A California Superior Court judge approved a settlement between McDonald’s Corp. and Bantransfats.com which would require the former to pay a total of $10.5 million for failing to notify the public of a delay in its highly publicized plan to reduce trans fats in its foods. In February, McDonald’s agreed to donate a minimum of $7 million to the American Heart Association to advertise the negative health effects of trans fats, as well as pay $1.5 million to inform consumers of the chain’s efforts to make its foods healthier.
Bantransfats.com, a nonprofit organization, sued the fast-food chain in 2003, claiming that McDonald’s effort to publicize the indefinite delay in the trans fat-reduction plan was an insufficient notice to consumers. At that time, the court approved a payment of approximately $2 million for the plaintiff’s legal fees.
So far, McDonald’s has reduced the levels of trans fats only in its fried chicken products.