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Lawsuit Filed In California Court Over Taco Bell Beef

IRVINE (CBS/AP) — An Alabama law firm claims in a lawsuit that Taco Bell is using false advertising when it refers to using “seasoned ground beef” or “seasoned beef” in its products.

The meat mixture sold by Taco Bell restaurants contains binders and extenders and does not meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be labeled as “beef,” according to the legal complaint.

The class-action lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in the Central District of California by the Montgomery law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles.

Attorney Dee Miles said attorneys had Taco Bell’s “meat mixture” tested and found it contained less that 35 percent beef.

The lawsuit on behalf of Taco Bell customer and California resident Amanda Obney does not seek monetary damages, but asks the court to order Taco Bell to be honest in its advertising.

“We are asking that they stop saying that they are selling beef,” Miles said.

Irvine-based Taco Bell spokesman Rob Poetsch said the company denies that its advertising is misleading.

“Taco Bell prides itself on serving high quality Mexican inspired food with great value. We’re happy that the millions of customers we serve every week agree,” Poetsch said. He said the company would “vigorously defend the suit.”

The lawsuit said that Taco Bell’s “seasoned beef” contains other ingredients, including water, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent and modified corn starch.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • Where's the beef?

    Anti dusting agent?

    • Steve Herrick

      Keeps the meat from clumping together and balling up. Used in salt and if you ever buy shredded cheese in the store it is covered in a similar product.

      • EdC

        …from Taco Bell’s website: Soybean Oil (Anti-dusting Agent) How horrifying. Amazing how many sheeple react to these bogus lawsuits and news-stories.

      • Justin Hardin

        Actually, that’s cornstarch on shredded cheese.

      • Dan S.

        yeah EdC, you are right. the sheeple shouldn’t expect more than 35% beef in any product labled beef. Are you Rob Poetsch in disguise?

      • David

        people who eat fast food are disgusting.

    • bojack


    • Aunt Bee

      “I don’t even butter my bread; I consider that cooking.”
      – Katherine Cebrian

    • miranda

      anti-dusting? What are you anti-vampire?

      • Mat

        miranda, you are aware that Rob Poetsch is not Rob Pattinson right? and also that Rob Pattinson is not acctually Edward Cullen, right?

      • Nicholas John Lodge

        LOL Nice Mat!!

      • Solo

        Actually, “dusting” is a Joss Wheadon Buffy reference, not Twilight. The BTVS Vamps “poof” into dust when killed. Tho, I could be wrong, as I avoid psedo-vampire riddled twilight like the plague.

    • jawbone

      The most common anti-dusting agent I’m aware of it sunflower oil. Added at the rate of perhaps one part per 300, it prevents fine particles from escaping during processing.

      • jawbone

        “is”, not “it”

      • Pilot.dave

        Its like saying “80% fat free” – most people don’t think “WOW, a serving of 20% FAT” LMSO – So, its 65% “Other ingredients” – always knew my Taco needed and oil change ;-)

  • Aunt Bee

    “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”
    – George Bernard Shaw

    • JAG

      “The notion that persons should be safe from extermination as long as they do not commit willful murder, or levy war against the Crown, or kidnap, or throw vitriol, is not only to limit social responsibility unnecessarily, and to privilege the large range of intolerable misconduct that lies outside them, but to divert attention from the essential justification for extermination, which is always incorrigible social incompatibility and nothing else.”

      -George Bernard Shaw

      • KipNoxzema

        It’s time for your nap, JAG. The real nice people in the white coats said so.

      • DSImon64

        Shaw makes an important point here; that the greater basis jusitfying the imposition of capital punishment is social control rather than social responsibility. The advocates of capital punishment would rather that we not discuss this clear truism . . . but Shaw never really cared that much about what other people wanted him to do.

    • gabe

      WWWWWhat!!!! That is the silliest quote I’ve every heard, and am shocked someone would choose to spread it.

      My Parents’, and Grandparents’, love for me and my Siblings, my love for them and my friends, and my sister and her husband’s love of their daughter, and any parent’s love for the their children pales in comparison to George Bernard Shaw’s love of food. I mean what’s not to love about food, it’s food, you eat it and then flush it, and eat it, and flush it, and eat it and flush it. It’s like saying the love for air is more sincere than family bonds.

      GBS, and Aunt Bee must be lonely orphans, that or the jokes on me, which I suspect it is. But please, love your children more than a taco.

      • baron

        the last sentence is frame-worthy.

      • RN

        I don’t know . . . if it’s a really, really good taco with real meat, and it doesn’t talk back to me and do things like replace his sibling’s shampoo with maple syrup, I’m having trouble making up my mind.

      • Steve

        Oh please: it’s just a witty quotation. It’s not meant to be a scientific analysis.

      • Viet Vet

        Beef people, beef is the subject here, not philosphy or quotes!!!

    • nrnvjnls

      Shaw certainly didn’t love people, at least he loved something! google Shaw/eugenics and see what he really was like.

