World’s Largest Pork Plant Reopens Post-Hurricane Matthew

While the surrounding community struggles to recover after devastating hurricane, it’s business-as-usual at Smithfield.


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On Monday, in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, meat company Smithfield resumed operations at its pig processing facilities—including the largest plant in the world, located in Tar Heel, NC. Residents are scrambling to repair what has been an estimated $10 billion in damages, some of which were caused by fecal waste from the state’s large concentration of pig farms, with 10 million pigs slaughtered annually. Environmental Working Group reported that the amount of fecal waste produced in North Carolina annually is “enough to fill more than 15,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.” Last year, a group of 500 residents in Duplin, North Carolina sued Smithfield for poisoning the town by exposing residents to toxic fumes from open-air cesspools of untreated pig waste.

Photo courtesy of Waterkeeper Alliance

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