, generally, the law is that you look at one ad to see whether or not it's overall deceptive, you can look at specific misstatements, falsehoods, whatever, in the advertisement and make a decision that because of even one misrepresentation the ad is illegal, is deceptive or is false, or you can look at the overall impression left by the advertisement. What we did that was fairly unique, was to look at what they were doing which was to create a campaign with one ad after another reinforcing the same idea. So the main point we wanted to make with McDonald's was that their advertising as a whole, this one campaign was deceptive, and it was clearly one campaign, they had one booklet made up of all the ads, they printed them all up, there's no question this is one designed, executed campaign. There's also no question that it stopped, and, you know, whether we stopped them or they just stopped I don't really care to be honest, our concern was just that they stop.

    Can you give us one example?

    One of the specific examples we gave McDonald's was a statement in one of the advertisements that sodium was down across the menu. We believed that that creates a perception that if you have 20 menu items the sodium has been reduced in at least most and probably all of the, the menu items, down across the menu means that it has been reduced in every menu item. In fact the sodium had been reduced in only a few specific items, incredible, it was across the menu because it was here, here and here, so I guess they could have drawn a straight line that would have been across the menu, but there is something that you could say was literally true but actually still deceptive, the sodium content of it's, single items, much less if you put it together as a meal, was half or more of the recommended maximum sodium intake for an adult for one day, not just one hamburger at lunch.

    You were getting all the sodium and often all the fat and then some, you should get for the entire day in one item, and while it is I'm a big fan of hamburgers, and while you can eat them, you have to balance it out if you intend to eat healthy, you have to balance it out with other things. That was one of McDonald's big arguments, that they never claimed that these were great healthy items, but that it could be consumed as part of a balanced menu I don't think that's true because the fat and the sodium in McDonald's products creates such an imbalance that you really can't have a balanced diet of you regularly consume fast food products, fast food hamburgers or fries, whatever.

    Also the people who are tending to eat those are not the people who are tending to eat exceptionally healthy at other times to balance it, but that's another point.

    McDonald's created this campaign to intentionally deceive people into believing that the food was better than they thought it was

    Well one of the things I've always avoided was trying to guess what people should be doing and, only to make the information available, it's a very market-driven activism on my part, is, I want to make people aware of what they're eating, and I do believe that McDonald's created this campaign to intentionally deceive people into believing that the food was better than they thought it was, they're trying to correct falsely a correct impression, they weren't trying to fix a misimpression that people had, and that's often necessary I've seen advertisements that do that, people think a product is bad and it really isn't they were trying to create a misimpression to counteract people's accurate knowledge about the nutritiousness of the product.

    Presumably some of the advertisements were out before they were stopped, so they've had a whole advertising campaign saying this food is nutritious, they're going to be influencing a lot of people, is there any comeback, is there any penalty for that deceit?

    In this particular instance I honestly don't remember if we hit them with civil penalties or costs of the case, usually we do, in this investigation concerning nutritiousness with the brochures on nutrition, on nutrition information, we deliberately set out to make it a co-operative effort and we're not out to hit them with penalties or costs. This follow up was different in nature and I just don't remember whether or not we assessed penalties against them, sometimes it's necessary to do so, usually I think it's necessary to do so, whether we did it in this case or not I just don't remember. I honestly think we didn't but I can't recall.

    Surely from a legal point of view if they are having an effect on the public then they should, if they are deliberately misleading the public then their should be some penalty shouldn't there? get people to buy your product by deceiving them is as bad and as wrong and it is as much theft as holding someone up at the point of a gun.

    Yes, I feel strongly that, not speaking specifically as to McDonald's, but to get people to buy your product by deceiving them is as bad and as wrong and it is as much theft as holding someone up at the point of a gun. It's just done through the stroke of a pen rather than the point of a gun, it's just as bad and in fact national advertising deception steals more money from people annually that any bank robber ever does. Certainly if you catch a bank robber, the bank robber doesn't get to say "Here, I wont do it again can I leave now?"; as a general rule it is appropriate I think to sanction the wrong-doer, and we historically were very aggressive in getting these. In this particular one because of the nature of it I can't recall, because it was a multi-state effort, working with other state jurisdictions in those cases we sometimes did not push forward if we were able to resolve it quickly as we relatively were with McDonald's to get either attorney's fees or costs, or civil penalties, we don't have criminal sanctions, I wish we did. All we had were civil sanctions we could have hit them with a penalty, not much.

    What do you think the 'value' was by just saying that one thing, by this one deceit?

