Smithfield shareholders approved the sale of the company to Shanghui International.
The deal had faced scrutiny but was cleared by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment earlier this month.
At a special Smithfield shareholder meeting on Tuesday, more than 96 percent of the votes cast were in favor of the acquisition. The company said the votes cast represented 76 percent of Smithfield’s outstanding common shares.
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson called it a sad day for family farmers and consumers when the largest pork processing company in the U.S. is sold to a Chinese interest. Johnson said putting ownership of our food system in the hands of other countries doesn’t bode well for the future of our agricultural marketplace.
Johnson said he believes Congress should revisit the official approval process for such transactions with an eye toward assuring our food systems are more stable, safe and secure as well as based on a model of family farmers and ranchers.