Sunday, June 2, 2013

Match made in hog heaven: U.S. pork producer that violated Clean Water Act 7,000 times bought by China co. that violently sickened hundreds who ate pork from pigs fed illegal growth drug, clenbuterol

ThinkProgress reports that Smithfield Foods, the largest U.S. pork producer, has been bought by China’s Shuanghui International Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion...
     With one giant conglomeration controlling most of the meat market, food safety standards may drop to even more abysmal depths. Neither Smithfield nor Shuanghui have shown much interest in reforming their production practices, even after sickening thousands. In 2011, a Shuanghui plant was caught feeding their pigs an illegal additive, clenbuterol, to speed muscle growth. Five people were charged with harsh criminal sentences and dozens of others were punished. A month after the discovery, nearly 300 people fell violently ill from eating clenbuterol-tainted pork.
     Smithfield, meanwhile, routinely abuses animals, employees, food safety, and the environment... Smithfield was fined $12.6 million for nearly 7,000 violations of the Clean Water Act — but that didn’t stop them from cutting dangerous corners in other areas. Millions of gallons of waste from Smithfield factories is dumped in enormous lagoons that easily overflow and have contaminated rivers. In 2010, a Humane Society video exposed horrific conditions inside a Smithfield factory...
Mercy for Animals
Pork production powerhouse Iowa should be a lovely site for multinational corporations looking to hide their animal abuse, thanks to the state's new ag-gag law. We expected senators like Kent Sorenson to rubber stamp such appalling legislation, but we weren't prepared for legislators like Mike Gronstal to pile on to such a brazen attack on the press and carte blanche for animal cruelty. We thought he was better than that.

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