Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel released notice Wednesday of a consumer protection lawsuit filed against Lonnie’s Meat Market and Catering, Inc., which has locations in Conway and Heber Springs.
The lawsuit alleges the business and owner Lonnie Copeland sold adulterated ground beef and lamb, with beef being added to lamb.
Part of the lawsuit involves an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance violation because Copeland had previously agreed to stop using beef heart in ground beef products, according to the AG office.
According to lawsuit information, USDA investigators found beef heart meat in five of nine samples of ground sirloin and ground chuck.
The lawsuit states USDA investigators found components of ground beef in a package of ground lamb at the location in Conway.
Copeland submitted this statement via e-mail late Monday:
“We understand from the press that the Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Lonnie’s Meat Market, but have not seen the actual Complaint. We understand that the Complaint centers on an inspection occurring in 2013 in which it is claimed that ground beef was added to ground lamb. If we are correct in our understanding, these allegations are disputed and This Did Not Occur.
Lonnie’s Meat Market intends to defend this lawsuit and dispute the claims against it. However, because this matter is now in litigation, we have been instructed by our counsel to make no further statements.”
In light of the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) nothing good can come out of further discussions.”
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