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pixiegirl

Mcdonald's French Fries Not Safe?

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Richard, I wrote the last portion of my response without knowing your circumstances. I cannot imagine, in the most horrible depths of my thoughts, what losing a child is like, and particularly in the way in which you lost your daughter. I meant no hurt to you and no disrespect. Had I known what you had faced, I would not have written that.

You have faced more than the whole iceberg. What a tragic situation and I can't imagine the turmoil you must have faced during that time of decision-making. I am so sorry for your loss, and hope that the pain of that is easing. I have no perspective as to how it would feel. I don't think that, until you have experienced it, you can. I have two friends who have lost their children; They have told me that the pain eases eventually, but so far never goes away (one lost her daughter 5 years ago, one lost her son last year).

If I hurt you in any way with my comment, I apologize sincerely. No one in your situation should have additional hurt heaped on you, particularly in an on-line forum. I am very sorry. . . . Lynne

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You know, when it comes to food, marketing claims and everything else, I have yet to find a drug/supplement/fast food/ or any other business establishment that does not first blame the manufacturer, who in turn blames the supplier for misrepresentation and or label omissions and or falsities.

They all tell us “read your labels”, but as we have come to see, even the labels, facts and claims are incorrect. Cases are clogging up the legal systems all over the world, more so here in the United States. Perhaps this boils down to the fact that out of all the countries that make up this thing we call planet earth, the United States Consumers want the most information and the label laws are very lax in what they require and even in what they allow to “slide” through.

When it comes to the laws on the labels here in the United States, for every triumph we the people make, there is a legislator or lobbyist who has greased someone’s pocket or promises to support another bill on the docket if they will allow the right of “omission” to pass through. Why do we the consumers allow omissions? It is our voices that must make the journey for our own protection.

Correct me if I am wrong, but a claim must be backed with factual proof or the claim is not supposed to be allowed. If I went before a judge and told him that my French fries were gluten-free because Aunt Martha told me the oil was gluten-free when she sold it to me, the judge would laugh and ask me to provide him with proof that I tested the Oil prior to making the gluten-free claim.

However, in this case, McD is a large identity that made the claim on another persons “told them so” premise and is now trying to pass the buck. I’m sorry, but if you and I know better than to make a claim without checking into all the facts, why should we allow large corporations to make claims without doing the same?

So they got “caught” with yet another inaccurate product claim, it isn’t the first and I doubt it will be the last. You want to see a shocking movie into what happens and the dynamics of fast food, in particular McD’s? Watch the move “Super Size Me”. Did you realize that with the exception of five whole products, they lace everything with sugar? Yeap and they admitted that it is the sugar that keeps you addicted and coming back. This is a fact and a fact that they have been allowed to “omit” from their labels. Try telling this to the diabetics who frequent their establishments every day.

The person with your best interest at stake and not the bottom line of the dollar is YOU. And YOU need to make stands on things that are the most important to YOU! Why? Because only YOU know what is at stake and can see past the bottom line.

Reading labels is the first place we start, omissions are the place where we get sick and these companies know the daunting task of research is more than 99.99% of their consumers is willing to take on, so omissions are a part of a businesses make up. I for one took to boycotting companies like this with a track record of omissions and passing the buck. I am one small voice, but I joined in with many other voices and together we are getting louder and louder.

Care to add your voice?

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Seems like the press might be interested in this story. My brother is a News guy for a news station in NC. I sent him the "scoop". If he doesn't respond, I'll try to interest some other news outlets.

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I have still never gotten sick from the fries (and I am very symptomatic)...

In any event, I have read all of the posts on here -- I am going to side with Richard on this one for three reasons..

1. McDonalds still maintains that their fries are Gluten Free -- if that is correct, then this was nothing more than overblown hyperbole.

2. McDonalds was not required by the law to state that wheat was in their products until 2006 -- this may anger some of you, but understand this -- there is no standard in the US for gluten free right now -- every box, every product that you buy that says "gluten free" could have 100 g of gluten in it -- that is a fact.

It sounds as though McD's did their research (I am sure they had to do this after the "Vegetarian-French-Fry" scandal a few years ago. Since they have like 30 ingredients in their fries, I don't think they were trying to "pull the wool over the Celiac's eyes" by not mentioning wheat -- it sounds as though they thought it was so small (we are talking 1-2 parts per million) that it would not affect Celiacs.

Until we have heard differently, I would venture that MCD's has very good quality control -- a billion dollar company would know if they had gluten or not in their products -- it is possible to have wheat and not gluten...

