Be concerned that China is a shadow owner in the US pork industry
By Taylor Hunt, Washington Examiner
January 12, 2022
Hunt attends Washington State University and is pursuing a degree in agricultural engineering.
The Chinese Communist Party is likely the furthest thing on a consumer's mind while browsing the shelves.
That's the way it should be. Farming in the United States should have no ties to a genocidal government. Unfortunately, the agriculture industry does have those links. Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the U.S., is owned by the WH Group. A PBS investigation showed this ownership relationship risks Smithfield Foods having to take marching orders from the Chinese Communist Party.
And that's just the start. In early 2020, China-based companies owned almost 200,000 acres of U.S. soil . This portfolio is valued at almost $2 billion.
In an interview with the broadcaster, Sen. Debbie Stabenow expressed concern about China's dominance of Smithfield Foods.
"This isn't just an acquisition of a company," the Michigan Democrat said. "It's 25% of the pork industry in the United States." While the purchase was initially approved back in 2013, the last two years have evinced the danger of globally intertwined food systems and supply chain bottlenecks.
More problematic, Smithfield Foods CEO Larry Pope originally refused to admit China's engagement with his firm. He rejected the notion that the Chinese government has influence over WH Group.
But this is either extreme ignorance or an acute case of denial...