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Senator says Smithfield deal has food safety implications

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) speaks during a news conference at the Toussaint Louverture Airport in Port-au-Prince February 21, 2013.
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) speaks during a news conference at the Toussaint Louverture Airport in Port-au-Prince February 21, 2013.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday said she was concerned about the food safety implications posed by the proposed purchase of pork producer Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International, a Chinese meat products company.

The federal agencies considering the merger "must take China's and Shuanghui's troubling track record on food safety into account, and do everything in their power to ensure our national security and the health of our families is not jeopardized," Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, said in a statement.

Stabenow did not suggest her committee would hold a hearing on the proposed deal, which if approved would be the largest acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese company.

(Reporting By Ros Krasny; editing by John Wallace)

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