Ananova reports that a group of British Members of Parliament has come under fire for going on a free trip to see the Euro 2004 football tournament, courtesy of McDonald's. The group of 17 MPs ― 16 Labour and one Conservative ― includes Alan Simpson, who recently called for a tax on fast food. The £20,000 trip comes just days after MPs called on the Football Association to drop McDonald's as a sponsor. According to the Sunday Mirror others in the group include Trade Minister Gerry Sutcliffe and Ed Owen, a close ally of Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
The MPs, part of the All-Party Parliamentary Football Group, are paying the face value of the two matches they are seeing, which include the highly prized England-France match. The cost of the flights and four-star hotel accommodation is being split by McDonald's and the Portuguese authorities. The MPs are reported to be playing a charity game of football against Portuguese politicians, from which McDonald's charities will benefit. Dr Steve Watkins, of the British Medical Association's public health committee, said:
“For members of parliament to allow their names to be linked to promote fast food is seriously irresponsible."The IPKat feels that, whatever the health impact of their products on Britain’s obese youth, McDonald’s can hardly be blamed for using brand sponsorship to maximum commercial and political effect. At present, only cigarette sponsorship of sports events is strictly regulated, but there must be plenty more things that are bad for your health: will the sports be discouraged from taking their money too?
McDonald’s here; I’m lovin’ it here and here; I’m not lovin’ it here, here and here
Things that are bad for your health here, here and here