A group of 10 farmers and ecologists from Poland are touring Iowa on afact-finding mission. The Polish farmers are concerned about Virginia-basedSmithfield Foods, which has acquired Poland’s largest pork producer. ThePresident of “Self-defense” — Poland’s largest farmers’ union — says hisgovernment tried to raise hogs in large operations in the 1970s, but failed.Andre speaks through an interpreter.Leper (lepp-er) refers to large-scale hog operations as “animalconcentration camps.”Last week, the group toured a county in North Carolina that raises more hogsthan any other in the country. The Poles also demonstrated outsideSmithfield’s corporate headquarters in Virgina. Now, they’re in Iowa whereSmithfield just bought out Murphy Farms. The head of Poland’s RuralSolidarity Organization hopes it’s not too late to stop Smithfield in hiscountry.The United States visit for Leper and his colleagues is sponsored by theAnimal Welfare Institute. A spokesman for Smithfield Foods declined tocomment.
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