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celiac disease Is Big Time News!


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#1 ms_sillyak_screwed

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:02 PM

Hi All! I've been jumping up and down in excitement... My dad found this in the local newspaper. This posting will be long, I'm going to post a few pf the articles here. My feeling is all of us in Florida and around the country need to get together to help this family and attorney it will end up helping all of us too.

WE SHOULD START A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT!!!!!

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http://www.sun-senti...,7938225.story

Jupiter couple sues McDonald's over daughter's illness

Staff Report

February 18, 2006

A Jupiter couple sued McDonald's on Friday, claiming its French fries caused their 5-year-old daughter to suffer epileptic seizures, ulcers and the autoimmune intestinal disorder Celiac disease.

In Palm Beach Circuit Court, Mark and Theresa Chimiak seek damages for claims of product liability, negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation and violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The Chimiaks' suit claims that McDonald's fries contain gluten despite representations by the restaurant that its fries were gluten-free and safe for people with gluten allergies.

Between 2004 and 2006, Annalise Chimiak ate fries from both franchise and corporate-owned McDonald's in Jupiter, the suit states. In addition to the McDonald's corporation, franchisee Jupiter Festival Ltd. also is being sued.

McDonald's had not yet been served with the suit Friday, said Andrea Knibbs, a spokeswoman for the Jupiter franchise. On Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported that McDonald's acknowledged that a flavoring agent in its cooking oil is derived from wheat and dairy ingredients.

Copyright © 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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McDonald's news fries parents of allergic kids

When a neighbor told Garmit Kaur that McDonald's had listed wheat--a taboo for her two children with food allergies--as an ingredient in its french fries, she flat-out didn't believe it.

"I was shocked when I checked the Web site this morning," said the Elmhurst mother. "I thought, that cannot be right because I'm very careful ... and it wasn't there a couple months ago."

But there was no mistake. At the end of a long list of ingredients--including partially hydrogenated soybean oil and dextrose--was the single offending line: "Contains wheat and milk ingredients."

To parents like Kaur, french fries had been one of the few "safe" items on fast-food menus. But on Monday, McDonald's acknowledged that a flavoring agent in the cooking oil used to make fries is derived from wheat and dairy ingredients, which can be off-limits to people with food allergies.

Still, physicians say there is no need to set off alarm bells yet.

The disclosure doesn't automatically put McDonald's fries on the forbidden list, according to Dr. Stefano Guandalini, a pediatric gastroenterologist with the University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Program. The disease, which affects 3 million Americans, interferes with the absorption of nutrients and is triggered by consumption of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

"When you process the ingredients such as wheat in order to derive flavoring, you leave the gluten behind," Guandalini explained, comparing it to vinegar, another product from grains that are neutralized by the distillation process. "We have never found any evidence that eating french fries is a problem."

The wheat and dairy disclosure, coming less than a week after McDonald's acknowledged its fries contain more trans fat than previously reported, was a consequence of a new Food and Drug Administration labeling rule that went into effect in January.

The rule requires the packaged-foods industry to report all common allergens, such as milk, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish and peanuts. As a restaurant operator, McDonald's does not have to comply but is doing so voluntarily.

A manufacturer with a food product that is essentially gluten-free can apply for an exemption to resolve the confusion, according to Michelle Melin-Rogovin, executive director of the U. of C. celiac disease program.

McDonald's says it is "committed to transparency" about its menu and the nutrition information it provides customers. "It's important to note that the oil, cooking process and ingredients in our french fries have not changed," said William Whitman, spokesman for the Oakbrook-based company.

Still, some people weren't taking any chances. The news ricocheted around the food allergy community, lighting up Internet message boards and unleashing a flurry of calls from parents who already feel as if they're tip-toeing through a minefield when it comes to policing their kids' diets. For some children, even a minute amount of an allergen can turn a birthday party, field trip or sleepover into an event freighted with anxiety.

"My e-mail first started going crazy Monday afternoon," said Sueson Vess of Wheaton, who runs a Web site for people who must follow a gluten and dairy-free diet, www.specialeats.com.

"It's very confusing. ... Just when you think you have the most up-to-date information, things change. It's like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall," she said.

It's not enough to merely take the bun off the hamburger, she said, because the mere contact of wheat with the patty can be enough to cause some distressing symptoms, ranging from hives to wheezing to gastrointestinal complications.

