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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Judges Dismisses Key Parts of Gluten-free Lawsuit against McDonald's French Fries

    Celiac.com 06/08/2007 - On May 30th, federal judge Elaine E. Bucklo dismissed key parts of a lawsuit against McDonalds regarding the gluten-free status of their famous French fries.

    The case, In Re McDonalds French Fries Litigation (MDL-1784), was brought in February 2006, by two Florida plaintiffs on behalf of their autistic daughter who allegedly suffered ill effects from eating McDonalds French fries. At the time, the company claimed that the French fries were gluten-free.

    The lawsuit claimed in part that McDonalds "failure to disclose the fact that their French fries contained gluten constitutes deceptive, unfair, unconscionable, misleading and fraudulent trade practices," and that "McDonalds unfairly and unjustly profited from their conduct. The judge dismissed claims of fraud, breach of implied warranty, and a request for injunctive relief, but left intact two counts, breach of express warranty and unjust enrichment.

    In its arguments for dismissal, McDonalds claimed that most of the plaintiffs legal causes of action were barred as a matter of law. Basically, McDonalds asserted that the plaintiffs pled themselves out of court by arguing facts that undermined their own claim.

    The plaintiffs fraud allegations were rejected because they failed to meet the specificity required under the federal rules. McDonalds argued that the plaintiffs claim of fraud and misrepresentation failed to state how, when, or where the alleged misrepresentations took place. Federal Rule 9(B) of Civil Procedure requires that all claims of fraud be stated with particularity; otherwise, they face dismissal.

    Judge Bucklo rejected the plaintiffs claim for injunctive relief because she found there was no threat of future wrongful conduct. The company revised its web site in 2006 to show that its fries and hash browns contain gluten. Also, the publicity brought by the suit arguably eliminated any need for injunctive relief.

    The plaintiffs have 28 days to amend their complaint or the lawsuit will go forward based on the two remaining counts.

    health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

  • Related Articles

    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    The following is a post from Ron Hoggan - Q: I asked the doctor what an inflamed mucosa could mean and he shrugged and then added parasites, maybe? She was tested for parasites way back before her first biopsy (October 96).
    A: Have you tried eliminating dairy? Volta et. al. have demonstrated that 36% to 48% of celiacs tested were also intolerant to milk protein. Borner et. al. have demonstrated sequence homology, from the N-terminal, between casein and gliadin. The other three cited below are also identifying milk protein intolerances associated with celiac disease.
    Playing the odds, exclusion of dairy is most likely to help. But there are other significant dietary allergens that might be eliminated if a dairy free diet, in addition to the Gluten-free diet, doesnt help.
    Borner H, Isolation of antigens recognized by coeliac disease auto-antibodies and their use in enzyme immunoassay of endomysium and reticulin antibody-positive human sera. Clin Exp Immunol 106(2), 344-350 (1996)
    Hvatum M, Serum IgG subclass antibodies to a variety of food antigens in patients with coeliac disease. Gut 33(5), 632-638 (1992)
    Ciclitira PJ, Gliadin antibody production by small intestinal lymphocytes from patients with coeliac disease.Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol 89(2-3), 246-249 (1989)
    Volta U, Antibodies to dietary antigens in coeliac disease. Scand J Gastroenterol 21(8), 935-940 (1986)
    Ciclitira PJ, Secretion of gliadin antibody by coeliac jejunal mucosal biopsies cultured in vitro. Clin Exp Immunol 64(1), 119-124 (1986)

    Scott Adams
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1999;96:11482-11485.
    (Celiac.com 04/10/2000) Spanish researchers, including Dr. Alicia Armentia Medina from the Hospital Rio Hortega in Valladolid, Spain, warn that people who have cereal allergies should exercise caution when drinking cola or cocoa products as these beverages may contain cereal proteins. These proteins could cause a severe asthmatic reaction in rare instances. Cereal allergies are very common throughout the world, and it is difficult to know the formulation of cola drinks. According to Dr. Medina: It is possible that they contain cereals. In their study, which was presented to the 16th World Congress of Asthma in Spain, Medinas team analyzed the allergic reactions of nine people who suffered severe asthmatic reactions after drinking cola. The researchers linked their allergic reactions to specific alpha-amylase inhibitor molecules that originate from wheat, rye and barley, and were found in their drink.
    The researchers conclude: My personal opinion is that persons who know that they have a cereal allergy should be careful about consuming foods such as (colas) and cocoa that could contain cereal in their composition.

