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celiac disease Is Big Time News!
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I agree completely. The thing is, if you look at our television programming in Louisville, slimeball attorneys are every other advertisement on daytime TV. Now, the latest ad is that, because Personal Injury Protection coverage is a mandatory minimum of $10,000. Now, the ads are all saying "Have you been in a car wreck that wasn't your fault? You can get $10,000."

I'm sure those types of attorneys will be advertising about the french fries as well.

If the parents of that child DO get money from McD's, I hope that there is a trustee to oversee the funds. That way, the money will be used in the appropriate manner -- to ensure the better health of the child. I think that is a really good point.

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Nothing new to add, just my thoughts about it after seeing the story covered on Fox News in Orlando and reading everyone's posts. Having worked in the legal field for almost 20 years I can honestly say a lawsuit isn't the way to go. The only person responsible for what you put in your mouth is you. I realize we all get tripped up now and then but in all honesty if you keep getting sick after eating a certain item you should figure out it needs to be eliminated. Granted, I don't like the way McD handled the situation and I do feel a little bit betrayed but it's up to each of us to make the correct choice. I feel bad for this little girl and her family. I hope they start making responsible food choices for their daughter since she depends on them for this at her young age.This is only going to be dragged out for years and no one but the attorneys are going to see any big bucks. This reminds of the lawsuit where the lady sued McD b/c she spilled hot coffee on herself while driving.

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I am still confused. Aren't they going to do more testing to see if the oil contains gluten specifically? If the gluten was removed in the processing of the flavoring ingredient, then it couldn't be responsible for the kid's problems, and it is still gluten free. Sounds like they are jumping the gun, and the tests should be able to prove if the "agent" responsible for her problem was even present in the oil. I know we automatically jump when we hear the word wheat, but it's the gluten in the wheat that's the problem, so if the gluten's not there, what's the big deal? Someone, please enlighten me!!!

Lisa

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Wheat contains gluten, and you can't separate those out. McDonalds is claiming that they were told by the distributor that because their french fries are "Par-fried" -- meaning that they are partially cooked prior to being frozen and sent out to the restaurants, that the gluten is eliminated. There is no real evidence to back up that claim -- gluten doesn't magically disappear when heated.

With regard to the fries "causing" the child's illnesses -- well, that's another story. As we all know, celiac disease is an autoimmune disease -- you have to be genetically predisposed to some extent to developing it, the physicians believe that you have to have some kind of environmental "trigger" (usually a virus). In other words, the cosmic forces must be all (mal) aligned in order for you to develop an autoimmune disease. It's "iffy" at best that french fries caused celiac disease even if they were made entirely from gluten!

As for truly diagnosed celiacs / gluten intolerants -- that's again, another story. If these fries are fried in oil which contains gluten, then there is, to some extent, gluten in them. I don't know how many parts per million, but I'm not taking any chances!

Hope this helps clear some things up . . . I'm not the "guru" of celiac -- there are a lot of members on this board who are MUCH more educated about it than I -- but maybe this helps. . . . . . take care, Lynne

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Lynne--I agree with you. I don't want to beat a dead horse here, but we were never told how the gluten present in the oil is removed. We were just told that it was eliminated. The experts have assured us that the finished product is free of gluten, but I still don't understand how. I haven't said too much on the subject because I know next to nothing about food processing. Maybe there is such a process that gets rid of the proteins--I think it would help a great deal if we could know what it is and how it works. For myself, I keep such tight control over my diet and am so careful with every detail that I have any control over. Why would I then just take someone's word when I still have lingering doubts? That's just my personal feeling--

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Patti -- I agree. My initial thought is -- if cooking removes gluten, then why do we all have to cook gluten-free????

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Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, rye. It is an actual tangible object.

Through various processes (distillation, extraction, etc) gluten can be removed from a wheat substance. I drink Ketel One Vodka every once in awhile, but is made from wheat/grains -- through the distillation process, the gluten is removed.

Tarnalberry or Richard may be able to explain this further, but the gluten protein can be removed -- however, it cannot be removed by simply "cooking" it off.

I interpret McD's explanation as the oil has wheat/dairy "extracts" in the oil -- those "extracts" are added to the oil after the gluten has been removed (I could be wrong here, but that is how I read their explanation).

In any event, if the scientist from Nebraska said there was no gluten in the oil, I don't see how the family has a case. Furthermore, I am willing to bet a great number of people get sick at McD's from cross-contamination...

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In any event, if the scientist from Nebraska said there was no gluten in the oil, I don't see how the family has a case. Furthermore, I am willing to bet a great number of people get sick at McD's from cross-contamination...

Absolutely agree on both points. I was just saying that I didn't understand how the gluten was removed. I'm going to go back and read--again--what the Dr. from Nebraska said. Won't be the first time I missed something :ph34r:

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WHAT A BUNCH OF CLOSED MINDED PEOPLE!!!!

You should all welcome this family with open arms and lend support. NOT BASH THEM.