    Any fraudulent or deceptive advertising steals millions of dollars, they spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to promote the advertising and our, or at least the State of Texas the ability of the Attorney General to sanction was not that high, it was ten thousand dollars usually was the maximum amount we could get, but the best thing we could get done was to stop the deceptive advertising and ensure that it wasn't going to appear again, and as far as I know it hasn't, we've been successful here, [but] sometimes the advertiser, or the marketing company is more clever than we are, and they come up with a new way to deceive that we hadn't anticipated and we have to go back to them. That's in essence come to think of it what McDonald's did here, they were deceiving the public by failing to let them know what the nutrition content of their foods was. They knew people wanted to know and by refusing to tell them they violated our law, then, later on, they decided that they wanted to turn what was a negative, which was giving out the truth about the high fat sodium levels, into a positive by telling people, "Don't worry, it's okay, you can eat it and you don't have to worry, you don't have to worry that you're poisoning your kids, you don't have to worry that you're poisoning yourself."

    Okay, so what do you think of McDonald's putting out the statement in their nutrition leaflet, "Every time you eat at McDonald's you'll be eating good nutritious food."?

    What they're doing here I could not guess as to whether English laws are violated cos I'm still stumped by your libel laws and it kind of makes me proud to be an American in fact with the protections of our First Amendment but in Texas, in the United States, that statement would be deceptive, it would be a false advertisement because the food just isn't nutritious and the theoretical dance they do on what nutritious means is I think a knowing fraud as well because people, when they see the word nutritious they don't believe it merely contains nutrients that the body can absorb, they believe that it's healthy for you. People can in fact believe, attach meanings to words, that are not the literal meaning, but the advertiser is held responsible for what, how people read the advertisement.

    A good example, several years back with other State Attorney's General, we took an action against Nestle Carnation for a new infant formula, I can't remember the name to be honest, but what they had said about it was that it was hypo-allergenic. I thought hypo-allergenic meant non-allergenic, it merely means, and any scientist can tell you this, less allergenic, that it's less likely to cause an allergic reaction. However, our Food and Drug Administration had studies showing that people in fact believe that hypo-allergenic means non-allergenic, and we were able to persuade Carnation, for it was called Good Start for for their Good Start infant formula to stop calling it hypo-allergenic.

    I don't know whether or not they intended to deceive through using that statement, because as I said it was quite literally true, but I do know that they did deceive people by emphasising how hypo-allergenic it was. Similarly with nutritiousness you could probably find some dietitian who will say nutritious means containing nutrients, but no market researcher who researches consumer perceptions will say so without first having to fix her face because she's fixing to tell a lie. It doesn't mean that, it means to be healthy, to the average consumer.

    If I could just pick up on something that you just said there. You said that you weren't sure whether Nestle intended to deceive about hypo-allergenic, what do you think McDonald's position was on the nutritious campaign?

    Well I think absolutely McDonald's set out to deceive the public in representing it's food as nutritious. It is to me unquestionable that they were trying to create a belief contrary to current belief, to correct a lie, but to correct it to the wrong, to move people to believe that the food was in fact nutritious, healthy for them, so that they would not shy away from stopping at McDonald's.

    So if we go a bit wider than McDonald's and their advertising, what you were saying that if a half truth is as bad as a lie, surely all advertising is half truths and it's having an enormous effect on the world.

    Most advertising is built on a half truth or a deception of one kind or another but most of it is sufficiently low-key that it doesn't rise to the level of being illegal under state or federal false advertising laws.
    You know, if I watch any television commercials for beer I would believe that if I would drink their beer there'd be all these young beautiful girls running around there, there is a subliminal message there, it's not true, but it's also not sufficiently deceptive enough to make it illegal, but yes, I mean, a lot of advertising does create a belief other than reality, where they step over the line is where it gets into something substantive. The states chose to focus our efforts in the mid to late eighties with some activity still continuing, on health-related claims, cos we wanted to look at not just what was deceptive, but what was deceptive in an area that could actually cause you harm.
    If you eat unhealthy foods rather than healthy foods, if you eat a cereal containing high bran content because you believe it will reduce your cholesterol significantly when in fact none of them will, and therefore if you forgo having taken the actual steps if you have high cholesterol to reduce your cholesterol in your blood. A number of things we looked at, a number of national companies that we took actions against were focusing on that area, trying to make you believe something about their product was healthy or good for you when it just wasn't true.

    So you don't have a problem with advertising in general?