3. Eating out at any of those places is a huge risk -- personally, I think it is next to impossible to escape a fast food joint without a crumb somewhere in your food (a crumb would be more gluten than what McD's states is in their oil)...

Feel free to agree or disagree -- It won't change my mind (unless one of you works for the company that tested the oil and can differ on the matter scientifically)

Form the parents of young Celiacs, I truly am sorry if your kids don't get to enjoy those fries anymore -- Kids' food is hard (even harder than for grown ups) to go gluten-free...

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I dont eat at mcdonald's, and even though it seems to be an issue with just McDonalds in the U.S., I still dont think I could ever trust eating there again...:blink:

I hope someone can get some real answers!

*hugs anyone affected*

~lisa~

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It doesn't have it listed on the page from the website, but if you click on the "printable" allergen pdf, it does list it...

Well, this changes my train of thought (is this an admission or are they playing it safe until they know "definitively"?????)......

Sorry about that, I thought someone earlier mentioned that the rep from MCD's was saying they were gluten-free still...

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It doesn't have it listed on the page from the website, but if you click on the "printable" allergen pdf, it does list it...

Well, this changes my train of thought (is this an admission or are they playing it safe until they know "definitively"?????)......

Sorry about that, I thought someone earlier mentioned that the rep from MCD's was saying they were gluten-free still...

ITs a browser cache problem. Make sure your reading the page dated 2/3/2006 if you not, you will not see the check under gluten.

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I agree with Richard -- these are the same fries they have always been. McDs obviously "announced" this in the quietest possible way, which I imagine at some point they might regret :) but that doesn't make it a deliberate lie; that's capitalism for you.

I don't understand, and am looking for two specific answers: How is it possible to "process" gluten out of the flavoring? And why -- if the fries were never gluten-free --- did neither my son nor my husband, both of whom are dramatic reactors--- ever react to these fries? My son probably has fries once a month, my husband less often.

Not trying to figure out a way to eat them, just trying to understand.

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Vincent -- I agree whole-heartedly. You are absolutely right on target. I had to call each pharmaceutical company for the medications I take -- the pharmacy wouldn't take responsibility for that -- in order to find out if my meds were gluten-free. GENERIC SYNTHROID produced by the company that was supplying it contains gluten. The medicine I was taking for my spasticity (I have gluten ataxia vs. celiac) contained gluten. The very thing I was taking to treat the SYMPTOMS of my disease was continuing to destroy my brain!

Throughout the process, however, I encountered the same "we don't know what our suppliers put in their products." I finally got so ANGRY that I was to the point that I said, "Well, call them, find out, then call me back -- here's my phone number. I expect to hear from you before the close of the business day."

I think that it is the responsibility of every company to KNOW what they're putting in their products. And I think it is their responsibility, as well, to be able to tell the consumer, on the spot, what ingredients are in / or not in their end-product. Your example of the potential ramifications if you went before a judge drove that point home beautifully.

I knew about the "vegetarian fries" when I was a kid working there -- they were 80% or so pre-cooked in lard when they got to the restaurant, so that all we had to do was drop them in the fryer for about 5 minutes. That was 1976. I don't know that they EVER disclosed that until they were busted!

I do think that this matter deserves press. I have a friend who is in the news business in Connecticut. I'll contact him, give him the forum and thread, and let him go to town! I'll also contact the local "healthcast" reporter here. Again, I don't want money from McDonalds, I don't want them to go bankrupt, but I DO want them to be held accountable for their actions and for them to admit it and to apologize for this. We'll see what happens. . . . . Lynne

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I agree with Richard -- these are the same fries they have always been. McDs obviously "announced" this in the quietest possible way, which I imagine at some point they might regret :) but that doesn't make it a deliberate lie; that's capitalism for you.

I don't understand, and am looking for two specific answers: How is it possible to "process" gluten out of the flavoring? And why -- if the fries were never gluten-free --- did neither my son nor my husband, both of whom are dramatic reactors--- ever react to these fries? My son probably has fries once a month, my husband less often.

Not trying to figure out a way to eat them, just trying to understand.

Well some ppl say that different ppl have different tollerence leves for gluten, some bash the heck out of that idea. Maybe theres just not enough gluten in it ot get about YOUR tollerence level.

My son (and I , but I have not tracked myself as close as I do him) have never _NOT_ had a reaction to thier fries. So I am not surprised by this info.

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broncobux-It is confusing. They are listing it as containing wheat and gluten, but when I spoke to the McD's guy, he said that even though there is wheat in the product (I was told the bouillion, but that it is not there after being par-fried, go figure) they are still listing it as gluten free. I told him that it didn't make sense, he said he could only give me the info he had.

