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Smithfield Foods questioned over potential sale

U.S. lawmakers question Smithfield Foods at a Senate hearing in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. They are mulling the company's proposed $4.7 billion sale to Shuanghui International Holdings over worries it could lead to higher prices for American consumers. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEMOCRATIC SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW SAYING: "This is a precedent setting case and we owe it to consumers and producers and workers to ensure we are asking the right questions and evaluating the long-term implications." Smithfield Foods CEO Larry Pope said the sale of the Virginia pork products firm would bring about little change in operations or product quality. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LARRY POPE, CEO OF SMITHFIELD FOODS SAYING: "Let me be clear, Shuanghui intends to retain Smithfield's management team, its plants and all of its employees. Shuanghui recognises Smithfield's best in class operations, outstanding food safety practices and our 46,000 hard working employees. There sho

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