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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

bluelotus

Mcd's In Chicago Tribune

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Hi all,

Just posted some info about this on another thread. The stuff said by the doctor interviewed for the article (link) is scary and inaccurate. 1) Just b/c someone with celiac didn't react to the fries does not mean that it is okay to keep eating them - some celiacs don't get physically ill from gluten and 2) the doc says the processing removes the gluten. I plan on emailing the author, and if others can back me up, I'd appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationw...nationworld-hed

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Okay, the doctor in question said:

"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."

McDonalds has not said how the gluten is supposedly removed. It is generally accepted that distillate does not contain gluten. So, is there distillation as part of the process? I really wish McDonalds themselves would issue a statement which clearly says what the process is and what evidence supports their claim that it eliminates gluten.

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I spoke with McD's last week. They said that their supplier claims that the gluten is removed, so I am not blaming McD's - please don't make assumptions here, and I'll do the same for you - don't mean to get snippy but I have been writing about this topic and following it for awhile and get frustrated repeating myself.

The supplier claims that frying removes the gluten. If this were true, why isn't this frying process readily available for other purposes? (someone suggested maybe we could use it for fried chicken....as a joke, but a valid point). Also, if it were gluten free, why isn't the product tested for gluten and if it is, where are the results? To address your point, the doc was making a comparison to vinegar, he wasn't saying that was the same technique used to remove the gluten. Several of us, again, have been told that they believe the frying removes the gluten, not some distillation process. Lastly, the doc said he didn't know of anyone having problems from the fries, obviously he did little research b/c a quick look at this board will show that quite a few have been made sick after consumption.

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What is the source of the information that the supplier claims that frying removes the gluten? I haven't been able to find a statement from McDonalds to that effect.

McDonalds has not said what process removes the gluten. Some folks on here have said the claim relates to frying or parfrying. The doctor quoted in the article mentions distillation. McDonalds, so far, is silent on what the process that they believe removes gluten is. I'm not prepared to accept that without an explanation of what the process is and what evidence supports the claim. But neither am I prepared to label it as absolutely false until I know the answers to those questions.

I have serious doubts about the claim. But no proof has been presented either to confirm or discredit the claim.

One thing we do agree on is that there are unanswered questions.

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Call McD's yourself then instead of lazily refuting my claims with no substantial input of your own. I called them last week; they are quite easy to get a hold of. Again, sorry for being snippy, but this discussion is irritating me, so I am done.

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Sorry you're irritated but McD has told others more than once that the supplier says processing removes the gluten, NOT that the frying removes it. This includes when I called. I think McD knows that frying doesn't remove gluten. Have you considered that perhaps the person you spoke with just had it wrong? Have you called back to see why you got a different answer than everybody else?

richard

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Like Richard, I did ask, but did not get a satisfactory answer. "The processing removes the proteins." I went to the websites, both in Canada and the US. I visited the local store and asked there (it is a corporate store, not a franchise). I obtained the nutritional information handout they had (dated February 2005). I called McDonalds and asked the rep on the telephone. Nobody would tell me what the process is. Maybe they don't know. Maybe they have been told not to say. I believe I have spent considerable effort trying to find the answer. I have not been successful, but it has not been due to laziness on my part.

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Keep in mind, the only hard facts that McDondals is willing to put in to writing is their statement that the fries contain WHEAT. They will not elaborate on anything else. If they realy did have a magic process to remove the gluten, the could have cleaned up all this mess long ago, but they have not. One has to ask , why not? Could it be they are hidding even more then we guess? :huh:

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Yikes!! Deep breath in and out all the way!! :blink:

I have never seen as much tension :o as McD's has brought. AND I DON"T GET IT! It will be okay as soon as they figure it all out. A corporation of their size is bound to make a mistake or two. The people behind the golden arches are just that... people :rolleyes: . They are allowed to be human and try to figure this out. I still don't get it all and I have been gluten free, to the best of my knowledge, for 2 years!! :rolleyes: It seems like there is always a twist that you need to give room for and adjust your thinking. ;)

Yes, you have the right to discuss it and the right to be upset, but don't they also have the right to try to figure it out?? I think - if there is a place that all of this energy should be going, maybe push for a true guideline from the FDA. Maybe then we can all get a grip. ;)

I am hoping that will all of these cute little dudes that I won't get attacked too much!! :lol::blink::angry::P:D;)B):ph34r::unsure:

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Call McD's yourself then instead of lazily refuting my claims with no substantial input of your own. I called them last week; they are quite easy to get a hold of. Again, sorry for being snippy, but this discussion is irritating me, so I am done.

I have no idea where this defensiveness is coming from considering the fact that Peter's post was nothing more than an objective observation that McDonald's seems to continue to be silent on this "magic process". I saw not one hint of an argument in his post.

Also, I think of all the people on this forum, I know for a fact that Peter has been doing more behind the scenes investigating and leg work than anyone in an attempt to get some answers for us, not only in U.S., but Canada also.

I for one thank you Peter for your objectivity - it keeps things in focus.

Hugs.

Karen

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I have no idea where this defensiveness is coming from considering the fact that Peter's post was nothing more than an objective observation that McDonald's seems to continue to be silent on this "magic process". I saw not one hint of an argument in his post.

Also, I think of all the people on this forum, I know for a fact that Peter has been doing more behind the scenes investigating and leg work than anyone in an attempt to get some answers for us, not only in U.S., but Canada also.

I for one thank you Peter for your objectivity - it keeps things in focus.