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IT WAS ON CNN!!!! (okay, kinda....)

I have Headline News on-- they just ran a story about McDonald's french fries, and how the new labelling law requirements revealed that there is much more trans-fat in the fries than McDonald's was saying. You should have seen me yelling at my TV!

The "feedback" email address for HeadlineNews/CNN is:

www.cnn.com/feedback/tips/

I already sent one to them, but more might get them interested......

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broncobux-It is confusing. They are listing it as containing wheat and gluten, but when I spoke to the McD's guy, he said that even though there is wheat in the product (I was told the bouillion, but that it is not there after being par-fried, go figure) they are still listing it as gluten free. I told him that it didn't make sense, he said he could only give me the info he had.

ther are NOT listing it as gluten free. Make sure your reading the page dated 2/3/2006. There is a check under gluten for the freis. Thier reps might not yet know since it seems alot of you keep seeing mcdonalds old page. I am tempted to mirror thier page so you can see the current page (that will get around your broswers cache issue) but I think that would be a legal issue with their copy right.

http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_controller.nu...gens.index.html

EDIT THEY JUST UPDATED THE GLUTEN PAGE AGAIN. THE NEW VERSION IS DATED 2-7-2006 AND STILL HAS THE FRIES SHOW AS CONTAINING GLUTEN.

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Lynne,

I made a mistake in my last post not saying something like, "I'm sure you didn't know and therefore didn't mean any harm." I apologize. I reacted a little too strongly. We all worry about our children and I know you were scared to death when your child was so sick.

richard

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Vincent--I see it there, not only wheat, but gluten!

Exaclty, McDondals states the fires have gluten in them, as of the 2-3-2006 AND the 2-7-2006 updates. So if anyone thinks they dont, thats fine, but you wont catch me feeding thier gluten to my son!

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I should have clarified on my post---that was in reference to the man I spoke with on the phone, who said that because the suppliers have told them that the par-frying takes out the gluten (supposedly!), they are still saying that it is gluten free. They are just listing the wheat/gluten because of the new labeling laws, BUT they are maintaining it is gluten free.

I have seen the page that lists the ingredients including wheat, as well as the allergen page that "X"s wheat and gluten. I am not disputing that! I was just trying to express how McDonald's views it.

I'm just passing along what I was told

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I should have clarified on my post---that was in reference to the man I spoke with on the phone, who said that because the suppliers have told them that the par-frying takes out the gluten (supposedly!), they are still saying that it is gluten free. They are just listing the wheat/gluten because of the new labeling laws, BUT they are maintaining it is gluten free.

I have seen the page that lists the ingredients including wheat, as well as the allergen page that "X"s wheat and gluten. I am not disputing that! I was just trying to express how McDonald's views it.

I'm just passing along what I was told

So again, they are passing the buck to the supplier. If I understand correctly, they first stated that the gluten (from wheat) comes from the oil, yet wheat is not mentioned in the oil section, it is listed in the actual fry ingredients section.

As for me, I use Firefox as my browser, never went to their site prior to today and it still shows no indication that it is NOT gluten free.

If it does or does not, the fact still remains, the supplier is not making the gluten-free claim to Mc Donalds customers, Mc Donalds is making the claim to their customers. Granted, if I asked the young kid behind the register what was gluten-free, he might not want to rattle off that "Our fries contain wheat, our oil contains wheat, but our supplier of the oil told us that when we fry our french fries in their gluten containing oil, not only does the gluten from the oil not transfer to the fries, but it zaps the gluten out of the fries that we use to flavor them with".

But as many others have indicated, cross contamination is a large factor when dining out so I simply am very, very, very careful and to be honest, don't, except for a local dining facility I found last night where the whole menu is gluten-free and yummy.

I have stood behind the counter more than once to watch a young kid accidentally drop a fish patty into the wrong basket. The supervisors, if they notice have a time or two made an on the spot correction, but you don't see them draining all the oil due to fish contamination do you? Nope, and the first person with allergies to fish are going to get sick.

Again, it boils down to corporate responsibility here. If they have never been gluten-free, they should never have claimed they were gluten free in the first place. That is my only problem. Now unless McDonalds has tested their suppliers "theory" on gluten frying out and unless they have a physician and medical researcher who have studied people with wheat intollerance to determine what levels of wheat are safe across the board for all patients with wheat reactions, they have no business deciding for myself and my doctor what levels are safe for me. When I read gluten-free, I expect gluten free.

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