The fast food giant Taco Bell is now facing a class action lawsuit for falsely referring to its taco filling as "seasoned beef" and "seasoned ground beef" when allegedly the mixture only contains 36% actual beef. Rather than seeking monetary damages, the lawsuit (pdf) demands that the company change their menu to reflect the food they are selling. And what exactly are they selling?
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a woman in California and the general public, argues that Taco Bell should refer to its product as "taco meat filling" (such an appealing name) instead of beef, considering it mostly consists of water and "extenders", which include isolated oat product, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate.
The USDA defines beef as "flesh of cattle" and requires that "Taco Meat Filling" contain at least 40% beef, so even to meet that minimum standard Taco Bell will have to make some serious changes. If Taco Bell wants to use the term "Ground beef" they should follow USDA requirements and include only chopped fresh or frozen beef that doesn't contain more than 30 percent fat, or include added water, phosphates, binders, or extenders.
At the very least the company should be honest with consumers about what they are serving.
Tell Taco Bell to stop misleading the public and accurately label their ingredients.
Photo Credit: Jason Anfinsen