With the expansion of McDonald's into many international markets, the company has become a symbol of globalization and the spread of the American way of life. Its prominence has also made it a frequent topic of public debates about obesity, corporate ethics and consumer responsibility. As a prominent example of the rapid globalization of American fast food industry, McDonald's is often the target of criticism for its menu, its expansion, and its business practices. For example, in 1990, two British activists, David Morris and Helen Steel, distributed leaflets entitled What's wrong with McDonald's? on the streets of London. McDonald's wrote to Steel and Morris demanding they desist and apologize, and, when they refused, sued them for libel in a case known colloquially as the McLibel case.
In 2001, Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation included criticism of McDonald's' business practices. Among the critiques were allegations that McDonald's (along with other companies within the fast-food industry) uses its political influence to increase their own profits at the expense of people's health and the social conditions of its workers. The book also brought into question McDonald's advertisement techniques in which it targets children. While the book did mention other fast-food chains, it focused primarily on McDonald's.
In 2002, vegetarian groups, largely Hindu, successfully sued McDonald's for misrepresenting their French fries as vegetarian. Morgan Spurlock's 2004 documentary film Super Size Me said that McDonald's food was contributing to the epidemic of obesity in society, and that the company was failing to provide nutritional information about its food for its customers. Six weeks after the film premiered, McDonald's announced that was eliminating the super size option, and was creating the adult happy meal.
Anthony Bourdain on his show, No Reservations, has criticized McDonald's among other fast-food restaurants for its culinary blandness. In 1999...
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