Oak Brook, Illinois--McDonald's Corp. has agreed to donate $10 million to Hindu and other groups to settle a lawsuit filed against the chain for mislabeling french fries and hash browns as vegetarian. The company also posted an apology on its Web site acknowledging that mistakes were made in communicating to customers and the public about the ingredients in the fries and hash browns. The vegetable oil used to prepare the fries and hash browns was not pure, but contained essence of beef for flavoring.
McDonald's was first sued over the fries in Seattle last year by three vegetarians, including two Hindus who don't eat meat for religious reasons. Lawsuits were subsequently filed in Illinois, California, New Jersey and Texas on behalf of any vegetarian who ate McDonald's fries after 1990, the year the company announced it would only use pure vegetable oil to cook fries. -Associated Press