Maybe those bashing here -- are angry about other things. Think twice about someone else, that what's wrong with this country. People don't consider others, and only themselves. So think hard again about what your posting. I'm sure you'll send me hate mail -- Whatever -- but it show the type of person you really are.

POA -- Power of Attorney

As an attorney, I refuse to support a frivolous case.

What is more important? That one family might get rich from McDonalds or that 1 million people might lose chances to eat out at "gluten-free-friendly" restaurants because other restaurant owners are scared of being sued?? Pretty simple choice to me...

Think of others?? Tell the family to think of the rest of the Celiacs in the USA!

Sometimes lawsuits make it harder for everyone, not easier -- this is one of those times.

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Broncobux: Pretty funny, because I PM'd Richard and asked him to "help us out here"!!! :lol: Interesting that distilling removes it, but it makes sense -- in distillation, all you get is the "steam" portion of what you're "cooking". Also -- did you have a happy birthday???? . . . Lynne

Didn't know you are an attorney, but I agree with you wholeheartedly. What a crock . . .. .

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On the one hand, I am intrigued to see Celiac in the news, but I am disappointed to see it linked with a lawsuit, such as this. There are too many questions involved. Sure, McDonalds had a "gluten free" list published and fries were on that list. Who knows when they added the wheat/dairy parts in. Europe, for example, allows wheat starch in foods called gluten free, and since we still don't technically have a rule to follow in the US, I would think that would right there end the case.

Europe also allows a much higher occurance of gluten to be present in food, isn't it 200 ppm? Wheras Canada (I think, going by memory here) allows 20 or 40 ppm? And the US has no rule, yet? I wonder how many ppm of gluten, if any can be found in these fries? I have to agree, it is just as likely to be cross-contamination.

This might not be fair for me to say as I don't eat fries anyway (intolerant to nightshades) but I can't help thinking if someone is really as sick as the little girl in the lawsuit, why was she being fed McDonalds anyway? I can appreciate cost issues (fast food is often cheap) and people not being thoroughly educated about food/nutrition, but I am concerned about the ramifications of this case as well.

I am sorry for their suffering, and others on this list and beyond who have been sick from McDonalds fries. Maybe the good to come of this will be people making the decision to not rely on cheaply made, non-nutritive foods such as these and pursue healthier avenues of eating.

I know that's what my repeated bad food experiences eating out have done for me, and they've made me a better person. Several people in my office now get excited when I bring home made stuff in, they don't care if it's gluten free, they just enjoy the taste. And that's a good thing.

Stephanie

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I think you're right. I was talking with a friend of mine last night -- she's an Occupational Therapist -- the first words out of her mouth were "First, if the fries made her child sick, why did she keep taking her there? Second -- if she continued to allow her child to get sick, knowing that each visit made her sick, why isn't Child Protective Services involved?" Hmmmm....

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The parents should be charged with child endangerment or attempted murder, maybe even Munchausens by Proxy. They kept taking her there and feeding her greasy non nutritious food that made her sick.

Now, as the McD site says their fries "May contain Wheat or Dairy derivatives." That should be enough to make anyone with wheat and dairy problems stand clear.

As Broncobux said the cross contamination issue is probably even bigger.

I remember last year before my dx I did a rare foray to McD's for a hash brown. I saw them not only cook fries, hash-browns but the breaded fish sandwich all in the same fryer.So I would even debate the segregated fryer theory also.

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Yea--where those parents are concerned, gluten aside, why would they take a child to eat somewhere over and over, all the while suspecting that it was making them sick? I just don't get that. And given the fact that the child is a Celiac, it's all the more ridiculous.

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If you read these posts with an open mind I'm sure you can see that we are ALL concerned about others. We are concerned for everyone who is Celiac, or anyone who needs to be on a gluten free diet, we are concerned for those who will someday need to be on this diet, we are concerned for this family's little girl who will grow up and want more choices. Who are these people initiating lawsuits thinking about? Certainly not us. They are not concerned about the consequences of their actions. They see $$$.

I've tried to read all the posts regarding this subject so if I missed something, please don't jump all over me.

I don't know the details of this young child's lawsuit, however, I sympathize with him/her and what he/she faces in court. The lawsuit is good in that it makes people ACCOUNTABLE. People should not claim items are "gluten free" and "safe" for celiacs unless they know for certain they are.

Can't tell you how many times I've picked up an item labeled gluten-free, only to eat it, get sick, and then actually look at the ingredients and find vinegar (which I personally react to--distilled white in particular) or oats (which I understand is questionable) or spelt, etc. And yes, I've learned my lesson not to trust the gluten-free label and instead I read, read, read everything. It is difficult enough finding food safe to eat, but to trust companies who state that an item is gluten free when they know that it isn't, it is immoral at the very least, someday it may be illegal.

