China to Purchase Smithfield: Is Bacon Safe?
If you eat bacon on your breakfast sandwich, order two strips alongside your scrambled eggs or couldn't imagine a hamburger without a few slices of salty smoky pork, China has just invested in your meals. Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. agreed to pay $4.72 billion for Virginia-based Smithfield, according to the Washington Post .
If you're worried about Chinese pigs infiltrating our bacon supply, you've got it all wrong. After years of food scares including baby formula, rivers of dead swine, rat meat sold as lamb, reused cooking oil and more, the Chinese public are looking outside their borders for new, more trustworthy sources of food.
More likely impacts include changes to domestic pork prices as foreign demand increases. Hopefully that demand or other factors won't impact Smithfield's commitment to completely phase out gestation crates by 2017.
The two parties have agreed to the terms of the deal, but the acquisition will still have to be approved by both federal regulators and the Smithfield shareholders.
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