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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">McDonald's Corp. is close to settling lawsuits filed by several vegetarians last year who accused the burger chain of deliberately concealing the use of beef extract in its french fries.<br><br><br><br>
A confidential draft of the proposed settlement offer calls for McDonald's to pay $10 million to charities that support vegetarianism, issue a public apology and form an advisory board to counsel the company on vegetarian dietary issues. Another $2.4 million would go to plaintiffs' attorneys.<br><br><br><br>
The settlement would end an embarrassing episode for McDonald's over one of its most popular menu items, the skinny french fry. The agreement would cover lawsuits in five states, including Illinois, that were filed on behalf of any vegetarian who ate McDonald's fries after 1990 in the belief that they contained no meat.<br><br><br><br>
That was the year the Oak Brook-based company began saying its fries were cooked in "100 percent vegetable oil" instead of a combination of beef tallow and vegetable shortening. The change came to appease cholesterol-conscious fast-food diners.<br><br><br><br>
Based on the company's marketing of the switch, the plaintiffs contend they assumed that the fries were a vegetarian product, not knowing that McDonald's continued to add a small amount of beef tallow to its fries for flavoring.<br><br><br><br>
McDonald's says it never made any claims about the vegetarianism of its fries, but it also did not fully disclose the use of the beef extract. In its nutrition brochures, the company described the ingredient as "natural flavor."<br><br><br><br>
The plaintiffs argue that some of the chain's restaurant employees were not even aware of the beef flavoring and told them the fries were vegetarian. Three vegetarians in Seattle, including two Hindus who don't eat meat for religious reasons, were the first to file a complaint last May. Suits in California, Illinois, Texas and New Jersey followed.<br><br><br><br>
Under the proposed agreement, the 12 named plaintiffs in the five pending cases would each receive $4,000.<br><br><br><br>
But not all the plaintiffs are pleased with the offer. A formal settlement has yet to be filed with the court.<br><br><br><br>
"Given how long the window of deception was, $10 million is a pittance," said Cherie Travis, of Downers Grove, who filed a suit in Illinois. "McDonald's made a lot of money telling people that the fries were vegetarian."<br><br><br><br>
Travis was so unhappy she fired her attorney, Jason Shanfield of the Chicago firm Edelman, Combs & Latturner, last month. Three plaintiffs in Texas also dismissed their attorney last month. Shanfield declined to comment.<br><br><br><br>
McDonald's would not discuss details of the deal Wednesday. The company "has been working in good faith to resolve this matter," spokesman Walt Riker said. "It was purely unintentional, and we have been working to address this issue in a positive way."<br><br><br><br>
According to the draft, McDonald's does not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the agreement.<br><br><br><br>
The terms call for McDonald's to donate $6 million to vegetarian organizations, $2 million to Hindu or Sikh groups, $1 million to promote children's hunger relief and another $1 million to support kosher dietary practices.<br><br><br><br>
McDonald's also will publish an apology in at least six specialized publications, including Veggie Life, Hinduism Today and India Tribune. Travis said that the apology is not a big concession from McDonald's because the company posted an apology on its Web site last May for causing culinary confusion over the last decade.<br><br><br><br>
She also is not happy with the advisory board because, she said, "there's nothing that binds McDonald's to any of its recommendations."</div>
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<br><br><br><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/printedition/chi-0203070371mar07.story?coll=chi-printbusiness-hed" target="_blank">http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...business%2Dhed</a><br><br><br><br>
Thanks to JasonSpaceman for posting a link to this article in another thread. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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wildfyre does have a point to an extent in my opinion.<br><br><br><br>
but what about mind control and powers of persuasion that most people buy/fall into?
 

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I am saying that society, commercials and advertisements can make people buy anything through the power of persuasion, even religious hindus who normally wouldn't buy fries.
 

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lol. tame your right. I guess maybe we are thinking that since that hindus consider the cow sacred they wouldn't contribute to the businesses who sells them as food.<br><br><br><br>
in defense of them I was saying that, maybe they were influenced to buy the fries.<br><br><br><br>
I think this is turning into an abbott and costello type of thread <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Why are the religious Hindus on second base? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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I don't like McDonalds, and am glad they are suffering due to the fry thing, but anyone who is a strict vegetarian for any reason would'nt have eaten those fries. It did say "natural flavorings" and that can be anything. If it is that important to be that strict, read the label and ask questions, right?<br><br><br><br>
I knew they weren't vegetarian long ago, and stopped eating them. Why didn't these other people? Furthermore, if you are that strict, you just don't go to places run by teenagers, either. Kids don't care if a piece of cheese falls into your burrito, etc. I have found "surprises" in all kinds of restaurant food, most of it very minor and par for the course. McDonalds does not market itself as a safe place to eat for vegetarians.
 

