McDonald’s Corp.’s Happy Meal® meal selection consists of an entrée, a small order of French fries, a small drink, and a toy. In the early 1990s, McDonald’s began to aim its Happy Meal marketing at children aged one to three. In 1995, McDonald’s began making nutritional information for its food products available in documents known as “McDonald’s Nutrition Facts.” Each document lists the food items that the restaurant serves and provides a nutritional breakdown, but the Happy Meal is not included. Marc Cohen filed a suit in an Illinois state court, alleging, among other things, that McDonald’s had violated a state law prohibiting consumer fraud and deceptive business practices by failing to adhere to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act ( NLEA) of 1990. The NLEA sets out different requirements for products specifically intended for children under the age of four— generally, the products’ labels cannot declare the percent of daily value of nutritional components. Would this requirement be readily understood by a consumer who is not familiar with nutritional standards? Why or why not? Should a state court impose such regulations? Explain.
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