WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- The Senate Agriculture Committee said it would investigate a deal to sell U.S. meat processing giant Smithfield Foods to Shuanghui International of China.
The companies announced a $4.7 billion purchasing agreement, which they said would help increase U.S. pork exports to China.
The committee chaired by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is concerned the sale could somehow diminish U.S. food standards, The New York Times reported Friday.
The committee has scheduled a hearing for July 10 to review the deal, the Times said.
The sale is also being scrutinized by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, even though that panel generally deals with foreign investments that might compromise national security, such as the sale of a sensitive technology company or an aerospace firm.
"We welcome a full review and fair consideration of the Shuanghui-Smithfield combination from the U.S. government. We believe the proposed combination does not present any national security concerns, is good for U.S. farmers and agriculture and will advance U.S.-China relations. We will continue to provide Congress and [the committee] with all the information requested to allow a full and timely review of the combination," the company has said.
A spokesman for Shuanghui declined to comment, the Times said.