"I'm just so disappointed," said MaryAnn Lukas of Homer Glen, who has two daughters with celiac disease. "When they go out with friends, no matter what town they're in ... they can always go to the Golden Arches. Now what are they going to eat? The boxes? This leaves the hamburger, lettuce, tomato and some of the condiments."

Kaur, on the other hand, is taking a wait-and-see approach.

"This is something my kids will have to deal with the rest of their lives," she said. "You can't react to everything. ... If you do, it will just make you crazy."

brubin@tribune.com

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#2 VydorScope

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:07 PM

yep: http://www.glutenfre...topic=14304&hl=


As I sated in that thread I refuse to join the class action suit if it should come about.

*sighs* MCD could have aviod all of this with just a smarter PR person writing a press release before changing the website, something "FOR IMDEDIATE RELEASE: MCD has recently learned there is a risk that our fries have potential allergens from wheat and dairy in them and are working with the Univ of Neb to determine either way for sure. We are commited to the health and safty of our customers and will keep the public informed via this web site of our status. "

Somthing like that would have solved 90% of this.
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#3 tiredofdoctors!!!

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 03:41 PM

Boy, am I fence-sitting on this one. As a PT, I have seen SO MANY bogus lawsuits, that I have sworn that, in my life, I will not sue another individual nor a corporation. However; (you guys had to know that there would be a however :P ) I've been on what I thought was a gluten-free diet in order to reduce the damage to my cerebellum, retinas and peripheral nerves. I have continued to have worsening symptoms, and each time I went to the neurologist, my neurological tests were worse. It was humiliating to try to convince the neuro doc that I REALLY WAS adhering to the gluten-free diet when in reality, eating McD's fries 1-2x per week as my "treat" I wasn't. It's hard to convince someone you're doing what you're supposed to when you keep getting worse. Hence, my fence-sitting position.
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#4 Rachel--24

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 04:15 PM

I am not jumping up and down for joy about this. I've already stated why on the "class action lawsuit" thread. I dont feel this is going to help us at all. I think it will cause more harm than good. I would much rather see Celiac in the news under different circumstances.

A Jupiter couple sued McDonald's on Friday, claiming its French fries caused their 5-year-old daughter to suffer epileptic seizures, ulcers and the autoimmune intestinal disorder Celiac disease.


Its completely ludacris to say the fries caused their child to develop Celiac. I am against this law suit and would never think of joining it.
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#5 Carriefaith

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 04:28 PM

A Jupiter couple sued McDonald's on Friday, claiming its French fries caused their 5-year-old daughter to suffer epileptic seizures, ulcers and the autoimmune intestinal disorder Celiac disease.

They shouldn't have allowed their child to eat there if the fries caused that many problems. I ate MacDonalds fries a few times and noticed that they made me sick, so I didn't eat them again. Also, eating out is a hudge risk anyway.
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#6 Rachel--24

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 04:32 PM

They shouldn't have allowed their child to eat there if the fries caused that many problems.


Yeah...ummm DUH!
I'm wondering how they're gonna prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was specifally gluten in the fries that caused their child to have seizures and ulcers. I'm thinking that would be pretty difficult to prove in court.
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#7 ianm

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 05:53 PM

A lawsuit over this is NOT the kind of publicity we need. McD's did a lousy job of handling the situation and we should be looking for ways to help them get this straightened out. Nailing them to the wall for this is just going to create a backlash against us. FYI I have not eaten at a McD's in probably 10 years. Their food is crap gluten or no gluten.
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If all the world is indeed a stage and we are merely players then will someone give me the script because I have no f!@#$%^ clue as to what is going on!

What does not kill you makes you stronger.
Nobody cares about losers and quitters never win. If you fail with the cowards then what's the message you send?
Can't get it right, no matter what I do. Might as well be me and keep fu@$ing up for you. - Brian Thomas (Halloween, the greatest metal band ever!)

Ian Moore. Self diagnosed at 36 because the doctors were clueless.
Started low-carb diet early 2004, felt better but not totally gluten-free. Went 100% gluten-free early 2005 and life has never been better.

#8 Rachel--24

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 06:14 PM

A lawsuit over this is NOT the kind of publicity we need. McD's did a lousy job of handling the situation and we should be looking for ways to help them get this straightened out. Nailing them to the wall for this is just going to create a backlash against us. FYI I have not eaten at a McD's in probably 10 years. Their food is crap gluten or no gluten.