Hugs.

Karen

If McD's admitted that the french fries had wheat in them doesn't that make the gluten issue mute? On the list of foods that were safe and the ones that were forbidden, wheat was definitely on the list of forbidden foods. It was on more than one list of forbidden foods, and also my dietician told me that wheat was off of the list of foods that I could eat. Therefore, whether the ff had gluten or not, we could not eat them since they contain wheat? Am I right?

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Well, I think that's where the controversy is......

McDonald's stance is that through "processing" the wheat protein is removed, thereby making them gluten-free (my take on this is this is the "Covering Their Butts" aspect of their statement), yet, they go on to de-list the fries by taking them off the gluten-free list and officially adding wheat and dairy on their ingredient list. It's as if they want their cake and eat it too. Their covering their butts by claiming the fries, in their opinion, were always gluten-free, BUT, covering their butts by now adding wheat as an ingredient to comply with the new labelling laws.....

They have yet to make a concise, clear and definitive statement either way......

Karen

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If McD's admitted that the french fries had wheat in them doesn't that make the gluten issue mute? ... Am I right?

Yes, I think you nailed it perfeclty. :D

But as Karen states, McDonalds has calimed they have a magical fryer (the tell some ppl frier, some ppl processing) that can remove gluten from food. Upon question they refuse to give out any information on how this magical frier works, and offer no proof that the gluten is removed making it confisinng for some poeple.

For me, its cut and dry, Does Mcdonalds say there is wheat in the fries? YES. Then do not eat the fries.

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I am sorry for flying off the handle yesterday. I don't think of myself as being defensive, rather annoyed. Its happened more than once on here where I feel like I am repeating myself and that irrtates me to no end. But that was yesterday, whatever, its said and done.

I am also irritated by this entire situation as I am waiting to see what else is waiting in the wing - who else will reveal that they too may have traces of gluten in a product previously noted as gluten free? I agree that my anger should be directed at the FDA, but I'll leave that up to the lawyers. I work 60+ hours as a biologist and conservationist - I have almost no passion left for food/allergy/disease-related issues at this point and am feeling a bit jaded and just plain exhausted. Maybe I will just suck it up, become anorexic, and not have to worry about food again <_< (no offense to anna's - been there myself)

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I think this whole situation has just been very frustrating and trying for us all. It doesn't help that McDonald's has not come out with a detailed and definitive answer to explain their stance. Just stating "the gluten is removed during processing" just doesn't cut it for most of us. We're not a bunch of scientists here and we don't expect an overly scientific explanation, but a layman's version would be fine by us. The problem is, they haven't even given us that.....

I am concerned about Canadian McDonald's now. I have conflicting versions as to where the fries at our Canadian McDonald's come from. Could it be that Cdn fries also contain gluten but because we don't have the new labelling laws with teeth in them, we will never know?

Frustrating, indeed......

Hugs....

Karen

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Thanks for input, Karen.

And just as a side note, I called McD's and they couldn't tell me what processing removed the gluten, so you all were right. I have no problem admitting error, just repeating myself ;)

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In a way, I am kind of envious of you guys down in the U.S. You now have this new law that is going to make corporations "come clean", and you will learn the truth eventually. Up here in Canada, there are no such laws, and we are stuck with their word only.... To trust or not to trust, that is the question...... <_<

Hugs!

Karen

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In a way, I am kind of envious of you guys down in the U.S. You now have this new law that is going to make corporations "come clean", and you will learn the truth eventually. Up here in Canada, there are no such laws, and we are stuck with their word only.... To trust or not to trust, that is the question...... <_<

Hugs!

Karen

Well this is the ODD PART. McDondals does not actualy fall under this law as I understand it. It only applies to prepackaged foods.

As for Canada... I would assume they have the same fries since McDondals is very admanet about its frie recipe not changing.

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I'm the person that umm started this, well not this one.... but the entire McDonalds French Fries and gluten thing. I am sorry that its pissed a lot of people off (I'm certainly not sorry I posted it) but its better to have the facts then not have them. And I'm sorry that some people are angry that I've continued to post on it .

The story has turned up everywhere. I'm a stockbroker and doing research on Motley Fool I saw it's there too. And in the "Fool" article they made it clear that in their opinion they don't feel McDonalds is taking the issue seriously at all. http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2006/mft06021520.htm

Today I've search a bunch of different places, news and otherwise and I did hear that McDonalds was going to make a statement that their fries do contain wheat (and hence gluten). I don't know if thats fact or not but they are certainly taking a lot of heat and I feel they have to address this soon.

I posted elsewhere on this list... can't I go buy some fries and have them tested? Would that be expensive? Does anyone know where you would go to do that?

I still disagree with the people that say its not McDonalds fault but the fault of the oil supplier, another big company, Kraft buys their ingredients from suppliers all over the world, why is it that they are able to accurately label their food? Certainly I feel a company the size of McDonalds should KNOW what's in the food/ingredients they purchase, especially when they make allergy statements on their web site in regards to the potential allergens in those foods. Does that mean that all their allergy information could be wrong..... .that instead of asking their suppliers they just sort of guessed? Because my daughter has a peanut allergy, a life threatening one, and guessing about allergens sure doesn't work for us.

Just my current thoughts on this issue .

Susan

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I posted elsewhere on this list... can't I go buy some fries and have them tested? Would that be expensive? Does anyone know where you would go to do that?

If you live near a university with a food science department, you might be able to find a professor, or even a grad student, that might do it for you.

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