      • Aunt Bee

        I agree … just using a quote.

        911essentials is an introduction to the New World Order Central Banking Police State, its plans for one world government and their worship of the pseudoscience Eugenics.

      • Hasta Mahn

        Wow, sounds like Shaw was a common sense person.

      • Rod Rescueman

        True, but no worse than Margaret Sanger. However she’s practically worshiped by feminists.

  • Bobby McKellar

    Not real beef??!! I wouldn’t have ever guessed (rolling eyes)!! Lol!

  • LoneWolfArcher

    Dear Taco Bell, why not just seasoned beef? Sheesh

    • phlogiston

      Corn starch is cheaper. It’s also used in much of the yogurt products. One ounce at a time, dear Jesus. It sure adds up.

  • Sandy Lester

    Leave my Taco Bell alone. These people really need lives. What a bunch of angry little pests they are.

    • Nikki

      They have lives… that they are trying not to shorten by eating at the death trap you refer to as your Taco Bell. Eating such cheap quality ‘food mixtures’ says a lot about how you view yourself. I think it’s really sad.

      • Tom


      • Ignoramous

        How dare you?! I will have you know that Taco Bell is the restaurant of champions! In all seriousness, I think it’s really sad that you have to put on elitist airs when people talk about where they like to eat. It’s funny to listen to people who have bought in to the nutrition-nazi nonsense. Food is food; if you eat “highly nutritious” food, your body will only absorb what it needs. The rest is flushed out. You would be surprised how little nutrition your body actually needs. Now who is foolish for purchasing cheaper food?

      • jesse

        im sure u r just perfect in what u put in your body. Its called a choice hunnie. leave us alone.if we all lived at our parents house at 30 maybe we can all shop at whole foods for over priced foods that are so called healthy.

    • ali

      You have to be kidding! You would really eat that horrible tasting beef after knowing what’s in it? I didn’t like the sauce they used, but understand now it was to cover up the other ingredients. Many people are allergic to some of these fillers, and they should have made this public years ago. Sue their pants off for deceptive advertising. Now I wonder if the beans are real? Geez, now I know why I hate eating at fast food places besides the taste. I have always suspected Arby’s uses this sort of stuff in their beef sandwiches. Enough eating krap for me.

      • Merms

        Jamie, they’re still using meat slurry to produce the beef portion anyway so why are you defending taco bell? the issue that i see here isn’t about the percentages of what goes into their sloppy joe mix, it’s about the quality control of the franchise. when they say they’re serving quality beef they’re flat out lying, the beef used at taco bell could possibly pass as utility and even at that point is bellow the standards of many pet food companies. Taco bell is cheap, but it’s also trash.

      • Stupid Liars

        All you people saying “If it were 100% beef, it would just be other fillers” have ZERO idea what you are talking about.

        BEEF is the tasty edible meat on a cow. Beef is not filler. Bones, cartilage, organs, these things ARE NOT BEEF. If something is 100% beef, it means 100% beef, and NO FILLER.

        You’re a bunch swarmy little liars.

      • malory

        ali, taco bell tastes good according to a huge percentage of the American population, sorry to break it to you. also i would much rather eat TVPs than gross bits and pieces of the cow….i would even prefer sawdust to cow eyes, no offense to anyone who enjoys those….

        oh and “krap” is spelled with a ‘c’, not a ‘k’.

      • Jamie

        100% beef would mean they’d use other types of filler.. beaks and hooves, tongues, eyes. would you rather have that? the fact is that the filler you people are so horrified over is similar to TVP (textured vegetable protein) – it’s used in almost all the vegetarian meat substitutes like Boca. The fact is that vegetable proteins are cheaper than meat to grow, harvest, store, and produce. Using 100% grade-a beef mince in your 99cent taco would raise it to a $2 taco, or close to it. They made a fiscally-reasonable decision that most likely every fast food restaurant on earth has also made.

        And this vegetable filler in the meat is actually healthier for you than the actual meat.

      • Justin Hardin

        How does Taco Bueno sell 100% beef tacos for $1 then?

      • Mike

        I don’t eat their tacos because they cost .99 and you can’t make a wholesome taco for .99 even mass produced. If they charged $3 per taco and used better ingredients, I would be eat their regularly.

      • JMart


        100% beef would mean they’d use other types of filler.. beaks

        Beef beaks?

      • Derpenherp

        > How does Taco Bueno sell 100% beef tacos for $1 then?

        Easy. Steer testes and cow eyes are made of 100% beef.

      • Lorie Stories

        No Jaime it is not healthier.
        Some people are allergic to soy products. And if you have Thyroid problems DO NOT EAT SOY. The United States is enamored with soy products which can cause breast cancer and feminization of males. (unelss is is fermented) The Asians use soy sparingly not in every product. Look it up on

      • rank

        TACO Bell has been really placing ipeople with wheat allegies, or even worse Celiac disease, in serious jeopardy. Those fillers could be deadly to those people. TACO Bell could be facing legal action now that the truth has been revealed.about the fillers they use in what they advertise as beef.

