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Mmmmm, rack of rat

Like many Americans I’m so thrilled to hear that Smithfield Foods has decided to sell out to Shuanghui International, a Chinese food processing company with a less than stellar reputation.

As a matter of fact, the company has a downright lousy track record and reputation – in China and abroad.

So, I guess the nation and, particularly Virginia, can kiss the company (and more jobs) goodbye in a year or so. After all, once word spreads about the sellout (and I do mean that term literally) and citizens learn of Shuanghui’s food production practices there won’t be many of their product sold.

I hope Smithfield executives enjoy the extra dollars in their pockets and don’t mind watching the reputation of a company founded in 1936 dive into the abyss. Surely there was another company that could have purchased Smithfield; maybe one that hasn’t had executives hanged for killing babies with melamine-tainted milk powder.

It seems 13th District Delegate Bob Marshall is so incensed by the sale that he has written a letter to Smithfield CEO C. Larry Pope chastising him for not only destroying the name of the company, but also putting Virginia jobs at risk.

“I think this sale is the wrong decision for Smithfield and Virginia,” Marshall states in the letter. “Inevitably, the Smithfield ‘brand’ will suffer, and regrettably, so will many Virginians.”

Amen to that.

The letter goes on to list some of the problems found with Shuanghui products since 2009, as reported by International Business Times. These include ribs containing maggots; sausages containing black threads; sausages spoiling before the sell-by date expired, and the baby formula debacle that killed six children and sickened another 300,000.

The Wall Street Journal reports that while food product imports from China continue to rise in the U.S., inspections in China and the U.S. aren’t able to keep up with the pace, thus “posing a growing danger to consumers.” The publication points out that over half of food processing and packaging firms in China failed their safety inspections in 2011.

Marshall tells Pope that these safety problems “will engulf Smithfield Food products regardless of the names under which they are sold.” He points out his family doesn’t buy food products from China “because of significant scandals” that include dog food products that have killed pets and rat meat that was sold as lamb.

Mmmmmm. There’s nothing like a good rack of rat to satisfy your hunger.

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