Of course, not everyone can be pushed around or persuaded by McDonald’s.

“Though McDonald’s and its competitors could spare the health of millions in the years ahead, by losing the mascots, the toys, and other gimmicks that hook kids on unhealthy food for a lifetime, they are instead taking the low road,” said Kelle Louaillier, executive director of Corporate Accountability International. “But the public relations shell game is wearing thin with a public hungry for solutions and fed-up with spin.”

Unfortunately, either these threats from McDonald’s have gotten under Mayor Gavin Newsom’s skin, or the Mayor is just concerned about elections and popularity, because Newsom, a strong health advocate, has stated that he would veto the ordinance if it went through. At that point, the Board of Supervisors could overturn the veto but would need a vote of 8-3.

Regarding Newsom’s history and stance, Trevor Hunnicutt over on Huffington Post wrote:

Mayor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order earlier this year banning sweetened beverages like Coca Cola and Pepsi from vending machines on city property. Local leaders considered but ultimately abandoned laws recently that would have imposed a fee on businesses that sell sugary drinks and alcohol.

Newsom has slowed down in his support of some health measures after he was attacked by his opponent in next month’s lieutenant governor’s race, Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, for being the “food police.” Newsom vetoed the alcohol and soda fees, and he’s indicated he’ll do the same for Ronald McDonald.

Of course, Newsom’s representative, Tony Winnicker, had a very political response:

The mayor is always open to argument and evidence about a better way – he’s not ideological, he’s not wedded to one approach. This is not the time to be considering new fees and taxes that would put San Francisco at a disadvantage to other counties around the state.

We’ll see what comes of this story. The decision is a no-brainer to me, but I’m not a politician.

Good luck, San Francisco.

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