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Smithfield Shareholders Approve Sale to China’s Shuanghui

Shareholders of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, approved on Tuesday the company’s sale to Shuanghui International Holdings, Ltd., a Chinese food giant.

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
  • Anna Fiona

    Smithfield should have been shut down a long time ago, but instead it is now being rewarded, by China of course. They are equally unethical, anything for money, anything to keep shoving that bacon and those burgers into our mouths. As the old saying goes, “America is the only country that has gone from savage to gluttonous without ever becoming civilized.”

    • Barb3000

      If you don’t want to eat pork simply boycott all of it. I stopped eating pork a long time ago.
      Eating this stuff is the reason people end up with plugged arteries. Its mostly lard.

  • carpécarp

    perfect! smithfield corp judgement continues its winning streak with the public. racist paula deen representing them and communist chinese-run sweat shops producing it. what could be more american? apple pie made in kaesong?

  • Momma Elaine

    If this is so important as you imply then it is too important to merely stand around gossiping and complaining. You should have whipped out your platinum Visa card and purchased Smithfield your self. Run it any damned way you like then. Put up or shut up, girls, put up or shut up.