(NAFB)--National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson has stated his organization’s opposition to the proposed acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. Lew is Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Johnson says the proposed buyout is extremely alarming to NFU members across the country. He is urging the committee to set a bold precedent - that the administration values our farms, our food and our rural economies so much that the federal government will stand up to a takeover of a large swath of our agriculture industry. According to NFU - if the sale is permitted to move forward - Shuanghui would take control of a very large portion of the U.S. pork industry. Johnson says the costs of the acquisition far outweigh the benefits to Americans. He adds that the security of the domestic food system is threatened by foreign control.
Noting there are only 67-thousand hog farms today - down from 660-thousand in 1980 - Johnson says uncompetitive markets in the pork and beef industries have had a dampening effect on the ability of family farmers and ranchers to stay in business. He points out 23-hundred hog producers went out of business in 2011 alone.