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04/05/01 . By HARBAKSH SINGH NANDA . UPI . India
Hindu zealots throw cow dung at McDonald's
NEW DELHI, India, May 4 (UPI) -- Irate workers of right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party Friday threw cow dung at McDonald's south Bombay outlet protesting against the alleged use of beef in French fries sold by U.S. fast food giant.
The activists splattered the glass panes of the restaurant with the cow dung and shouted slogans against the fast food chain for using beef tallow in cooking French fries.
"The action of the restaurant had hurt the sentiments of vegetarians as also the Hindu community," the Press Trust of India quoted a BJP spokesman as saying.
"Our protest today was only symbolic. ... If the fast-food restaurant does not follow the required norms, we will demonstrate in front of all their outlets," he said.
Meanwhile, in a statement, McDonald's India said the French fries served by them in India do not contain beef or any other animal extract.
"McDonald's India categorically states that French fries that we serve in India do not contain any beef or animal extracts of whatsoever kind," PTI quoted McDonald's statement.
The company said that 100 percent vegetable oil is used for preparation of French fries during all stages of processing.
A vegetarian lawyer of Indian origin Harish Bharti has filed a suit against McDonald's in the United States, charging it secretly laced its French fries with beef fat.
Not all Hindus are vegetarian but they all consider cows as sacred animals. McDonald's doesn't serve any pork or beef products at any of its 27 outlets in India out of deference to the Hindus and Muslim population.
Bharti says that any vegetarian who ate the fries after 1990 -- when McDonald's said it would stop using beef tallow -- is eligible for damages.
Copyright 2001 by United Press International.
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