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New beef ads unveiled by Taco Bell

NEW YORK | Taco Bell is turning to TV commercials to battle damage to its image from a lawsuit questioning its taco filling.

The fast-food chain has been on the defensive since it was pushed into the media spotlight by a lawsuit that claimed the restaurant’s seasoned-beef filling did not have enough beef to be billed as such. Taco Bell has repeatedly said the claim is false.

The $3 million television ad campaign comes the week that Taco Bell is due to respond to the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in California.

Taco Bell initially fought back with full-page ads last month in national newspapers. The print ads made a splash with the headline “Thank you for suing us.”

The company also launched a social media campaign urging Twitter users to voice their support. And last month, Taco Bell offered Facebook fans a free crunchy beef taco to thank them for their loyalty.

The Alabama law firm that filed the lawsuit last month in California has said its testing showed the filling was made of only 35 percent beef and therefore couldn’t be called “beef.”


Officials: Birds killed with legal poison

SINKING SPRING | Pennsylvania game officials said dozens of birds found dead along a highway over the weekend apparently were killed with a poison that’s legal for farmers to use.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission said Monday that tests showed the birds were killed by Starlicide. It’s a poison designed to kill European starlings and gulls, and is less toxic to most other birds.

European starlings are an invasive species that eat farmers’ crops and feed. U.S. Agriculture Department officials and farmers are allowed to use the poison.

Witnesses and local animal-control officials had been wondering what could have killed the 50 to 100 birds that were spotted by motorists on Sunday. Some had questioned whether it was similar to other cases worldwide of sudden and unexplained bird die-offs.


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