      • George B. Shaw

        I like it better now! I might be having Taco Bell for dinner!

    • Marco

      If people like their tacos, whats the fuss! Jamie has some good comments, except for the part about BEAKS and Hooves. If Taco Bell has cow BEAKS in their tacos I will protest, just like I would if they were using chicken Nuggets in tacos. Cow Beaks are well known to peck out ones eyes!

  • mike

    anti dusting agents …. do they also do windows?

  • Edguardo

    No wonder I couldnt make them quite like Taco Bell at home with my one hundred percent real ground beef.

    Theirs has the consistancy of soupy hot slop while it simmers before they apply it to probably a thirty five percent corn tortilla shell.

  • Babatunde

    The best dusting agents I’ve ever eaten! Even better than the ones my older brothers forced fed me when I was 6.

  • OhRatts

    I had always just assumed that Taco Bell served Grade F meat (mostly circus animals with some filler).

    • Lerrel Reller

      beaks,claws and anus=filler

      • steve

        haha you said anus filler

      • dsuds

        omg steve; hilarious!

    • mistery meat

      I just want to tell you that you made me laugh with your comment, thanks.

  • Kevin Stowell

    It’s people!

    • Joe

      Soylent Green

      • jed

        No, Soylent Brown!! Ever wonder why their bean burritos look like soiled nappies?

  • Kris

    I was told by someone who worked there that the packages that contained the “beef” were labeled “taco filling.” Hmmmm

  • Anon

    Welcome to Taco Bell, can I take your order?

    Hi, I’d like 2 Anti-Dusting Agent Chalupas, 2 maltodextrin tacos, a modified corn starch quesadilla, and a diet coke.

    Do you want sauce with that?

    No, thank you.

    That’ll be $14.95, drive to the next window.

    Thank you…

    • Pete Arnold

      Actually, that would be closer to seven dollars. If it was all beef, it would be closer to ten.

      • jed

        Dude, real steak tacos across the street from the Caca Bell in my town at the local actual (not inspired) Mexican taco shop: $1.79!!!!

        Learn some real comparative economics!!

    • Jim Galyean

      Anon …your a hoot….

  • Vik

    So what..? Stupid liberals get a life ..

  • Jim Nazium

    What??? They charge you 49 cents for a taco and don’t use REAL beef? What a ripoff!!!!!!!!!!

  • hungry jim

    And I wouldn’t eat there because of all the rice filler… I guess it was the dusting agent making me fat.

  • Obamafail

    Anti-Dusting Agents? Must be part of Janet Napolitano’s Homeland Security Department…

  • samihami

    I am so glad I gave up Taco Bell (and all fast food) as a new year’s resolution.

  • Vik

    I am sure that Name might be alittle biased … What exactly is that give me the real names.. Another dumb ” news ” article .. I am sure that the lawyers used that name.. Asians eat monkey brains and dogs who eat who knows what.

  • Alan

    Soylent Green!

    • jesse

      ya right > its people !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bojack

    Don’t call it seasoned beef if it’s only 30% beef and the majority is sawdust, floor sweepings, Cha wow wow nuggets, chicken feathers, re-cycled cardboard and such!

    • Bill

      I though liberals like recycling? What’s the problem ;)

  • Matt

    They are just using a very high proportion of SEASONINGS!

    That’s what thinking outside the bun does.

  • Rick Booker

    does Soylent Green ring a bell? LOL LOL LOL

  • Eric

    Look, I’m not much to support lawsuits… but only 35% beef? 65% “filler” or unknown? yeah, that -deserves- a lawsuit. If we were talking 10% fillers, hell maybe even 50% fillers I might be able to shrug it off but at 35% they’re not even close to being real beef anymore.

    • Yirmin

      I would agree… at some point you really shouldn’t be allowed to call it beef.

      Would it be fine and dandy if it was 65% pork and 35% beef? would it still be okay to call it beef?

      Now I know how they managed to make those 2 dollar meal deals, it was spiced up card board.

      • Whitey

        The 35% of beef that is in the mix is tits, tales and touch holes -Yum

      • DeeGeeTX

        no that’s called meat loaf.

        seriously, almost all ground beef patties sold as such contain fillers the processors are NOT required by law to list. I have to be sooo careful with almost any beef. I now buy meat from 4_H kids that I know their feed, etc. – and have it processed to MY specs. Chickens too. Read the labels – now its up to 10% water injected into them, sodium along with “other preservatives” – YIKES

        And now they are after our “organic” food supplies.

    • ali

      That’s why the USDA defines what you can call “beef” as having at least 35% beef in to. Some people are completely misunderstanding this lawsuit. IT IS AGAINST THE LAW to call it ground beef if it has less than 35% beef. I would hope everyone as a consumer should be in support of these laws and their enforcement. These laws are to protect us from being deceived. Its ok for taco bell serve up their meat mix, but calling it ground beef IS ILLEGAL in this case.


    No Chihuahua??

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