By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Smithfield Foods President and CEO Ken Sullivan has heard his share of rumors about the company since it was purchased by the WH Group a few years ago, but the latest one was news to him.

It seems some folks believe Foods is shipping pigs to China where they are processed and then returned through Canada to the U.S. for sale to American consumers.

“It’s utter nonsense. It’s asinine from an economic standpoint,” said Sullivan recently in an interview held at the corporate headquarters in Smithfield.

It’s difficult enough to make it work financially to send pork to China and make the freight costs, never mind a return trip, he said, adding that for the Chinese, growing pigs is very expensive and that is why the deal with Smithfield was so attractive. 

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