Smithfield Foods has refused to say how many employees have fallen ill at its Milan, Missouri, plant. But OSHA records say at least two workers died and possibly as many as 300 had COVID-19 or had come into contact with someone who did.
As more and more Smithfield workers in South Dakota fell ill with COVID-19, the company's workers at a Missouri plant contended with policies that made social distancing almost impossible, according to an affidavit from a plant worker filed in a lawsuit last week.
The closure of major pork processing plants across the U.S., including the massive Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls, has state officials and pork producers in South Dakota planning for the worst — the potential euthanization of thousands of hogs that cannot be sold.
Meat processing workers at Smithfield Foods in Milan, Missouri, were raising concerns about their working environment even before nearly 600 employees of a Smithfield plant in South Dakota contracted COVID-19.
Smithfield shut down its South Dakota plant indefinitely Sunday, and some workers in Milan fear it’s only a matter of time before the coronavirus overwhelms their community, too.
Many of my blog posts notwithstanding I root for big-agriculture. I want them to succeed. At heart, I am a pragmatist that realizes big ag must be part of any solution to feed the world's growing population. But having said that there are specific things I believe big ag must do as part of its corporate identity.
Generally speaking, pork barrel politics amounts to politicians trading favors to constituents or special interest groups for political support, often as campaign contributions. Pork barrel spending, better known as earmarks in federal spending bills, have surged in 2018. Who may be profiting this year? Smithfield Foods.