On May 1st, a local news outlet reported that Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor, is closing 37 sow farms in Missouri due to negative market conditions and sow herd health issues.

The company, which was acquired in 2013 by China’s largest pork producer, Shuanghui International, reportedly owns 132 company-owned farms and 109 contract farms in Missouri, along with a leased farm, 8 feed mills, and a pork processing plant.

There were concerns surrounding the acquisition by a foreign company, particularly in relation to food security, and there are currently proposals in 27 states to restrict foreign acquisitions of farms.

In October 2022, Smithfield received a verdict in a highly-publicized trial relating to an incident at one of its farms in Utah in 2017, where animal rights activists stole piglets and released footage of inside the barns.

The defendants were acquitted by a jury of burglary and theft charges.

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