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Food Safety Claims Land Smithfield Foods Inc. in D.C. Court

The Organic Consumers Association has sued Smithfield Foods Inc. in Superior Court for the District of Columbia over allegedly “deceptive food safety marketing representations about pork products.

Smithfield, VA-based Smithfield Foods is accused of making marketing and advertising representations to convey to consumers, including consumers in the District of Columbia, that Smithfield brand pork products are the “safest” possible U.S. pork products.

Smithfield is the world’s largest pork producer, which markets under its own and other brand names. In the United States, Smithfield is under the regulation of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

“In reality,” according to the complaint filed by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), “Smithfield employs production practices that result in less-safe conditions, effects, and products, including the routine preventative use of medically important antibiotics, crowded conditions, the use of potentially carcinogenic drugs, and rapid slaughter methods.”

“Furthermore,” it continues, “Smithfield’s products are commonly contaminated with dangerous pathogens to a degree that makes them far less than the ‘safest’ possible U.S. born and bred products. The USDA frequently notifies Smithfield that pork processed product in its slaughter plants is more likely to be contaminated with Salmonella that similar products in slaughter plants of the same size.”