Yum!'s Taco Bell 'Meat' Prompts Lawsuit

(Taco Bell "taco meat filling" lawsuit report updated with further comment from Taco Bell president Greg Creed.)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. ( TheStreet) -- Yum! Brands' ( YUM) Taco Bell is facing a false-advertising lawsuit, and the fast-food chain is fighting back.


Taco Bell came under scrutiny after a class-action lawsuit was filed against it on Jan. 19, alleging that the Mexican-style fast-food chain does not put enough real beef in its tacos to accurately call the filling beef. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines beef as "flesh of cattle."

The class-action lawsuit, filed last week on behalf of Amanda Obney of California and which does not seek monetary compensation save for attorneys' fees and costs, claims that Taco Bell calls its products "seasoned ground beef or seasoned beef, when in fact a substantial amount of the filling contains substances other than beef."

Taco Bell responded to the suit Tuesday, saying it plans to take legal action against what it called "false statements" regarding the food it serves. The company later updated its statement on Wednesday, calling the lawsuit "bogus and filled with completely inaccurate facts."

Then on Friday Taco Bell launched an advertising campaign to "set the record straight," placing full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and other newspapers, along with online ads as well.

"Thank you for suing us. Here's the truth about our seasoned beef," the print ads read, following with an outline of their beef tacos' ingredients.

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