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McDonald's Plaintiff Not Your Average McFatso
forbes ^ | Dan Ackman,

Posted on 01/29/2005 2:42:15 AM PST by freepatriot32

NEW YORK - McDonald's has so far prevailed in the lawsuits that have asserted it is partly to blame for its customers' bulging waistlines.

But a new lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco insists the burger giant has failed in its promise to move to a healthier cooking oil, and it is being brought not by fry-eaters but by Kathy Fettke, a "personal coach" and infomercial pitchwoman who "is living her dream by helping others live their dreams."

Fettke, who has also worked as a television host and actor--she played a bridesmaid in Flubber--is married to the similarly employed Rich Fettke, who bills himself as the "best-selling author of Extreme Success." She is also a holder of one of the International Coaching Federation's first Master Certified Coach credentials, an accrediting organization of which Rich Fettke was once vice president.

Kathy Fettke's lawyer is Stephen Joseph, founder of and counsel to BanTransFats.com, a San Francisco-based organization whose goal is the reduction and elimination of trans fats from all food products. It claimed a major success in suing Kraft Foods (nyse: KFT - news - people ) over trans fats in Oreos. But when Joseph dropped the California suit in May 2003, Kraft said it had been working on ways to remove trans fats from the cookies and already had a reduced-fat version on the market.

In the McDonald's (nyse: MCD - news - people ) case, the plaintiffs are not seeking monetary damages and said, "The lawsuit has nothing to do with obesity. Trans fats cause serious medical health problems other than obesity." Indeed they allege that according to the Harvard School of Public Health, 30,000 or more premature heart disease deaths are caused each year by trans fats. (Harvard did do a study on the effects of trans fats in 1994, but concluded that approximately 30,000 deaths "could be attributable" to the consumption of trans fats.)

McDonald's already announced in 2002 it would shift to a new cooking oil with half the trans fats by February 2003, but said operational difficulties have delayed the changeover. The company said it would not comment on the complaint's specific allegations because it had not seen the lawsuit and that it has reduced trans fatty acid (TFA) levels in its McNuggets and other chicken products.

"In February 2003, we made a broad public statement that the change in our cooking oil was taking longer than anticipated and would be delayed," McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa Howard told USA Today. "We continue to work hard to achieve our ambitious goals for reduction of TFAs in our cooking oil."

The lawsuit accuses McDonald's of profiting from its earlier announcement that it was about to cut trans fats, misleading the public. "McDonald's has made only a token attempt to inform its customers that it had not made the change to the new cooking oil. It has deliberately allowed the public to be misled...Meanwhile, it has been reaping millions of dollars in additional profits from customers who believe that they are getting the new healthier oil. If many of those customers knew that they had been duped, they would not eat at McDonald's," BanTransFats.com said in a statement. It wants the company to take more effective steps to inform its customers about its failure to make the change and that it in fact make the change to new cooking oil as soon as possible. Neither McDonald's nor BanTransFats.com was immediately available for comment.

An earlier lawsuit filed in a federal court in Manhattan by overweight teenagers was dismissed, though it may be re-filed. (See: "Judge To Fat Plaintiffs: Where's The Beef?")

It is not immediately clear how Fettke figures as the plaintiff in the case, but according to the Web site for her "reality radio show," called The Edge, there is little that Fettke is NOT concerned with. The show claims to give listeners "the edge" in their lives "with cutting edge information on how to make more money, create [their] dream career, enjoy optimum health, and become more successful in [their] relationships and overall life fulfillment." Cutting trans fats fits in there somewhere


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: New York
KEYWORDS: aclulist; activists; average; foodpolice; govwatch; mcdonalds; mcfatso; not; petafreaks; plaintiff; supersizme; tortrefornnow; veganfreaks; your
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with the overburdensome regulations by all levelsof goverment and the frivolous lawsuits you would just about have to be a masocist to start up and run a business any more in america
1 posted on 01/29/2005 2:42:15 AM PST by freepatriot32
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To: freepatriot32
Trial lawyers who sue like this should be ashamed of themselves, but they aren't.
2 posted on 01/29/2005 2:52:06 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: freepatriot32

Is she the one who they held a gun to her head and made her eat there?


3 posted on 01/29/2005 2:52:26 AM PST by gulfcoast6 (The Lord is my Shield and Protector)
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To: freepatriot32

Countersuit should be filed, and the lawyer who took the case directly targeted for discipline and possible disbarment.


