San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom planned to veto a city ban on toys being included in McDonald's "Happy Meals" that fail to meet health standards, but the veto will likely be overturned by the Board of Supervisors.
Newsom proclaimed his intent to veto the ban in a statement on Tuesday after the board passed the legislation by an overwhelming and veto-proof majority of 8-3. The board plans to override the veto, District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar said.
The legislation, sponsored by Mar, would disallow toys to be included in children's meals that exceed 600 calories and lack fruits and
vegetables. It would go into effect in December 2011.
"I am surprised that Mayor Newsom plans to veto the Healthy Meal Legislation, given his consistent support of healthy eating and active living through his sponsorship of programs like Shape Up San Francisco, Sunday Streets, and Soda Free Summers," Mar said today in a statement.
While many politicians view the ban as a coup against children being lured toward unhealthy meals by toys, Newsom said he sees the law as unnecessary government involvement in decisions that should be left to parents, a sentiment echoed by spokespeople for the McDonald's restaurant chain.
"We must continue to take steps to combat childhood obesity, a genuine health crisis in America, but this bill takes the wrong approach," Newsom said in Tuesday's statement.
"Parents, not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it comes to spending their own money," he said.
Newsom said that despite the legislation's "good intentions," it is an "unwise and unprecedented governmental intrusion into parental
responsibilities and private choices."