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Taco Bell Lawsuit: ‘Meat Filling’ in Tacos is not Actual Meat

Hey, Where's the Beef? Wendy's once asked the question in a famous television commercial. The ads made the claim that while their burgers featured a generous helping of real ground beef, their competitors tried to hide their beef with big buns.

For years, it has been a running gag to question what really goes into a "ground beef" Taco Bell taco. Now a lawsuit may finally help us find the answer, and it doesn't look pretty. According to the lawsuit, Taco Bells beef is mostly fillers. The fast-food company has been sued for alleged "false advertising."

The lawsuit, filed by Alabama consumer law firm Beasley Allen, says Taco Bell doesn't actually use ground beef, defined by the USDA as "flesh of cattle," and instead uses what should be classified as "taco meat filling."

So what goes into taco meat filling? "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. Add it all up and Beasley Allen contends it equals only 36% beef. The USDA requires food labeled as "taco filling"to be at least 40% meat.

Taco Bell, responded to the lawsuit after being contacted by WSFA 12 News: "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. We deny our advertising is misleading in any way and we intend to vigorously defend the suit," said spokesman Rob Poetsch in a statement.

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