Is it fair that Maine citizens who count every penny trying to save money on the monthly food budget have to sacrifice physical health to financial concerns?
As part of recent healthy eating initiatives, many states, including Maine, have requested that nutritional information be posted on boards behind the counters of fast food restaurants.
It should be just as easy for Mainers to find information about the food they purchase at fast food restaurants as it is to buy food at the supermarket. Why does it matter? It matters because Maine families are as affected by the nutritional content of the food they consume as they are by the cost of that food. Maine residents are justified in fighting food content misinformation and fraud that is linked to diabetes, heart disease and the nation’s obesity epidemic.
How can legislators in Augusta, and civil lawyers for justice throughout the state, help Maine citizens obtain the information they deserve to make correct choices on the healthiest food to buy in tough economic times? One way is through legislation that requires the information be made available. The other way is for Maine’s lawyers who specialize in consumer justice to take on powerful food industries make inadequate or deceptive disclosures of potential health risks involved in consuming certain foods. Food industries that mislead Maine consumers through advertisements that omit important nutritional information do so at their own risk.
In other states, McDonald’s Corporation has been called to answer for deceptive practices, negligence, and a failure to warn consumers of the harms of ingesting food at McDonald’s restaurants, particularly where minors are involved.
Maine consumers have a right to make an informed choice about what they spend money on for food. They also have a right to know the nutritional value of the food they put into their bodies and their children’s bodies.
By Eliza Stoll and Alison Mynick
Copyright 2009 Briggs & Wholey