June 22, 1997 in Nation/World

Mcdonald’s Opponents Not Done Yet Despite ‘Mclibel’ Loss, Britons Continue To Hand Out Pamphlets

Associated Press
 

Anti-McDonald’s activists, including two who lost a marathon defamation case against the hamburger giant, handed out leaflets Saturday in a mass distribution of the same allegations that prompted the libel suit.

“We will keep handing out this document and any other documents that tell the truth about McDonald’s,” said Dave Morris, giving stacks of leaflets to passers-by in a busy north London shopping street.

Morris and co-defendant Helen Steel had lots of takers, after their “McLibel” fight generated enormous publicity.

Although the leaflets handed out Saturday are an abbreviated version of the pamphlet that prompted McDonald’s to file the libel suit, the accusations are the same.

The activists also offer a simplified children’s leaflet, telling them not to believe the clown Ronald McDonald, who is shown strapped to a beeping and flashing lie detector.

McDonald’s apparently can do nothing but wait for the waves of unwelcome attention to subside. “The allegations have been found to be untrue, so if they’re repeated people will know they’re untrue,” McDonald’s spokesman Mike Love said Saturday.

Justice Roger Bell ruled most of the statements in the original leaflets - called “What’s wrong with McDonald’s? Everything they don’t want you to know” - were defamatory and false.

But the judge also ruled key allegations were true and reduced the token damages.

The judge found McDonald’s responsible for animal cruelty, said it exploits children through its ads and pays British workers poorly.

Those findings attracted more publicity than the judge’s ruling that the activists wrongly defamed McDonald’s by falsely claiming it tears down rain forests, contributes to Third World starvation and serves unhealthy food.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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