questionswill the purchase of smithfield foods by a…

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[cont'd]

Smithfield sells its products under a variety of brand names, including Cooks' Ham, Eckrich, Curly's, Carando, Marghita, Healthy ones, Kretschmar, Farm Land, Gwaltney, Armour, John Morrell, Krakus Ham, Patrick Cudahy, Smithfield, and Stefano's.

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The article I read said "The deal will leave intact Smithfield’s management, workforce and 70-year presence in Virginia." If that means no difference in production, then I would be fine with it. But I am going to need more assurance of that before I would make a purchase. And it's really going to stink if I can't buy my Krakus ham anymore -- that is really the only product I would miss.

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It's sad to see a big US company like that going to foreign hands. I have always thought of Smithfield and Kretschmar as high quality products. It makes me uncomfortable as the food supply is already pretty vulnerable due to budget cuts at the USDA. "Currently, the F.D.A. inspects just 2.3 percent of the 10.4 million annual shipments of imported food because of a lack of resources." (NY Times). Only 1 in 22,000 chicken carcasses and 1 in 300 beef carcasses are tested for E. coli. This article is pretty disturbing:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117992&page=1#.UadVQkDql2A

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Nope. As an American consumer who loves the free market and thinks global competition is a good thing, I'll buy whichever product best fits my needs regardless of the country the item is produced/owned.

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Since I don't buy any product (or brand) they currently sell, this will not change my habits.

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@pitamuffin: I imagine that this deal will work similar to the Woot-Amazon deal. Originally it was said that nothing would change and the management would remain in place and then slowly you saw the changes come.

There is no reason for them to buy Smithfield unless they think they can get much more out of it than they put into it. There are three ways to do that: sell more product, make the product cheaper to produce or a mixture of both of them. Most likely they will start with the making the product cheaper to produce, which historically they have done by bending the regulations in the name of the almighty dollar. If I was employed there, I would be looking for a new job before the layoffs started in a couple years.

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@wisenekt: I fear you have an accurate scenario there. I was disappointed when I heard about the aquisition. I live in Virginia and know the value of the tradition of Virginia ham. Smithfield is a wonderful small town and I would hate to see the residents suffer because of corporate greed. Luckily, I live in farm country and have other local options.

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That is a shame. Will stick with Boar's Head from now on ;)

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I prefer to add my own formaldehyde and antifreeze to my food. These Chinese companies never get the ratio right for the American palate.

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@moondrake: Thank you for making the FDA point. I had it in my original question, but while proofing the thing I decided it was reaching novelette length and no one would read it, so I deleted that section. It's a Big Deal issue for me, though.

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@wisenekt: One concern I saw in several of the news articles I researched for this is that the sale (if it goes through) will likely result an increase of exports of pork to China, which has a growing taste for USA products. (As well it should, given their lack of effective quality control at home.)

More pork exported = less available pork here = higher prices for pork here.

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Nay. <-Not saying 'no', just getting ready for the horse meat.

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Unfortunately the tide is turning and instead of US businessmen jet setting all over the globe buying up this property and that property like a big game of Monopoly, Chinese and Indian business people are increasingly the ones with the funds to do that. We may never like it, but we better get used to seeing it.

My hope in this Smithfield situation - assuming the purchase is allowed to go through - is that the USDA and all of our health & safety practices here in the US rub off on them (the Chinese) and not the other way around.

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@phillystyle: Now hold on. Have you even tried imitation lamb made from rats? If not then maybe you're jumping the gun on your hopes.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/china-busts-crime-ring-passing-rat-meat-mutton-article-1.1335007

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@mortar235: Heeheehee yeah I've seen that.

That's the kind of example I point out to people who think the (US) government should keep its nose out of the businessman's...business. As if the businessman cares more about you and me than he does about maximizing returns. But I digress and don't want us to tumble down a Dem vs. Rep rabbit hole.

As I said, if the deal goes through, I hope WE rub off on THEM so they stop slipping people rats as mutton.

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@phillystyle: As the population ratio between humans, rats and "meat" animals continues to shift, well, you do the math. 7 billion human beings. Approximately 7 billion rats (wild guess). 1 billion sheep. 19 billion chickens. According to the International Erosion Control Association, who tracks overgrazing, the world's cattle herd went from 720 million in 1950 to 1.53 billion in 2001. As a comparative, the world population increased from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 6.1 billion in 2001. If you add in sheep and goats, the herd size increases to 3.3 billion. We are breeding much faster than our food supply.

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@moondrake: Like when Daimler bought Chrysler. Anyway Chinese Shineway (the wig subsidiary) already bought NBC. Same quality programming -- I look for the upcoming "Backstage with ' Keeping up with the Kardashians' – The True Story." I can't wait for the true story of the making of the reality TV show about those Krazy Kardashian's. LOL

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@moondrake: Assuming the math is correct there, that IS disturbing, yeah? But don't worry, the Science of Desperation is coming to the rescue!

VIOLA! http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=inside-the-meat-lab

Problem solved. :oP

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Oh boy, another economic isolationism thread!
Why people keep on thinking that kind of thing is a good idea I will never understand.
Well, I guess it does have that emotional impact that defies all logic.
Buy American! Even if it's better to trade globally!

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Since I don't eat red meat, and very little chicken or fish, this won't effect me.

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As long as their products are still made in the U.S., I won't boycott them. It's not because I won't buy products from China but because I don't want to be poisoned.

There have been several cases of pets being poisoned by Chinese pet food.
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/toxic-treats-china-killing-us-dogs-pet-owners/story?id=15927579#.Uah31XbD-Uk

I have 3 dogs and I won't give them foreign produced food.

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@stryker4526: Not at all, at least in my case. I make jewelry and I buy almost everything I use directly from Chinese vendors via EBay. I have 5-10 little packages in my mailbox from China every day. I love doing business with the Chinese vendors, they are gracious and accommodating. But I don't feed my pets any food products not made in the US, because there have been too many cases of contaminated pet food from abroad (and more than enough originating here in the US). I do eat some imported foods myself, but I am more cautious of imported foods than foods originating here because we have higher food standards than in many other countries. Sad to say, our enforcement of those standards is slipping badly, which is troubling for all foods, but more for foreign made products which have historically been more likely to contain potentially lethal contaminants (as opposed to the plain old nasty US variety).

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A lot of food is cleaned and packaged in china even though it did not originate there. Fish products most prominently, They don't have to mention that the food was processed in china just where it originally came from so I think I will skip on food products from a Chinese owned company and quite a few other companies that don't state where the food was cleaned and packaged.

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@mortar235: The Chinese traditionally revere horses so horse meat is probably not happening but that does not mean some shortcuts won't happen and if they want to save on processing costs they may try to move the processing to china or a third world country. I don't want pork/bacon products processed in a foreign country with significantly fewer rules concerning food safety.

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@phillystyle: But rats are so tasty. Terry Pratchett's Disc world series(fantasy) clearly indicates that Rat is tasty. Yum, soon we will all be eating rat on a stick, meat pies and other meat products. Sausage in a bun anyone.