Mc Donald's Legal Cases - Trademark and Copyright - Cases Brought Against McDonald's - Beef French Fries

Beef French Fries

Lawsuits were brought against the McDonald's Corporation in the early 1990s for including beef in its French fries despite claims that the fries were vegetarian. In fact, beef flavoring is added to the fries during the production phase. The case revolved around a 1990 McDonald’s press release stating that the company's French fries would be cooked in 100% vegetable oil and a 1993 letter to a customer that claimed their French fries are vegetarian. McDonald's refuted this. The lawsuits ended in 2002 when McDonald's announced it would issue another apology and pay 10 million dollars to vegetarians and religious groups. Subsequent oversight by the courts was required to ensure that the money that was paid by McDonald's: "to use the funds for programs serving the interests of people following vegetarian dietary practices in the broadest sense." There was some controversy in this ruling, as it benefited non-vegetarian groups such as research institutions that research vegetarian diets but do not benefit vegetarians. In 2005, the appeal filed by vegetarians against the list of recipients in this case was denied, and the recipients of the 10 million dollars chosen by McDonald's was upheld.

Further ingredient-related lawsuits have been brought against McDonald's since 2006. McDonald's had included its French fries on its website in a list of gluten-free products; these lawsuits claim children suffered severe intestinal damage as a result of unpublicized changes to McDonald's French fry recipe. McDonald's has provided a more complete ingredient list for its french fries more recently. Over 20 lawsuits have been brought against McDonald's regarding this issue, which the McDonald's Corporation has attempted to consolidate.

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