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US pork producer Smithfield Foods to be sold to China for $4.72 billion - and this is just the beginning

Sunday, June 16, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: China, Smithfield Foods, food safety

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(NaturalNews) Recent announcements about the acquisition of U.S.-based Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer and processor, by a major Chinese holding company has sent significant shockwaves throughout the American economy. According to new reports, Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. is in the process of pulling the trigger on purchasing Smithfield for $4.72 billion, a move that some say marks the beginning of a much larger takeover of American industry by the Far East.

Reports of a potential Smithfield acquisition have been surfacing here and there in recent months. But now it appears that the decision is all but complete, pending approval from Smithfield's shareholders. As reported by Newsday.com, the deal was officially announced at the end of May, and part of its terms included shareholders receiving $34 per share, a roughly 31 percent premium from earlier share value, as part of the deal.

The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment still has to review the deal to assess any potential national security risks. But by the way the mainstream media is currently talking about the deal, it is essentially already a reality, which means a major segment of the American food economy will soon be controlled by a Chinese corporation. And not surprisingly, many of those paying attention to this development are completely outraged.

"There is public unease when a foreign buyer acquires the largest pork-producing company in the world that is a major player in the local economy and is the source of our bacon and ribs," wrote Sharon Valentine in a recent editorial published by FayObserver.com.

"The U.S. government may not consider our food supply a security risk, but recent Chinese scandals involving thousands of pigs floating in the rivers near Shanghai and pork tainted with a food additive that makes people sick could force the government to rethink the definition of safe and secure to include our food. It's not who brings home the bacon but what is in the bacon."

Is China finally cashing in on its U.S. debt holdings by buying up what's left of the American economy?

The real crux of the issue here is that foreign buyouts of American companies have been picking up in recent years, and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The American economy, which has already been almost completely ransacked as far as the manufacturing sector goes, is now being slowly disassembled in the service and food sectors as well, which is a legitimate cause for concern.

Besides being a foreign company from a nation rife with major food safety disasters, Shuanghui also has its own sordid history of food safety scandals. According to WUSA9.com, Shuanghui was forced to recall some of its pork products back in 2011 after being exposed for using a toxic additive that was banned more than a decade ago. And in 2012, tests revealed maggots and bacteria in Shuanghui ribs and sausages.

"It's a bad deal for American workers," says Dr. Peter Morici, an economist who recently shared his thoughts with the media. "Initially, we'll get some exports, they'll learn how to produce pork themselves, (and) the industry will move there. Before you know it, the pork industry will move there, like the auto parts industry."

Sources for this article include:

http://www.newsday.com

http://www.dailyfinance.com

http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/262595/373/The-Buying-of-America

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