CBS covers sale of Smithfield, interviews farmer

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The purchase of Smithfield Foods by the Chinese company, Shaunghui, could be a boon to the US pork industry in the form of increased exports, but it may not be worth the risk for food safety and security.

These are the issues that CBS Evening News addressed during a segment that appeared on Wednesday night’s show.

CBS interviewed Gene Groves, a pork producer who lives twenty miles south of Smithfield, Va. He raises 5,000 pigs per year for Smithfield Foods and his contract outlines biosecurity, barn size and proper feed management.

"It's a big book of things we do and don't do on this farm," Groves said. "It's part of the Smithfield contract."

While there has been discomfort for some critics of the sale over the possibility of company policies changing in terms of food safety, Groves did not seem to be too concerned.

"If they were to turn that off, that would be a mistake, of course. And I don't see how they could," Groves said.

The acquisition of Smithfield Foods, if approved, would be the largest sale of a US company to China. 



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mel    
NE  |  July, 13, 2013 at 09:49 PM

If the farmersthink that raising hogs for a chinese Smithfield is anything short of an indenturd servant speek up now.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  July, 15, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Mel,you probably would say that about anyone that feeds hogs on a contract. Most of the people complaining about farmers being made servants on their own land don't have land or feed hogs. Most of the people that have land and feed hogs on contracts say they would do it again if they had the chance. In fact a lot of them got the chance and took it again via resigning after original contracts expired or expanding and picking up additional contracts. Will Chinese owned Smithfield be different than North Carolina owned Smithfield? Probably, after a while. I think the changes will come slowly. But you might find more changes going the other direction. As China moves a little more toward capitalism, businesses must become more efficient to survive. That culture is not a prevalent in China.

michael    
kansas  |  July, 15, 2013 at 01:19 PM

As usual, the completely ignorant press misses the real point. A PRC "corportation" will be taking a U.S. company, and The Largest Producer & Processor of pork in the WORLD, "private". Currently Smithfield is a Publicly Traded Company that files Public Reports on their business and financial activities. After this Peoples Republic of China FAUX capitalist, FAUX free enterprise (NOTHING in the PRC is exempt or free of Central Committee Control) takes control, No One - outside the PRC Central Committee - will know what is going on inside the Largest Pork Producter & Processor in The WORLD... Anyone who thinks this is not the more important aspect of this deal, especially Pollyanna Thom Katt, is being incredibly foolish and naieve. I've done business with and in the PRC and I trust them as far as I can pitch a combine with one hand. Don't be suckers for this, even if you hope to profit from it (Thom Katt?).

Chuck    
Kansas  |  July, 15, 2013 at 03:39 PM

Michael seems to be a bit paranoid and a little to free at tossing around scurrilous comments. Foolish, naïve, completely ignorant? Step back, Michael, and return when you have something more than your personal opinion to share.

Chuck    
Kansas  |  July, 15, 2013 at 03:39 PM

Michael seems to be a bit paranoid and a little to free at tossing around scurrilous comments. Foolish, naïve, completely ignorant? Step back, Michael, and return when you have something more than your personal opinion to share.


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