BEIJING, June 25 Chinese meat company Shuanghui
International's proposed purchase of Smithfield Foods Inc
is unrelated to food safety issues and its market is
open to pork from the United States, China's Commerce Ministry
said on Tuesday in its first response to concerns raised by U.S.
lawmakers about the planned deal.
Earlier this month a number of U.S. senators urged the Obama
administration to consider whether the proposed $4.7 billion
deal posed a threat to the U.S. food supply that could justify
Other lawmakers had raised the question of Chinese
restrictions on U.S. meat imports.
"China's quality management of pork imports and Shuanghui's
purchase of Smithfield are totally unrelated to U.S. food
safety," Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said in a
statement on its website, www.mofcom.gov.cn.
"Saying that China prohibits U.S. pork imports is not true,"
Shen added. "We hope the U.S. will treat the merger case fairly
He noted that China is a major importer of U.S. meat and
only bans imports of pork containing ractopamine, a feed
additive used widely in the United States to produce leaner
Shuanghui's purchase of Smithfield, the world's largest pork
producer and processor, would be the biggest takeover of a U.S.
company by a Chinese firm.
The companies have filed the deal with the Committee on
Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) which reviews
foreign investment for any potential threat to national