I couldn't agree with you more Ian. That was my point exactly on the other thread. This is gonna hurt us in the end.

Oh...I do agree that their food is crap (not healthy at all) but man...I love their food! It was my fav. place to eat before I got sick. Guess that tells you alot about my diet and how I ended up so sick huh. :ph34r:
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#9 mouse

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 06:19 PM

I agree that this is probably going to cause us more harm then good. I would hate to see a trickle down effect to the restaurants that provide us with gluten free menus or even the ones that provide information on their websites. I would never join a class action lawsuit of this nature. Besides, the report that McD's has commissioned from that university on an independent study is not back yet. Some people and attorney's see dollar signs and jump. I really hope this does not set us back as we are trying to move forward to get the dietary information out there.
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#10 tiredofdoctors!!!

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 06:40 PM

I agree about the more harm than good part, too. I also agree that these people are totally off the wall. All the defense counsel has to say to defend their client is that the child was genetically predisposed to celiac -- usually with autoimmune triggers, it takes a VIRUS to activate it, as well (in my case, I caught Coxsackie (sp? virus from one of the kids I treated -- they think that's what activated it, because I caught it late in life. (usually a childhood disease). In addition, I don't know if they can mandate genetic testing, but if the kid tests negative for Celiac genes, their case is down the tubes. Meanwhile, all the other companies are freaking out about labelling their products "gluten-free". It appears that these people saw the news, found a scumball attorney, and hit the ground running. That's kind of disgusting -- using your kid to get money.
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Lynne

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#11 Canadian Karen

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 07:35 PM

I hope it doesn't have a ripple effect.......

What if the companies who currently are supplying the gluten free market (foods, bread, etc.) decide it's just too risky. What if they think that as soon as they "slip up" accidentally (for instance a contamination issue), they are going to get their asses sued into next week. They just won't think it's worth the risk........

Or what if Kraft is watching this from the sidelines and their bigwigs decide declaring things gluten-free by having a gluten-free list for us to go by, or having the policy of disclosure of gluten, what if they think that the risk is not worth it, as soon as they make a mistake, they know they'll get their asses sued.....

ya never know....... Our lives are hard enough as it is, I hope this doesn't make it harder......

Karen
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Biopsy August 2006 confirmed complete villous atrophy despite being gluten-free for years and bloodwork within range showing compliance with diet. Doctor has confirmed diagnosis of Refractory Celiac Sprue.
Endoscopy also showed numerous stomach ulcers, have started taking Losec.

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#12 Rusla

 
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Posted 18 February 2006 - 07:48 PM

I would say that those people are looking for big bucks. Ever since the woman sued them for selling her hot coffee the money hungry world is bucking for a law suit. The thing is can they positively prove she is Celiac and tha,t it wasn't the dairy or the oil or something else that caused that reaction at that time.

However, the woman who bought hot coffee and then spilled it on herself. Then successfully sued them for selling her hot coffee was asinine. If you buy hot coffee you expect it to be hot. Eating out for us is risky and I have taken some of those risks, lucky for me without a lot of bad effects but I have had some.

When you roll the dice, you take the chance.
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#13 bluelotus

 
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Posted 19 February 2006 - 07:06 AM

They shouldn't have allowed their child to eat there if the fries caused that many problems. I ate MacDonalds fries a few times and noticed that they made me sick, so I didn't eat them again. Also, eating out is a hudge risk anyway.



Exactly. I stopped eating there myself after the first month of diagnosis - I never felt right after eating those things.

Rachel makes a good point too - the lawsuit won't help and puts us at risk of future legal issues. The lawsuit will only allow a few to benefit (if more money is considered a benefit <_< )(and some suffer) at the expense of so many others. Someone made the point before that we should be riding the FDA's butt on this, not McD's, they are the ones that have to establish some sort of legal context/definition.
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#14 plantime

 
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Posted 19 February 2006 - 08:22 AM

I will not join any lawsuits against McDonald's on this. Celiac is not caused by eating fries, and I fail to see how the fries caused ulcers and epileptic seizures. Sounds like the parents are trying to blame their child's illness on anything other than genetics!
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#15 tarnalberry

 
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Posted 19 February 2006 - 01:20 PM

I absolutely agree. A law suit, especially a class-action law suit, is not the way to go about this. McDonald's and their oil supplier may have been more forthcoming and cooperative if they weren't concerned about this very situation.
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