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10 Most Absurd Lies Told By McDonald's CEO

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Breaking The Chains page.

Last week at McDonald's annual shareholder's meeting, CEO Don Thompson got caught off-guard when a team of 15 advocates, led by Corporate Accountability International, descended upon corporate headquarters to question the fast food leader's relentless exploitation of children and communities of color.

Leading the way was Tanya Fields, executive director of the BLK ProjeK and mother of four. In her dramatic  statement, Fields described her neighborhood in the Bronx as a "food swamp filled with corner stores and fast food," noting that with three outlets within walking distance of her home, "McDonald's happens to be the biggest alligator in that swamp." She concluded: "Sorry, but four apple slices in plastic packaging won't cut it."

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson's response was to ignore Fields altogether and instead give the usual cheerleading speech about all the great things his company was doing. Then he took questions, and the fun really began.

Here are the top 10 lies told by Don Thompson during the Q&A session:

In response to 9-year-old Hannah Robertson (read her statement):

1) "First off, we don't sell junk food, Hannah."

Where to even begin? A quick look at the  menu belies that statement, while this "big breakfast" item packs more than 1,000 calories: half a day's worth.

Thompson tried this spin more than once:

2) "We sell lots of fruits and veggies at McDonald's and we sell side salads for a dollar on the dollar menu."

In 2011, McDonald's made a big deal about how it would automatically include apple slices in Happy Meals. Considering that McDonald's is now the single largest purchaser of apples in the nation, that may qualify as "lots of fruit." Then again, the company is also the single largest purchaser of both beef (a billion pounds a year) and  potatoes. I suppose Thompson would count fries as a vegetable?

While it's true McDonald's sells a side salad on its dollar menu (one of 13 items), if you only have a one dollar to spend, what's the likelihood you would choose a small salad over the 310-calorie "grilled onion cheddar burger"?     


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