    Claire Atkin
    Celiac.com 05/28/2009 - Dr. MariaPorpora and her fellow researchers in Italy studied a woman backin 2003 who had chronic abdominal and pelvic pain, deep dyspareunia(pain while having sex), and dysmenorrhea (menstruation pain similar tocramps). When she came in to Dr. Porpora’s clinic, she also haddiarrheaand had lost five kilograms in the last six months.

    Her painwas so bad that she completely avoided having sex. She measured the severity ofher pain on a one to ten scale, with one being low and ten being high:

    Dysmenorrhea: 10 Chronic pelvic pain: 7 Dysapareunia: 10
    Shealso had a “normal cervix, a mobile, anteveted mildly enlarge uteruscaused by myomata (benign tumors), and the absence of adnexal masses(lumps in tissue near the uterus, usually in the ovary or fallopiantube).”
    The doctors werejustifiably confused, and even performed surgery tohelp relieve the pain, however, after six months her symptoms returned. She wasonly partially responsive to their “analgesic, antispasmodic, andantidepressant” drugs. She had no obvious gynecologic disorder.
    During subsequent examinations the doctors discovered an issue related to malabsorption, and the patient was tested forgluten antibodies. The results were positive, and the woman was put on a gluten-free diet. After one year on a gluten freediet the woman’s pain disappeared, along with her other symptoms offatigue, depression, and general intestinal issues.
    Accordingto this article, 40% of cases of pelvic pain in women have no known cause, even if they have been diagnosed with irritable bowelsyndrome or inflammatory bowel diseases. According to the doctors: “Celiac disease should betaken into consideration when a patient presents with unexplainedpelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, or deep dyspareunia if these symptoms areassociated with bowel disorders, even in the absence of a knownintestinal disease.”
    Reference: Obstetrics and gynecology 2002;99(5 Pt 2):937-9.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/25/2015 - Many people who are concerned that they may have celiac disease are not sure where to begin. Many people simply stop eating gluten and call it a day, choosing to avoid what can be a long, drawn-out process of getting an official diagnosis.
    If you suffer from any of the 10 Most Common Complaints of Celiac Patients, you might want to consider the possibility of celiac disease.
    Most doctors, however eager they may be to render proper treatment, are bound by clinical treatment protocols and guidelines that limit the circumstances under which they can order blood screens for celiac disease.
    So, when should doctors test people for celiac disease? According to the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) clinical guideline on diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease, people should be tested for celiac disease if they have:
    Signs and symptoms of malabsorption, including chronic diarrhea with weight loss, steatorrhea, abdominal pain after eating, and bloating.
    Or Laboratory evidence of malabsorption, particularly in people who have a first-degree family member with a confirmed celiac disease diagnosis. This includes associated nutritional deficiencies.
    Or A personal history of an autoimmune disease, or an IgA deficiency.
    Or Biopsy-proven DH, iron-deficiency anemia refractory to oral supplementation, or hypertransaminasemia with no other origins. It's interesting to me that the above guidelines don't match up very well with the top ten physical complaints of people who have celiac disease. Those complaints are: Osteopenia/Osteoporosis; Anemia; Cryptogenic hypertransaminasemia; Diarrhea; Bloating; Aphthous stomatitis; Alternating bowel habit; Constipation; Gastroesophageal reflux disease and Recurrent miscarriages.
    What do you think? Do doctors need to have more freedom to conduct blood screens when considering the possibility of celiac disease?
    Source:
    US Pharmacist. 2014;39(12):44-48. 

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