Taco Bell Scandal

Topics: Taco Bell, Stephen Colbert, Fast food Pages: 5 (1634 words) Published: December 3, 2012

Today people are more and more aware of what they are eating. To the majority of people the quality of food has become a more important issue than price. This gave birth to a lot of scandals related to product quality and standards. One of the most popular the Mexican-themed fast food brand is Taco Bell, which was established in 1954 as the first Taco Drive-in. In 1962 the first Taco Bell restaurant was opened in Downey, CA. In 1978, 868 Taco Bell restaurants were sold to PepsiCo Inc, making them the owners of this chain. Like many other American fast-food brands, Taco Bell has its own history that has been marked with a series of scandals related to their food quality and safe sanitation guidelines. The latest Taco Bell scandal emerged in February, 2012 when in ten America’s states some unidentified ingredients caused the foodborne illness. In 2000 Taco Bell Company became involve in the scandal as the first company in U.S. history which used food products made from contaminated genetically modified organisms. In the years of 2007 and 2006 they were blamed for usage of contaminated lettuce that sickened 71 people, and spinach that was contaminated with E. coli that killed three people and sickened 200 others. However, the most famous Taco Bell scandal was in 2011, when the Company was surrounded by accusations concerning the quality of their beef. The claims in a lawsuit were referred to Taco Bell’s false “Beefy crunch burrito” advertisement. The accusation statement suggested that Taco Bell's "seasoned beef" consists of only 36 percent of the real beef, instead of almost 90 percent as they claimed (Aronica, 2011).

Main Activists

The main activists in the “Where’s the beef?” scandal were Montgomery law firm, United States Department of Agriculture and Stephen Colbert, the famous political satirist. Taco Bell and its supporters are on the other side of the barricade. The United States Department of Agriculture is the federal executive department responsible for developing as well as executing the government policy on farming, agriculture, and food. The United States Department of Agriculture seeks to meet the needs of farmers, to promote agricultural trade and production, assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and even abroad. It maintains its strong leadership on food, agriculture and other related issues based on public policy through efficient management and best available science (White House Government, 2012). Stephen Collbert is a well-known American political satirist and an active public figure who is the host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” TV show. Stephen Colbert plays a very important role in this conflict as he reveals it to the greater public in one of “The Colbert Report” episodes. He is considered to be a very influential person in America (named among “100 Most Influential People” by Times in 2012) and, therefore, his involvement in the “Where is the beef?” conflict has truly popularized the issue. “Where is the beef?” conflict was named one of the most famous in fast food industry in America. Stephen Colbert has built his career on roughly a critique of all more or less important political or social issues in America. His book I Am America (And So Can You!) was No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list. In the minds of American people he is truly an advocacy of the crowd and, therefore, his satiric critique of Taco Bell’s beef in 2011 spurred a great degree of rage against Taco Bell within the American society. It would take Taco Bell a long time to regain the trust of an ordinary American (Rabin, 2006). Montgomery law firm, which is now known as Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. represents plaintiffs and claimants in civil litigation. They are one of the country’s leading firms involved in civil litigation on behalf of...
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