Millions Of Americans Unwittingly Eat Chinese Pork

The USDA found that Smithfield’s pork products contain pathogens often associated with human illnesses resistant to antibiotics, according to a press release from the Organic Consumers Association. | Image: Shinya Suzuki, CC BY-ND 2.0

“[C[laiming that its products are the ‘safest’ possible pork products in the U.S. is a blatant misrepresentation of [Smithfield’s] actual safety record.” – Organic Consumers Association – A consumer group is suing one the largest pork producers over allegations that the company falsely advertises its products as the “safest” in the U.S.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) filed a civil suit May 20 against Smithfield Foods, Inc., claiming they use practices that contribute to the creation of widespread diseases. The group is seeking to stop its ‘false’ advertising and marketing.

Some of the practices include crowded conditions in their plants, the use of potentially carcinogenic drugs and rapid slaughter methods, according to a recent press release. These practices can lead to diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, OCA explained in the release.

In a May 26 statement, Smithfield denied those allegations.

[“Smithfield Foods, Inc., is … a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China.” – Wikipedia]

“The Organic Consumers Association’s complaint against Smithfield Foods is totally without merit and the company intends to vigorously defend this lawsuit,” wrote Lisa Martin, director of corporate communications.

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is based out of Smithfield, Virginia, and is the world’s largest pork producer. Some of their brand names include Eckrich, Nathan’s Famous, and Farmland. [Also: Cook’s, Gwaltney, John Morrell, Krakus, and Smithfield.]

This lawsuit follows a recent report by the Animal Welfare Institute stating that over a three-year span, Smithfield Foods and JBS USA had the “worst animal welfare records among livestock slaughter plants.”

The report said that the Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, had the largest number of animal welfare violations for a single plant.

OCA’s complaint also stated that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has notified Smithfield on numerous occasions that their pork is more likely to be contaminated with salmonella than other similar products from slaughter plants of the same size … 

The USDA found that Smithfield’s pork products contain pathogens often associated with human illnesses resistant to antibiotics, the release said.

According to OCA, this is due to Smithfield’s use of antibiotics on healthy animals to prevent the spread of diseases that come from their plants’ allegedly crowded and unsanitary conditions.

This practice is cited by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization as one of the greatest health risks today because it can lead to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant diseases … Read more.