On Friday, a California woman, Amanda Obney, filed a class-action federal lawsuit against Taco Bell. Obney claims she is not looking for money, but for the court to order Taco Bell to be honest with customers regarding the ingredients in their tacos, chalupas and other dishes. The lawsuit cites USDA standards requiring that food products labeled “taco filling” contain at least 40 percent fresh meat. Attorney Dee Miles said the meat mixture contained just 35 percent beef, with the remaining 65 percent containing water, wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodextrin, anti-dusting agent and modified cornstarch.
This recent exposure begs to question, why are USDA standards as low as 40% real meat? What are we actually putting into our bodies? Surely one would be less eager to consume a maltodextrin labeled burger than a “Big Mac.” Lawsuits such as this one are extremely beneficial to the American people and represent the efficient check of litigation on corrupt industries. Lawsuits incur a reputation for being an unnecessary affront on the legal system because of popularized cases such as the woman who planted a human finger in her Wendy’s chili. However, most lawsuits are beneficial to society and expose such distasteful hidden aspects of industries such as the alarming small percentage of actual beef in Taco Bell “meat.” Hopefully, this lawsuit will not only benefit consumers of Taco Bell, but will also incite scrutiny of the relatively low standards of meat in this country.
(Photo by Like_the_Grand_Canyon under a Creative Commons license)