The McDonald's 'Beef Fries' Controversy
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"Hindus and vegetarians all over the world feel shocked and betrayed by McDonald's deception and ultimate greed."
- Attorney Harish Bharti, on filing the lawsuit against McDonald's, in May 2001.
"These are the ways the fries are made in the US, and we don't have any plans to change."
- Walt Riker, McDonald's spokesperson, in May 2001.
A Controversy Erupts
In May 2001, a class action lawsuit1 was filed against the world's largest fast-food chain McDonald's, in Seattle, US. The lawsuit alleged that the company had, for over a decade, duped vegetarian customers into eating French fries2 that contained beef extracts.
Activists also staged protests in front of McDonald's restaurants in south Mumbai and Thane. Mobs ransacked the outlet at Thane, broke the glass panes and smeared the McDonald's mascot Ronald with cow dung.
1] A class-action suit is a suit filed to protect the interests of group of individuals who are affected or may be affected by a perceived fraud or misconduct of a similar nature. The number of people could be as few as under 10 to millions. Typically, class action suits in the US drag on for years and very often parties settle out of court within the first year of filing.
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