    No, I enjoy most advertising, [if] it's done right it can be just wonderful. I have very little patience with false advertising because as I said you can deceive legally so well, all it requires is effort, you know, you can make people want to buy your product for whatever reason without stepping over the line, and getting into false advertising, that I think it's either companies that are just lazy or have a truly bad product that do choose actively to deceive, you know, I was speaking to an advertising agency group once and at the end of my speech one of the people said, you know, "When I am working on an ad and I think there might be a problem with it I can't afford to hire a lawyer to review the ad." and my statement back to her was, "You don't need to because you had the question, you knew damn well that it was deceptive, you are talking to a lawyer to find out not if it deceives, but to find out if you can do it anyway." It is very possible for advertisers to do honest advertising, some of the best ads we see contain no false advertising while some other, some of the ads that people remember the most contain no false advertising, unfortunately some of them do.

    So do you think it implies something about McDonald's products then that their company comes up the most?

    No I don't think the only inference that can be drawn here is simply that McDonald's was setting out as I said to correct a true impression as opposed to correct a false impression, I think that they were clearly trying to make people think that their food is nutritious. The fact that they still say it to this day indicates that that's exactly what they were doing.

    So you don't think they're trying to sell essentially poor quality products?

    McDonald's is making a high quality unhealthy product, it's not a poor product it's just one that isn't good for you.

    No, they, their products are not poor quality as far as I know, they've got the beef as good as can be the vegetables, the ketchup, the buns are all top quality products. , and as I say, people can choose to do that, and I don't think anybody ought to be stopping them buying them if they want to, the only concern that I have is that they not be buying it thinking it's something it isn't.

    Perhaps if I could just ask you a couple of questions about McLibel. Seeing as you are a qualified US lawyer, could you tell us whether this trial could have happened under US law?

    I said earlier, watching what Dave and Helen have gone through for the past nearly two and a half years has kind of made me proud to be an American, it really is. One of the reasons that America split off from this lovely country, was the fight for free speech, and, our free speech laws are such that in America, this case would never have gone to trial.

    In America, the libel law burden is on the company to prove that the statement made was false and that it caused harm. I don't think that McDonald's could ever prove that any of these statements are false. The only statement that I'm familiar is they McDonald's ware mad because Dave and Helen and the others put out a brochure that said McDonald's food was not nutritious.

    Well, McDonald's is calling that statement libellous. On the other hand the states of I think it was just California and Texas, had found the exact opposite statement by McDonald's to be deceptive, in other words, we had determined that for McDonald's to say that that it's foods were nutritious was deceptive, very far from the truth, so it is an interesting thing to watch as two people are subjected to this, in my opinion, abuse, maybe legal abuse, but never the less abuse, of the libel laws.
    The reason this case could not have gotten anywhere close to this far in America is our first amendment to our constitution which says the congress, and that's extended to mean the states, everyone else, may make no law restricting freedom of speech, or the press, or of religion. What Helen and Dave did was absolutely protected by our free speech laws. Libel is an exception to free speech laws and it has been developed in the this century to be very restrictive as to what and who can sue for libel. In this instance because McDonald's is by it's own choice a national figure, it would have to prove not just falsity of the statements, but intent to do harm, you know, malice towards McDonald's by Helen and Dave, and, I've never seen anything in talking with them or watching what they did that indicated a malice towards McDonald's, it's kind of like my father always said to me when I did something wrong, you know, "I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed." you know, it is whether it's awful here or not, I don't know, but for McDonald's, which is an American corporation and which has enjoyed the freedoms that corporations in America get, for McDonald's to come here to sue these two individuals for libel is repugnant to me.

    It's also nutty, it's short-sighted and ill-advised for McDonald's to have done this because if they had waited a moment and thought about what they were doing they would have known that suing these folks was going to engender more publicity and not less. What McDonald's has done is to take Helen and Dave leafleting on a street in London to the national and the international stage it was a, I've seen decisions by corporations before, it's often ego-driven decisions at the board level, but what McDonald's has done is to waste hundreds or thousands or millions of dollars in this law suit, it's never going to get money out of it so it's just wasting it's shareholders money the people who own McDonald's are not the board members, it's the shareholders, so it's wasting their money, and it's in fact hurting McDonald's.

    What Helen and Dave did was absolutely protected by our [American] free speech laws..... for McDonald's to come here to sue these two individuals for libel is repugnant to me. It's also nutty, it's short-sighted and ill-advised for McDonald's to have done this because if they had waited a moment and thought about what they were doing they would have known that suing these folks was going to engender more publicity and not less...... they shot themselves in the foot.

    I have read the press accounts that have appeared here on the case and from what I can tell everyone in England knows about this case and thinks it's odd so McDonald's did not benefit any from this law suit. In fact, I think they caused themselves harm, they shot themselves in the foot.

    What qualities do you think in the McLibel two have made them the perfect people for this task, or do you think anybody could have done it?

