In June 2004, the United States Department of Agriculture, with the advisement of a federal district judge from Beaumont, Texas, classified batter-coated French fries as a vegetable under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. This was primarily for trade reasons. French fries do not meet the standard to be listed as a processed food.
In 2002, the McDonald's Corporation agreed to donate $10 million to Hindu and other groups to settle lawsuits filed against the chain for mislabeling French fries and hash browns as vegetarian, because their French fries and hash browns were found to contain beef extract added during production.
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