Pork processor merger raises more questions
The announced Smithfield-Premium Standard Farms
(PSF) merger is raising more questions as now the Republican senator Charles
Grassley (Iowa) called on the Department of Justice too to have a closer look to
Earlier on, Iowa's Democrate senator Tom Harkin
, also expressed his worries about the announced
merger. His worry is also that the deal violates anit-trust laws.
In a letter to the Justice
's antitrust division, Grassley
said the merger would hurt independent farmers by reducing the number of places
they can sell their pigs. "I have strong reservations about this proposal and
the continued trend in concentration in the pork industry," he wrote.
will be paying approximately
$810 million for the proposed PSF
takeover, announced on Monday. The merger brings
Smithfield Foods, the nation's largest pork processor and marketer and hog
producer, together with the second-largest pork producer and the sixth-largest
pork processor in the US.
Grassley added, "This merger would allow Smithfield/PSF to control over 1.2
million breeding animals," calling it 'alarming' to see that Smithfield is
intending "to purchase its competitors to assert its dominance in the pork
Criticism is not only confined to the state of Iowa. Missouri governour Matt Blunt
sent a letter to US
attorney general Alberto Gonzalez asking for an anti-trust investigation as
In a story published by the Des Moines Register
, Dennis Treacy, Smithfield's
vice-president of environmental, community and government affairs, said
anti-trust issues were considered before the companies began
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