    No, I don't think anyone could, I don't really know them well enough to say what their qualities are, everything, most everything, I've talked to them, you know, a few hours, most everything I know about them is having seen them at work and I think their willingness to persevere and to keep going at this when they probably could have settled with McDonald's early on shows a true commitment to standing up to abusive power by McDonald's. I also, I don't know if this term exists here, in America we have something called a slap suit which is strategic, well I think, litigation against public participation, and it's a law suit that's brought to punish people to discourage people from doing stuff the big companies don't like. This is a perfect example of a slap suit. Most slap suits in the United States don't make it as I said that far because they usually, their purpose is to chill expression, and if they sue they usually have that effect whether they make it to trial or not is another matter.

    And during your negotiations with McDonald's and your workings with them, what qualities in them as a corporation do you think make them the ideal people to be on the other side of the court room?

    Well, I really don't know, [but] our experience in dealing with them was always adversary but positive in nature, they expressed a desire to work with us, they were co-operative, you know, they were co-operative and yet, then they would jump the gun on releasing the story, not to steal credit from the states, I don't really care about that, but I do believe they did it to steal credit for them as opposed to the other fast food chains that had done the same thing. So I have a hard time aligning my experience dealing with McDonald's with the actions by McDonald's, it's somewhat anomalous to me.

    Cos they have set themselves up as an icon in this country, and in America as well presumably, do you think they're just fiercely defending their ground? couldn't ask for a better bully to step in than McDonald's, because they are in fact a big multinational household name which is why they should be above this kind of behaviour. At best it's very unsporting, at worst, it's really stupid

    Well I can't really get into the iconic aspect of it. I never thought about it, I think you're correct, but I never really thought about it not necessarily from the standpoint of the trial itself but from the standpoint of someone observing it, you couldn't ask for a better bully to step in than McDonald's, because they are in fact a big multinational household name which is why they should be above this kind of behaviour, it's why they shouldn't be engaging in it. At best it's very unsporting, at worst, it's really stupid because they have bought themselves, as I said, a whole lot of bad press and they have surely through lack of foresight transformed a local action, the leafleting into an international action. They have really let themselves be thrown into the briar patch.

    You have commented on the difference between the U.S. and British libel laws, many people in Britain would say that this is for us to decide, but do you think that they need to be changed?

    Yeah, it'd be a but cheeky. Truthfully should they be changed? Absolutely. Well, I do think that what libel laws in England permit McDonald's to do, and I don't think there's any question that they do permit this, I think Mr Justice Bell has been very fair in his rulings, I don't have any reason to question him for having bias, I think he's doing what he believes he has to do under the law. And I think that shows that in a modern society we ought to be able to have open dialogue in a commercial context especially and it's a bit cheeky of me but I would be happy to see this experience with this case serve as a springboard for revising the libel laws in England. People ought to be able to speak out on matters of public importance, people ought to be able to criticise corporations. We're not talking about somebody bad mouthing a neighbour or slandering a friend, we're talking about somebody speaking about a nonentity, not people but a national, multinational corporation on issues of utmost public importance and if people can't do that without fearing that what they say will end them up a victim, a defendant in court, then people here are not going to have the same freedom of choice as people in America do because you wont be able to get the pros and the cons, you are stuck with whatever lies any advertiser chooses to put on the television and put out into the magazines and the newspapers with nothing to counteract that.

    People ought to be able to speak out on matters of public import, people ought to be able to criticise corporations..... if people can't do that without fearing that what they say will end them up a victim, .... then people here are not going to have the same freedom of choice as people in America, because you wont be able to get the pros and the cons, you are stuck with whatever lies any advertiser chooses to put on the television and into the magazines and the newspapers with nothing to counteract that.

    Do you think the way that McDonald's and all their ilk are heading, do you think it was inevitable that there would be a confrontation like this at some point in a confrontation between what McDonald's represent and what Helen and Dave represent?

    Well, anytime you have a company wilfully engaging in deceptive behaviour the likelihood is good that there'll be a confrontation of one kind or another, whether it be the types of efforts that Helen and Dave done, whether it be a State Attorney General action or whether it be action taken by regular poeple, the claims such as those made by McDonald's do lend themselves to having something, some kind of confrontation taken against them. When these were being made was as I said at a time that any company that could make any type of claim about the health-related aspects of it's food was doing so. I think it originally started out with a bunch of bran and other bran-related claims for cholesterol reduction but that soon burgeoned into a wide variety of health-related claims. Peoples' interest, consumers' interest in health aspects of what they consumed was at an all time high and McDonald's and the other marketeers were merely trying to play into that interest.

    See also:

  • Stephen Gardner's entire court transcript: First day of presentation
  • Stephen Gardner's witness statement
  • Trial News 1; Trial News 2 and Trial News 3
  • The Advertising section of Issues
  • McLibel Court Transcripts