Privacy Notice Do Not Sell My Personal Information, Your California Privacy Rights There is no evidence proving this claim, and officials contacted denied the information in the post; it is, therefore, not supported by our research. US pork exports to China have been on the rise since August 2018, when China first spotted the African swine fever that has killed many of its pigs, Reuters reported. Monique Richards, a spokeswoman for the FDA, said in an email to USA TODAY that the items listed in the claims — such as Starkist Tuna, Green Giant frozen vegetables and garlic — are safe. But just 283,000 US hogs were slaughtered April 30, a nearly 40-percent drop from a year before, the data reveal. “Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19,” Richards said. Smithfield Foods is a Virginia-based company and is the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer; it produces a variety of brand name meats and partnered with a Chinese company long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Pork exports to China have more than quadrupled compared to a year ago even as the pandemic forced US slaughterhouses and processing plants to close, according to data Reuters published Monday. No Smithfield products come from animals raised, processed, or packaged in China. And Colorado-based processor JBS told the news agency it has cut exports amid the pandemic to help meet demand in the US. American producers continued shipping massive loads of pork to China — even as the coronavirus crisis choked the US’s meat supply, a new report says. The March 21 Facebook post also urges people to refrain from buying food products such as Starkist Tuna, Green Giant frozen vegetables and grocery store garlic unless it is clearly marked from the USA or Canada. Jenna Wollin, a spokeswoman for Smithfield Foods, said in an email to USA TODAY that claims about China slaughtering and processing hogs and shipping them back to the U.S. is “absolutely false.”. The post also says Smithfield Foods was recently sold to China. The company announced on Sunday in a news release that their Sioux Falls facility, which accounts for four to five percent of U.S. pork production, will remain closed until further notice after 238 Smithfield employees accounted for about half of Minnehaha County’s 438 COVID-19 cases. Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images We’ve been reporting on shortages in … Smithfield, the world’s largest pork processor, is revamping its Virginia plant to produce more pork for American consumers after re-configuring … Thanks for contacting us. Sitemap Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic. Virginia-based Smithfield Foods was the nation’s largest exporter to China in the first three months of the year, shipping at least 13,680 tons by sea in March, according to Reuters. Smithfield, which is now owned by a Chinese firm, was the biggest exporter of American pork to China in the first quarter. South China Morning Post via Getty Images Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, has been making headlines for … Wollin said all U.S. products from Smithfield are made in one of its 50 facilities across America and that all of its products are produced in compliance with the standards and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A message to the Facebook user who shared the information was not returned. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! “Unlike gastrointestinal (GI) viruses like norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food, SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, is a virus that causes respiratory illness. Smithfield Foods and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration deny the claims in the post about the processing of the animals and the products listed as unsafe. The post also urges people to stay away from packages stating “prepared for,” “packaged by” or “imported by” and suggests that other food products like fruit cups, Steinfeld’s Pickles and canned mushrooms are not safe. “The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” said President and CEO Kenneth Sullivan in the news release. © 2020 NYP Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved, Furry glad to be here: More rescue dogs from China’s meat trade arrive in NYC, China demands recovering COVID-19 patients wait this long before donating blood, Fur-ever home: Dogs rescued from Chinese meat trade land in NYC, Chinese doctors jailed for illegally harvesting organs of accident victims, Supreme Court agrees to hear Trump's plan to remove non-citizens from census, How to watch Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.: Odds, special rules, Father and son scream amid head-on collision with police, Glenn Close says Gwyneth Paltrow's 1999 Oscar win 'didn't make sense'. No Smithfield products come from animals raised, processed or packaged in China.”. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here. Social media users continued to reshare the false claim following the closure of Smithfield Foods’ South Dakota processing plant after employees experienced an increase in coronavirus cases. Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Kristi Noem and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken urged Smithfield Foods in a letter to cease operations for two weeks to clean the facility and have employees recover from any illness. In 2013, shareholders of Smithfield Foods voted to approve a partnership with Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, a private company based in Hong Kong that holds a majority of shares in China’s largest meat processor, Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co. Ltd. Forbes magazine reported that a growing demand due to large populations, rising production costs and repeated concerns about quality “formed the basis of Shuanghui International’s quest to acquire the North American meat producer.”, Forbes also reported the Chinese acquisition of Smithfield does not mean that Americans will be eating Chinese cuts. Your Ad Choices Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. This story has been shared 114,169 times. 138,412, This story has been shared 114,745 times. The post claiming Smithfield's hogs are raised in the United States and sent to China for processing and slaughtering before being returned here is rated FALSE. Smithfield, the world’s largest pork processor, is revamping its Virginia plant to produce more pork for American consumers after re-configuring it last year to process pigs for China, according to Reuters. Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.”. AMC shares soar 50 percent on report of talks with Amazon, This story has been shared 138,412 times. “Shuanghui isn’t looking to offload Chinese pork in Los Angeles. President Trump directed meat companies to keep their plants open last month amid growing concerns about supply constraints. This story has been shared 114,745 times. But slaughterhouses that have reopened are only operating at less than half their capacity, The Post reported Sunday. 114,745, This story has been shared 114,169 times. They can now be shipped there, but when they come back all that needs to be labeled is that they WERE RAISED IN THE USA.”. It owns … Smithfield Foods was sold to a Chinese company in 2013, but China won't be slaughtering and processing hogs raised in the U.S. and shipping them back to America. Those closures have led to meat shortages that could slam US shoppers through the summer. Smithfield, owned by Chinese conglomerate WH Group 0288.HK, was not immediately available for comment. Producers nonetheless shipped 17,471 tons of pork to China in the week ending April 30, compared with just 3,879 tons in the same week last year, the US Department of Agriculture figures show. All our U.S. products are made in one of our nearly 50 facilities across America ,” according to Smithfield Foods… Thank you for supporting our journalism. Smithfield Foods, an American meat-processing company, faces criticism in a claim shared by Facebook users saying hogs will be raised in the U.S. and sent to China to be slaughtered and packaged before coming back here. 114,169, This story has been shared 61,001 times. This story has been shared 138,412 times. “Smithfield has not, does not, and will not import any products from China to the United States.