Thursday, May 30, 2013
File this one under miscellaneous regulatory approval. It's likely that the Smithfield acquisition by Shuanghui International is going to get pretty intensive review by a Congress. No big surprise there. Congress has regularly used large Chinese acquisitions to make political hay. This one, though, is a little different. What's the hook? National security - "Gawd, they're taking our ham!" Seems like weak tea. Heidi Moore suggests a different national security hook - concern that the lack of effective food standards at the Chinese parent could bleed down into Smithfield and adversely affect the US food supply. That's interesting and might be compelling, but we'll see how it plays out. Hey, maybe the result will be to increase the FDA's budget. OK, probably not...