Legislature’s new restrictions cause McDonald’s to pull toys from Happy Meals
BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
At least two Rockland County McDonald’s, and possibly more, have pulled toys from Happy Meals due to a law passed by the Rockland County Legislature this summer intended to protect the public from toxins. New City and Nanuet McDonald’s confirmed with the Rockland County Times that they are no longer including toys in Happy Meal packages due to the law.
The New City manager said he believes the change is permanent, while the Nanuet manager said he believes it is only until different toys that complied with the regulations came in. When the bill was passed by the Legislature in mid-July County Executive Ed Day vetoed it, stating it would have an overly broad application.
“While this bill makes a genuine attempt to address the safety concerns of toxins in toys, the ambiguous restrictions proposed in this law are either ridiculously expensive or completely unenforceable,” Day argued. “Without any basis in established science, this bill cannot mitigate the potential health risks associated with the use of everyday children’s products, especially in the most vulnerable neighborhoods.”
Day said, read literally, the law would outlaw nature itself, as trace amounts of the banned substances are omnipresent. It
remains to be seen if other stores will pull toys due to the law.
Parent John Pawelczyk of New City said he was surprised when he visted the New City McDonald’s and was told the restaurant would only hand out small books due to the law. “How much of a nanny state are we living in,” he questioned.
The Rockland law goes well beyond federal standards regulating substances such as arsenic, lead, mercury and benzene. Day also has noted that car seats may be pulled from shelves due to the law and warned the county could face a lawsuit over it.