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Taco Bell Beefs Up Response to Meat Lawsuit

Exactly what is in that Taco Bell Crunchy Beef burrito?
Exactly what is in that Taco Bell Crunchy Beef burrito?
Malcolm Bedell/FromAway

Taco Bell President Greg Creed told USA Today late Friday that his company is "retaining outside counsel" and is seriously considering a countersuit again the recent lawsuit that charges that his company's taco filling is only 35% beef.

As we wrote earlier this week, the class-action suit, brought by California resident Amanda Obney, asserts that the remaining 65% of the "beef" is actually various binders and extenders, including silicon dioxide, which is used to make glass, and the ever-mysterious "natural flavors."

Irvine-based Taco Bell, whose annual sales of $7 billion are in jeopardy, punched back by running "truth" ads in national newspapers today asserting its tacos are made with 88% USDA-inspected beef. The rest of the ingredients are water, spices and a mixture of oats, starch and other flotsam and jetsam that contribute to the "quality of its product," the company said, adding that it uses no extenders.

Whether they are "truth" ads or "truthy" ads may be up to a jury to determine. The attorney who filed the original lawsuit, W. Daniel Miles III of Montgomery, Alabama, declined to speak to USA Today on Friday. His law firm released a statement insisting the facts in the suit are correct. "We will try this lawsuit in the Federal Court in California, not in the press," the statement said.

(Disclaimer: This post was written by someone who, around age 10, unrolled her Burrito Supreme to inspect the innards and saw disturbing little gray orbs in the meat and has ordered her burritos without "beef" since.)


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