Lawsuit questioning Taco Bell beef is dropped after ad blitz

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 19, 2011 11:11 AM

By Aman Ali

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A law firm questioning the meat that Taco Bell claims is "beef" said on Tuesday it has withdrawn its class action lawsuit against the fast food giant.

The federal lawsuit filed in California this year said the beef Taco Bell advertises in its food is actually "taco meat filling" that is made of "non-meat substances" that don't meet beef standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Alabama law firm Beasley Allen released a statement on Tuesday saying it scrapped its lawsuit on Monday because it was pleased with how Taco Bell responded to it.

"As a result of the lawsuit, changes in marketing and product disclosure were made by the company, allowing us to dismiss the case," attorney Dee Miles said in the statement.

Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed, however, said in a statement: "This sets the record straight about the high quality of our seasoned beef and the integrity of our advertising."

"We are extremely proud of our food quality."

Taco Bell had spent more than $3 million in advertising responding to the lawsuit with print and TV ads saying their meet is 88 percent beef and the remaining 12 percent is made of items such as "salt, peppers, and spices."

According to the company's Web site, Taco Bell owns around 5,600 fast food restaurants in the United States that serve more than 36.8 million customers a week. Taco Bell's parent company is Louisville-based Yum Brands Inc.

Beasley Allen said the firm was never seeking any monetary compensation against Taco Bell so resolution of the case involved no financial settlement.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jerry Norton)