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"What's wrong with McDonald's?"

The McLibel trial, the longest case in British legal history, is a morality tale of our times. In 1990 McDonald's slapped writs on 5 London Greenpeace activists for allegedly libelling it in a leaflet titled "What's wrong with McDonald's?" 3 were unwilling to fight a legal battle. But the multinational giant had not banked on the dogged determination of Helen Steel & Dave Morris, who refused to apologise.

Denied a jury trial & ineligible for legal aid, they were forced to defend themselves, pitted against the top libel lawyers of the UK. This unlikely duo became the symbol of a burgeoning protest movement against the globalisation by corporations such as McDonald's. For 2 years, the trial ground through issues from employment, advertising to tiny kids, recycling & litter, to nutrition, animal rights, & deforestation. McLibel pitted 2 philosophies against each other.

The McLibel Support Campaign gre around them: lawyers, nutritionists, ex-McD workers, mothers, & teenagers all weighed in with financial & other aid. A website was set up: www.mcspotlight.org which gave millions access to the issues of the trial.

Judge Bell found in favour of McDonald's on some points, but ruled that McDonald's endangered the health of their workers and customers by "misleading advertising", that they "exploit children", that they were "culpably responsible" in the infliction of unnecessary cruelty to animals, and that they were "antipathetic" to unionisation and paid their workers low wages.

On appeal, the judges ruled that it was fair comment to say that McD employees worldwide "do badly in terms of pay and conditions" & true that "if one eats enough McDonald's food, one's diet may well become high in fat etc., with the very real risk of heart disease".

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Here is the hardcover book about the case. Written by John Vidal, "Guardian" journalist.

In tidy, clean condition with dust jacket. 326 pages, includes references, photos, & index.

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