The sale landed approval at $4.72 billion, making it the largest-ever Chinese purchase of a U.S. company. The deal will likely close on Thursday.
In July, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told lawmakers on the Senate Agriculture Committee that the transition of ownership would not impact food safety.
Pope also assured committee members that the deal would not result in Chinese food being imported to the U.S. The deal is occurring at a time when China has seen a number of recent food-safety scandals, including a story of 46 people who were imprisoned for selling pork from diseased pigs.
The recent scandals have driven many Chinese consumers to seek out foreign food, and many believe that Shuanghui has pursued Smithfield to capitalize on the American company’s reputation as a provider of safe pork.
Shuanghui itself faced a scandal in 2011 when it was revealed that some of its pork contained clenbuterol, an illegal chemical that keeps pork meat leaner but is poisonous to humans.
The Smithfield, VA-based company has annual sales of around $13 billion and employs approximately 46,000 people in 26 states.© Food Safety News