Taco Bell class action complaint withdrawn

Posted on: April 25th, 2011 by Steve Larson

A lawsuit aimed at forcing Taco Bell to stop calling the meat it serves “beef” has been withdrawn.

In January, an Alabama law firm filed a suit against the fast-food chain for false advertising, saying Taco Bell’s taco meat filling was only 36 percent of beef, made up of mostly chemicals, starches and powders.

Taco Bell, based in Irvine, Calif., said Monday the allegations were “absolutely wrong” and the lawsuit was voluntarily withdrawn by the firm that filed.

Taco Bell had spent nearly $4 million in advertising to counter the accusations of mystery meat, taking out full-page ads in at least nine major newspapers, and launching a television and online campaign that proclaimed its tacos were 88 — not 36 — percent beef.

Taco Bell said the other 12 percent was their “signature recipe,” comprised of water, spices, garlic powder, cocoa powder, sugar, citric acid, yeast, and “other ingredients.”

On their website, Taco Bell calls those other ingredients “tongue twisters,” and though they claim it’s easy to see a complete recipe list, it takes more than a little digging to find words like ‘maltodextrin’ and ‘soy lethicin.’

Taco Bell said it would not change any of its products or advertising. However, the firm that withdrew the lawsuit said Taco Bell already had made changes to its marketing and product disclosure.