Consumer rights’ advocates filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s fast food chain in Russia. The lawsuit was filed at Moscow’s Tverskoy Court. The plaintiffs intend to oblige the company to indicate the complete list of ingredients on packaging, rather than the content of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Representatives of the Consumer Rights Protection Society claim that concealing the content of products the company violates the status of the retail outlet of finished products, not to mention the fact that it misleads consumers. According to experts, the range of milkshakes, which the chain sells, can not be referred to as “milk” under the Russian law, Adindex.ru reports.
Experts discovered the fat of vegetable origin in McDonald’s “milkshakes.” This drink, according to experts at the Institute of Laboratory of Nutrition, can be called “milk-containing” but not “milk”. The advocates of consumers rights do not demand any fines from McDonald’s. They only say the company should disclose information and redesign the product packaging. However, even this measure will entail multi-million costs for McDonald’s once the court upholds it.
The Society for the Protection of Consumers’ Rights reminded that in July 2012, the Federal Arbitration Court of the Moscow District issued a landmark ruling on the suit of McDonald’s against the Moscow territorial division of the Federal Tax Service. The court ruled that McDonald’s in Russia does not provide restaurant services. Instead, the court said, the company sells food products as a store. Therefore, the activities of the corporation should be taxed with 10 instead of 18 percent of VAT.
However, according to the Russian legislation, a store that sells food products (in this case the store also acts as the manufacturer of the food), unlike the restaurant, is obliged to provide all required and accurate information, including the information about the ingredients, food supplements, biologically active supplements, the information about the presence of the GMO, food value, purpose, conditions of use and storage of food, weight (volume), date and place of manufacture and packaging of food. The information about contraindications and indications for use at certain diseases shall also be provided on the product packaging.
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