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16 Jan, 2012 13:49

McFury over McDonald's Russia lack of consumer information

Consumer rights advocates in Russia want the McDonalds fast food chain to come clean about what’s inside their products.

The Consumer Rights Association wants a Moscow court to force the American restaurant chain to give details of all the ingredients in its meals. The association says consumers are being misled and the company isn’t obeying the laws regarding the sale of ‘finished’ products. Analysis carried out for the Association shows the beverage sold in Russia as a ‘milkshake’ exceeds the mount of salt, sugar and fats. According to the Chairman of the Association of Consumer Rights Advocates Mikhail Anshakov, a “McMilkshake” is not a beverage which can be called a milkshake at all. “They do not list the ingredients of their products which is a strict requirement for organisations of the type they are registered as in Russia. Moreover, their products contain excessive amounts of several ingredients, which is why the product name is insufficient.”The Association isn’t looking for damages, but just wants McDonalds to obey the law like other restaurants. However, if the Association wins its case, McDonald’s could face a multi-billion dollar bill says Anton Safonov analyst from InvestCafe.McDonalds won a lawsuit related to the cost of the rent of its stores in the centre of Moscow back in 2010. The department managing Moscow’s city property claimed the price of one rouble or 31 cents per square meter was too low, but McDonalds proved to have a valid 20 year contract at that price. “Management will defend the brand image by saying what they are doing is international practice. However, since the Russian McDonalds works on the basis of franchising all changes in design or information disclosure can only be done with a permission of the parent company,” says Safonov.