In the world of taco fillings, it's Jack In the Box that legendarily doesn't offer complete beef in its taco. But a class-action lawsuit filed in United States Federal Court (Central District of California, Southern Division–that's SanTana, baby!) alleges that Taco Bell misleads consumers by advertising it sells beef in its tacos when it doesn't. The suit seeks $5 million in damages. That's a lot of chalupas!
You can find the lawsuit and the complaint here (from an Alabama firm, of all places, but the plaintiff, Amanda Obney, is a California resident of unknown provenance, although one law firm involved in the case is San Diego-based, and a quick Google search reveals news stories pegging an Amanda Obney to the San Diego region). It's a fascinating read, especially the part in which it defines what “beef” is and when the complaint acknowledges that “The 'chicken' and 'carne asada steak' served by Taco Bell is, in fact, chicken or carne asada steak. The 'seasoned beef,' however, is not beef.” But instead of quoting from a pithy news story on the issue, I'm going to quote from the gut-wrenching complaint itself.
“Taco Bell's advertisements that it sells 'beef' menu items containing 'seasoned ground beef,' is unsubstantiated, false and misleading. The Products, unbeknownst to consumers, are comprised substantially of meat filling and are mislabeled. Taco Bell's 'seasoned beef' actually contains, among other ingredients, water, 'Isolated Oat Product,' wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate, as well as beef and seasonings.”
Mmm, that's good anti-dusting agent! More–much more–to come on the lawsuit of the century. . . .