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Key Ethical Issues Faced By McDonald's

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McDonald’s is the world’s largest chain of fast food restaurants that serving over 64 million customers daily in 119 countries worldwide. It was founded in 1940, it has been operating ever since 1948 where they opened their first small hamburger stand. McDonald’s sells a wide variety of fast food items such as, burger, fries, salad, and ice cream and aim to provide a ‘natural’ style with a particular emphasis on comfort; creating lounge areas, fireplaces and an indoor playground to attract children. There have been many critics questioning McDonald’s practices of its business throughout the world since 1980. Some of the key ethical issues that were faced domestically and globally were: environmentalist, child exploitation, nutritionists and health, and corporate social responsibility. These ethical issues were very important because being unethical towards these situations would cause the company to either lose a lot of customers or get sued by other corporate entities.

In the recent years, Nutrition and health seemed to be the most important issue to the customers, although McDonald’s had made some changes to their menu options beside hamburgers. The issue that arose were with respect to the menu that was being served. Which health critics continue to criticize the company for its high calorie burgers and fries that the majority see as a major health issue. McDonald’s has often purpose of creating a healthy menu for the customers but has often mislead everyone to think that their food is healthy and 100% organic, but in reality it is not. In this paper I will focus on nutrition and health issue that McDonald’s faces.

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Why is business ethics important in this case/company? Business ethics is important because it set’s the basic guidelines that govern good behavior within a business. Being one of the most widespread restaurant across the world gives them the utmost reason to perform ethically. However, keeping in mind with the concerns with regards to health, McDonalds have been warned with their menu items that are being sold, which was said to be unhealthy. With the increase on obesity and health issues many health critics are concerned.

In 2010, a mother filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s due to unethical marketing practices towards children. She believed that McDonald’s had invaded her children’s mind through deceptive marketing and claimed that McDonalds sells toys with the happy meal so that children would keep demanding to purchase a happy meal in order to collect their toys. According to Friedman’s theory of Individualism the company is acting ethically. The organization main objective is to maximize profits for the owner and the stakeholders.

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