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Thalia, regardless of wether or not it says "natural flavorings" if you ask and they tell you that they are vegetarian then you should be able to trust that. And this doesn't apply just to vegetarians, you can make the arguement that ethical vegetarians shouldn't be eating there and that may be true but what about people with allergies? Something like this could have very easily hurt someone. If you ask, they should tell you. If they don't know, they should say they don't know and/or find out.<br><br><br><br>
Even after the lawsuit I had my 12 year old sister call the two McDonald's in town (she didn't believe they had beef tallow) and ask. I thought this would prove me right. I was shocked when they both told her no and left me looking like an idiot.<br><br><br><br>
I rarely ate at McDonald's before that and haven't gone at all since then. It really pisses my sister off too because she always wants to go. Kids. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:">
 

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Well, that is definitly a good point. I forgot about the employees saying they were vegetarian. (Is there a legal definition of vegetarian? probably not.) So I agree only that they are culpable in that their employees need to be better trained. However, if I had allergies, I wouldn't trust the word of a 15 yr old behind the counter.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by WyldFyre</i><br><br><b>Religous Hindus shouldnt be giving any money to McDonalds in the first ,second ,and third place.</b></div>
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I think it is a cultural factor. Those Hindus come from a country where vegetarianism is the norm, not the exception. As a result, when they move to the USA, they are extremely naive about the ingredients in the "vegetarian" food they eat. In fact, there are McDonalds in INdia that serve veggie burgers and never had non-veg fries from the very beginning.<br><br><br><br>
The Hindus see french fries as vegetarian because it is a vegetable and they do not understand the concept of beef tallow and "natural flavoring". That kind of stuff is alien to them because it would never have been tolerated in India. They do not understand how much meat-eating has been institutionalized in the USA and would have been very shocked to find out that a lot of supposedly "vegetarian" products they eat are actually non-veg. In other words, they were not sufficiently paranoid about the foods they eat.<br><br><br><br>
Fortunately, they are beginning to catch on and are becoming sophisticated like us. The Jains in this country are at the leading edge and in many Jain conventions they now serve vegan food only. After this McDonalds fiasco and the associated publicity, I'm sure more and more Hindus will start to become suspicious about the ingredients in the foods they eat and will avoid establishments like McDonalds in the future.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Thalia</i><br><br><b>I knew they weren't vegetarian long ago, and stopped eating them. Why didn't these other people? Furthermore, if you are that strict, you just don't go to places run by teenagers, either. Kids don't care if a piece of cheese falls into your burrito, etc.</b></div>
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Thalia,<br><br><br><br>
Not every veg is as sophisticated and informed like us. These people have been vegs from the day they were born but they just didn't understand how institutionalized flesh-eating is in the USA. I mean, the non-veg ingredients in the foods are not exactly publicized or even revealed, are they?<br><br><br><br>
If I see a grilled cheese sandwich, I avoid it because the cheese may be non-veg. But to an uninformed veg, the cheese would be vegetarian and that person would have a hard time understanding the concept of rennet and stomach lining. I mean, it is inconceivable for that person that something like cheese and fries can be non-veg. I should know - I have tried to explain this to recent immigrants from India but they just don't understand or accept it. It's too alien for them.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><i>Originally posted by Michael</i><br><br><b>Not much new info but fairly interesting...<br><br><br><br><a href="http://tartan.web.cmu.edu/97/14/forum/2814.asp" target="_blank">http://tartan.web.cmu.edu/97/14/forum/2814.asp</a></b></div>
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Yes, very interesting, indeed. This is the kind of information that is hidden from the consumers who will remain ignorant as a result. Organizations like PETA should focus more of their efforts on educating the veg community on the deceptive practices conducted by the food companies. This form of ingredients censorship should be eliminated and the FDA should force all food companies to list the origins of their ingredients (animal, non-animal, nuts, dairy, etc.).
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><br><br><br>
Wednesday, March 26, 2003<br><br><br><br>
McDonald's settlement list final<br><br><br><br>
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER STAFF<br><br><br><br>
McDonald's has 30 days to make payments, after a Chicago judge yesterday approved a final list of 23 vegetarian, Hindu, kosher and children's organizations that will split $10 million from the global hamburger hawker.<br><br><br><br>
The money is part of a settlement deal reached last year in a class-action lawsuit accusing the fast-food chain of representing its french fries as vegetarian while continuing to add beef extract for flavoring.<br><br><br><br>
Three Seattle residents -- a Hindu, a Sikh and a non-Hindu vegetarian -- were named plaintiffs in the suit and will receive $4,000 each, according to Seattle attorney Harish Bharti, a Hindu who filed suit against McDonald's in 2001. Hindus believe the cow is sacred and do not eat beef.<br></div>
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<br><br><br><a href="http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/114153_tl126.shtml" target="_blank">http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/114153_tl126.shtml</a>
 
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