Legal beef against Taco Bell's meat filling dropped
Wednesday 20 April 2011
The class-action lawsuit filed against Taco Bell alleging that the chain's meat filling is mostly binders and fillers has been dropped.
Alabama-based law firm Beasley Allen said in a statement Tuesday that the case has been resolved after "...changes in marketing and product disclosure were made by the company, allowing us to dismiss the case."
But Taco Bell tells a different story. In a decidedly more triumphant tone, the company statement said that the allegations were "absolutely wrong."
"After reviewing the facts, the lawyers for the plaintiff withdrew the lawsuit. No money or other value was exchanged between the parties," the release states.
The company also goes on to contradict claims made by Beasley Allen that they will change their procedures.
"...Taco Bell is not making any changes to its products or advertising," the statement added.
The lawsuit was filed in January on behalf of California resident and customer Amanda Obney, who said she was not seeking monetary damages, but instead wanted a court order for the fast-food company to be honest in its advertising.
Lawyers claimed that the beef filling contained only 35 percent beef, and that the rest was binders and fillers. The chain maintained that their seasoned-beef recipe is made from 88 percent beef and 12 percent seasoning and spices.
After the lawsuit made headlines, Taco Bell fought back in a highly public battle, spending millions on full-page ads in major newspapers across the US saying, "Thank you for suing us." The ads then provided a list of the ingredients, the first three of which are beef, water and seasonings.
The company ramped up their defensive attack with TV ads features real Taco Bell employees who shot back at the "talk" that their meat filling contained 35 percent beef and offered promotional deals to woo back lost customers in the fallout.
"This sets the record straight about the high quality of our seasoned beef and the integrity of our advertising," said Greg Creed, Chief Executive Officer in the statement. "... We took great exception to the false claims made about our seasoned beef and wish the attorneys had contacted us before filing and publicizing a lawsuit that disparaged our brand."
In addition to the US, Taco Bell has locations in Canada, the UK, Puerto Rico, Philippines, Spain, Cyprus and India.
Here's a list of Taco Bell's seasoned-beef filling:
Beef, Water, Seasoning [Isolated Oat Product, Salt, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Tomato Powder, Oats (Wheat), Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Spices, Maltodextrin, Soybean Oil (Anti-dusting Agent), Garlic Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Silicon Dioxide, Natural Flavors, Yeast, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Smoke Flavor], Salt, Sodium Phosphates. Contains soybean and wheat.
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