Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators are opposed to the Smithfield purchase of Farmlands’ pork production and processing business. Senator Tom Harkin says he has “great concerns.” Harkin says Smithfield has a history of taking over plants, and closing them down, making fewer and fewer markets available for independent pork producers.Harkin says it’s “disconcerting” to see continued concentration in the pork industry. Harkin and Grassley are asking the Justice Department to scrutinize the merger proposal, but neither holds out much hope the agency will intercede and stop the deal. Farmland, which is in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings, has a pork processing plant in Denison and a ham plant in Carroll.
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