Rep. Jim McGovern Shines Light on Chinese Smithfield’s Attempt to Overturn State Laws Including Massachusetts' Question 3

House Committee on Agriculture Holds Hearing on Chinese Infiltration of American Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), and Competitive Markets Action (CMA), applauded U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-MA, for shining light on Smithfield Foods, a company owned by the Chinese group 万洲国际, during a hearing held Wednesday by the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture entitled “The Danger China Poses to American Agriculture.”

Smithfield, who controls an alarming percentage of pork production in America, and whose purchase was financed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2013, has been pushing for enactment of the EATS Act, H.R. 4417/S. 2019, led by Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-IA, and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-KS, and other legislation that would nullify Massachusetts’ Question 3 enacted by a vote of the people at the ballot box in 2016, as well as California’s Proposition 12 enacted in 2018. Both measures prohibit the sale of certain types of factory farmed pork products in these states.

“Smithfield now controls about a quarter…of all hog U.S. production, and it exports a significant quantity of pork to China, tightening our domestic supply,” said U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-MA, in the House hearing today. “I think it’s appropriate for this Committee to consider what impact that has on U.S. food security.” 

Republican Governor Kristi Noem, who testified at the hearing today, noted that Smithfield has been difficult for her to work with in South Dakota. 

“We applaud Rep. McGovern for shining light on Smithfield’s infiltration of American agriculture and the multinational conglomerate’s efforts to overturn state laws like Massachusetts’ Question 3,” said Marty Irby, president and CEO at Competitive Markets Action and board secretary at the Organization for Competitive Markets. “McGovern has been a tireless champion for sustainable agriculture and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson should reconsider his support for China’s efforts to nullify Question 3 and California’s Prop 12 that were both enacted by a vote of the people at the ballot box.”

“Smithfield’s EATS Act is the greatest threat to American family farmers we’ve seen in half a century,” said Taylor Haynes, president at the Organization for Competitive Markets.

“We must stand together in the face of Chinese threats like these,” said Mike Schultz, founder of the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association and vice-president at the Organization for Competitive Markets. "This isn’t just about the one industry. It’s about every one of us and the very plates on our kitchen table.”

The EATS Act, and other legislation like it being pushed by Hinson, Marshall, and Chairman Glenn "G.T." Thompson, R-PA, is opposed by more than 2,000 diverse opponents that include Moms For America, Farm Action, Competitive Markets Action, the Organization of Competitive Markets, FreedomWorks, the American Grassfed Association, and three of the nation’s top American-owned pork producers Heritage Foods, Niman Ranch, and Clemens Food Group/Hatfield Meats, that was featured in Forbes this week for their work to produce ethically raised pork. 

This month, 10 U.S. House Republicans, led by House Freedom Caucus (HFC) champion Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-FL, sent a letter that included HFC chairman Bob Good, R-VA, to Thompson and Ranking Member David Scott against the nullification of Prop 12 that followed a similar October 2023 letter to Thompson and Scott signed by 16 House Republicans and led by front-liner Rep. Andrew Garbarino, R-NY.

To date, 226 bipartisan Members of Congress, including McGovern, have vocalized their opposition to the nullification of Question 3 and Prop 12. 171 bipartisan Members of the House sent a letter to Thompson and Scott in August of 2023 and 31 U.S. Senators sent a similar letter to Senate Agriculture Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, and John Boozman, R-AR, last August. 

McGovern's full commentary can be watched here at the 2:25 mark on YouTube.      

Competitive Markets Action (CMA) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit based in Washington, D.C., that was formed with the mission of shaping policy to promote more regenerative and sustainable agriculture, and competitive markets in the U.S., and to defend against attacks on states’ rights by the federal government. CMA works to raise awareness of the harm caused by multinational conglomerates to the American family farmer, the consumer and our U.S. economy as a whole in an effort to bring about legislative and regulatory reforms.

The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The foundation of the Organization for Competitive Markets is to fight for competitive markets in agriculture for farmers, ranchers and rural communities. True competition reduces the need for economic regulation. Our mission, and our duty, is to define and advocate the proper role of government in the agricultural economy as a regulator and enforcer of rules necessary for markets that are fair, honest, accessible and competitive for all citizens.


Rep. Jim McGovern, D-MA

Contact Data