4 posted on 01/29/2005 2:57:04 AM PST by ikka
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To: gulfcoast6
She is the one who thinks McDonald's coffee should be room temperature, never HOT!
5 posted on 01/29/2005 2:58:03 AM PST by endthematrix (Declare 2005 as the year the battle for freedom from tax slavery!)
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To: freepatriot32

I'll bet if Planned Infanticide (whoops I meant Parenthood) were being hammered with B.S lawsuits you'd go deaf with the call for tort reform from the libs. Unless you've got some sort of medical condition, it's simple. Push yourself away from the table once in a while and get some exercise. 30 lbs to go to hit my target, Atkins was a good start. I just got sick of the daily GI ruckus it was causing me.


6 posted on 01/29/2005 2:59:23 AM PST by SirLurkedalot (I'm back...with NEW and IMPROVED knuckle-dragging action.)
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To: gulfcoast6

She, her husband, and her counsel are getting what they want out of the idiotic lawsuit.....plenty of publicty for books and organizations. The lawyer for McD's should point out all of the obvious conflicts of interest in bringing the suit, and ask the judge to throw it out.


7 posted on 01/29/2005 3:00:54 AM PST by Liz (Wise men are instructed by reason; lesser men, by experience; the ignorant, by necessity. Cicero)
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To: SirLurkedalot
I lost 60 pounds on the Atkins diet, it works. Now i just don't eat anything white, rice potatoEs, bread, etc.
8 posted on 01/29/2005 3:03:27 AM PST by gulfcoast6 (The Lord is my Shield and Protector)
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To: Liz

There are so many who do this.


9 posted on 01/29/2005 3:06:29 AM PST by gulfcoast6 (The Lord is my Shield and Protector)
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To: gulfcoast6

I dropped my first 20 on it, but induction was literally kicking my can.


10 posted on 01/29/2005 3:10:50 AM PST by SirLurkedalot (I'm back...with NEW and IMPROVED knuckle-dragging action.)
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To: freepatriot32

The perfect Fettke family.

I think I'm gonna blow lunch.


11 posted on 01/29/2005 3:15:49 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: SirLurkedalot

I recently moved up on a small farm with my daughter and husband after my wife died. The work I do up here like a big garden, cutting the farm with my old 53 Ford tractor, cutting trees and brush, physical activity for sure 6 days a week and the diet has saved my life, at least I think so. I think my stoke and heart attack made me face facts as well. I am running on all cylinders now.


12 posted on 01/29/2005 3:18:37 AM PST by gulfcoast6 (The Lord is my Shield and Protector)
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To: SirLurkedalot

Oh, fast food, got off subject. When I would go into one of those places I would order a hamburger without bun, just meat and lettuce, pickles, etc. It would blow their mind but it worked, nothing wrong with a good burger, just without the bread.


13 posted on 01/29/2005 3:23:44 AM PST by gulfcoast6 (The Lord is my Shield and Protector)
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To: gulfcoast6

Some of the chains are offering that as an option now. Yep, nothing like a day working in the yard. When I did treework for a living is was pretty decent shape.


14 posted on 01/29/2005 3:27:55 AM PST by SirLurkedalot (I'm back...with NEW and IMPROVED knuckle-dragging action.)
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To: freepatriot32

People can't resist the Big Mac - it's not their fault. /sarcasm


15 posted on 01/29/2005 3:28:47 AM PST by Irish_Thatcherite (When Gays left the Closet, Conservatives took their place.)
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To: Irish_Thatcherite
You betcha, in the 60's the closet McDonald's to us was in Jackson, MS, we lived in Greenville, MS, Jackson about 100 miles from us. We had a Volkswagen and every once in a while would jump in the 'bug' and go just for the purpose of getting a burger.
16 posted on 01/29/2005 3:37:42 AM PST by gulfcoast6 (The Lord is my Shield and Protector)
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To: gulfcoast6

The VW wouldn't happen to be white and have a mind of it's own?


17 posted on 01/29/2005 3:46:39 AM PST by Irish_Thatcherite (When Gays left the Closet, Conservatives took their place.)
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To: Irish_Thatcherite
Nope, green and I was the boss. Convertible at that and that had a lot to do with us to travel as much as we did, for dumb reasons a lot of times but sure was fun.
18 posted on 01/29/2005 3:50:51 AM PST by gulfcoast6 (The Lord is my Shield and Protector)
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To: gulfcoast6

White is okay.

Cream, Cream Cheese and Mayonnaise are all fine. Sour Cream is pretty good on carbs but not as good as the others listed.


19 posted on 01/29/2005 3:52:15 AM PST by DB ()
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To: Irish_Thatcherite
And now I am off to watch the juveniles that host the weekend addition of Fox and Friends, they are terrible.
20 posted on 01/29/2005 4:01:32 AM PST by gulfcoast6 (The Lord is my Shield and Protector)
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