Annoyed neighbors of Smithfield Foods-owned hog farms in North Carolina filed complaints over the smell of hog waste sweeping through the area and, earlier this month, threatened a lawsuit against the company.
Complainants accused Smithfield of polluting a nearby creek with the waste from its farms. The resulting smell, they claimed, disturbed their quality of life.
The company said it would investigate these allegations in order to mediate with the neighbors. However, Smithfield recently declared that it would stop seeking mediation and now plans to fight the complaints in court.
A spokesperson for Murphy-Brown farms told WRAL News, “We view this as a money grab. This is an attack on good, honest, law-abiding farmers.”
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is cheering for Smithfield, as the company represents the prosperous North Carolina pork industry.
“Hog farmers help feed our state, nation and world while operating under heavy regulation,” Troxler wrote in a statement. “It’s a shame these hardworking families will likely be sued for pursuing their livelihood within the requirements of the law. I certainly hope the farm families and this important economic sector won’t be damaged.”