NEWS FLASH: John Banzhaf, a trial lawyer who pimps lawsuits against restaurants for their customers’ polyunsaturated transgressions, is apparently unscrupulous enough to fudge the facts about the lawsuits themselves.

Lately, Banzhaf has tried to justify his latest courtroom farce — and to soften up the eventual jury pool — by claiming that he has already won his “first fat lawsuit against McDonald’s.” Of course, this is not true at all.

A group of Banzhaf’s law students did win a $12.5 million settlement from McDonald’s last year, over charges that the chain’s famous French fries contained a tiny amount of beef tallow — rendering them less vegetarian-friendly than one might assume. Claiming that this outcome is a sign that juries are prepared to sacrifice the restaurant industry on the altar of obesity, however, strains credibility.

And now, apparently, Banzhaf himself agrees. Here’s what he said last week during a Washington, DC food policy conference, about that supposed first “fat lawsuit” that he claims to have already “won.” Notice how his tune changes when CNN isn’t around:

“[My law students] argued that McDonald’s failed to disclose that its French fries contained beef fat. Now, notice: this is not, first of all, an obesity case. I mean, this wasn’t the problem. We couldn’t prove that anybody got fat, or that anybody got sick. All we could say was that there were minute amounts of beef fat in it.” [click here for video]