Corporate-financed Missouri politicians passed a bill that greenlit a Chinese takeover of Missouri farmland.
In March of 2013, the executives of Smithfield, a family-farm-killing agricultural monopoly and the state’s biggest pork producer, began plotting with Chinese officials to sell the company and its 40,000 acres of Missouri farmland to China.
There was just one problem: Missouri, where a large portion of Smithfield’s operations were located, had a law on the books prohibiting the ownership of agricultural land by foreign entities.
So Smithfield did what corporate America does when it needs to break the law — buy off the politicians to change it. Smithfield was already a huge political player, well versed in lobbying and lining the pockets of politicians here in Missouri and across the country. When Smithfield told them to jump, our politicians didn’t ask why, they asked how high.
Just two months later, Missouri Politicians voted to let foreign countries buy Missouri farmland. Two weeks, Smithfield announced a deal: a Chinese multinational corporation would purchase Smithfield for $4.27 billion and take control of its 40,000 acres of Missouri farmland in the “largest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company” up to that point. In the U.S. Congress, politicians kept taking checks from Smithfield’s corporate PAC and looked the other way as China took our land and gained control of our food supply chain.
For a century, family farmers fed states like ours. The family farmer cares more about food safety and environmental impact than multinational corporations because family farmers look over their fence and actually see their customers looking right back at them, depending on them. They’re not sitting with a bunch of billionaires in China making decisions about our food without ever having stepped foot in the United States, let alone Missouri. The corporate cabal cosplaying as a “food provider” is destroying our rural communities.
We should all be furious. This is a national security threat. Around the time this deal went down in 2013, I was a U.S. Marine serving in Afghanistan. Coming home from my three deployments, I saw how our state had been stripped for parts by corporate monopolies buying off our political elite. Smithfield was the largest campaign donor to the guy who wrote the bill that helped sell our land. Today, tens of thousands of acres of Missouri farmland are owned by foreign conglomerates. Smithfield (China) and JBS (Brazil) now control 50% of U.S. pork.
Big Ag has put 90% of Missouri hog producers out of business. And just three companies dominate the seed industry, including Bayer (Germany) and ChemChina. All thanks to a corrupt political class that is paid to sell America and Americans to the highest bidder...