If the family is truly suing for monetary awards because of financial difficulties, then that is, of course, not good for celiac disease. Perhaps they should donate all proceeds to celiac research. Does any one know specifics of these suits? If they are just seeking medical expenses and not outrageous sums for "pain and suffering," then what is wrong with that?

On a personal note, having just made a trip to Florida in January, I worried about eating on the road, finding safe foods in restaurants, and taking enough snacks for the hotel rooms. I did my research on this site, online, and on the phone with restaurants. Since I don't normally eat at McDonald's, I looked up gluten free/ dairy free items on their site knowing that there would always be a McD's available at many exits on I-95 should I need a safety fast food choice. It said hashbrowns and scrambled eggs were gluten-free/DF, and I tried them on my second morning of travel. I got sick. Couldn't figure it out. I was so careful. I was scared to eat anything else for most of the trip. I became really, really picky and questioned everything at every restaurant. Was I extreme? I got sick while traveling, away from my comfortable home, stuck in a car for 1000's of miles, and seeking bathrooms. It was not fun. Having heard about the McDonald's lie about gluten free fries/oil problem, I can only wonder if. . .

In conclusion, I try to walk in another person's shoes before I judge them and their motives. Unless you are the person being affected and getting sick, can you really appreciate someone else's pain? Just my two cents.

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For the upteenth time....

They legally did nothing wrong.

I don't really think it's an ethics case, either. It's not like the report came out in the post one day that some former employee of McD's suppliers ratted them out for lying. The volunteered the information. And they volunteered it poorly, I suspect they'll be getting a new PR firm.

They don't even have to comply with the new law, it doesn't apply to restaurants, only those that sell prepackaged foods, like in grocery stores.

And they tested the fries immediately after changing their ingredients, and it still came up gluten free.

What you put in your mouth is your responsibility. There is risk in drinking alcohol for anyone, are you going to sue bacardi because you had a hangover the next day? Or because you're an alocholic and your liver is shot?

Also, I have yet to see a gluten-free product that lists oats as an ingredient. When a product says wheat free but doesn't say gluten free, it's usually spelt or oats.

I'm sorry you get sick from those things, but plenty of people get sick from places like McD's and they have no intolerances. There's just a lot of grease and other things that are bad for you that tend to make people sick.

Having gluten free options out is a privilege. Don't ruin it for the rest of us.

EDIT: I made it sound like I was their lawyer. I'm irked at how it was handled, but I don't think they had malicious intent. If they had, they would have hid it for as long as possible. McD's has never agreed with me, so I try not to eat there. I just hate how people are making this into a big money grabbing opportunity.

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Lawsuit = Less Places for us to eat

Its pretty simple...

Owners of restaurants will run for the hills rather than provide a gluten-free menu if they think they will be sued.

This lawsuit does nothing for our cause....absolutely nothing

In theory, it may make people accountable, but in reality all it does is prevent restaurants from offering gluten free food.

Nobody wants to be sued...

Also, McD's did not "lie" -- they were recently exonerated by the Doctor in Nebraska who tested the oil (it was found to have no allergens)

Cross-contamination will make you sick more often than not...

For long trips, pack a cooler with 10-15 gluten-free sandwiches, plenty of snacks, plenty of pop/gatorade.

Lastly, we are all Celiacs, we know what it is like to be "glutened" -- you don't see us suing anyone.

I think your heart is in the right place, but these lawsuits will/could have a "chilling" effect on restaurants throughout the country and their willingness to offer gluten-free items -- hence, if the family is willing to sacrifice that for their lawsuit, then who is really being selfish???

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For the upteenth time....

They legally did nothing wrong.

I don't really think it's an ethics case, either. . . . Having gluten free options out is a privilege. Don't ruin it for the rest of us.

Not a lawyer, but misrepresentation or false claims sounds legally wrong to me.

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McD did not show malice and intent to be misleading. They went by what they were told by the manufacturer of the product, they are not the manufacturer. They are loosely called a restaurant. These lawsuits will only cause problems for all of us in the future. If any restuarant does have a gluten-free menu get prepared to have to sign waivers before eating if these people win.

I am leaving for Jamaica in one week, I know for a fact that the person who booked all of the flights did NOT tell Air Canada about my dietary needs. So, I will bring fruit with me on the plane to eat on the trip. This way I won't be sick because of airplane food. Let's face it airplane food will make most people sick, especially on Air Canada.

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Not a lawyer, but misrepresentation or false claims sounds legally wrong to me.

To have false claims, you have to know that your claims are false. To misrepresent something, you have to actually misrepresent it.

They volunteered the information, they were not *exposed*

Also, there are no FDA regluations regarding gluten-free labelling, so companies go by the Codex standard. As has already been said, they were exonerated by lab tests showing the fries are gluten-free. Therefore, they made no false claims to begin with.

Knowing lab practices, I'm sure they took several samples from several different batches. Labs, especially academic labs, nearly always do more than one sample of anything.

Any lawsuit is going to be a joke, legally. But it will scare the bejeezus out of other chains.

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