Fast-food chains resist curbs in LA

Nov. 12, 2010 at 12:13 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles fast-food business is fighting a city crackdown, saying it offers jobs and opportunity in poor neighborhoods.

A City Council committee will soon take up the Planning Commission's proposal to limit new fast-food establishments in 40 square miles of south and southeast Los Angeles, minority neighborhoods plagued by obesity, the Los Angeles Times reported

Lobbyists have been working City Hall, making the case that McDonald's, Burger King and their like bring jobs, management training and entrepreneurial opportunities to many disadvantaged people in those same communities.

"These fast-food franchises are often a ladder if not an elevator up the socioeconomic ladder for folks," said Daniel Conway of the California Restaurant Association. "These companies are trying to bring jobs and tax revenue to this area."

At a trade group retreat this week, he said, "We were ... trying to figure out how we wound up on the front lines of the culture wars. We're trying to feed people, and here we are in the cross-hairs every single day."

Starting next year, major chain restaurants in California must list calorie counts of items on their menus.

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