Pending Chinese Acquisition of Smithfield Foods Raises Lawmaker Questions About Heparin Safety
House Energy and Commerce leaders from the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees today sent a letter to the President and Chief Executive Office of Smithfield Foods, Inc., C. Larry Pope, requesting information regarding the pending acquisition of the company, with questions spurred by the committee’s ongoing heparin contamination investigation, which dates back to 2008. The pending acquisition of Smithfield Foods raises new concerns regarding the supply of heparin in both the United States and China and the potential threat of contamination, some lawmakers have noted. The letter cites the US company's importance as an ingredient supplier for the blood-thinning drug heparin. Crude heparin is extracted from the intestines of pigs.