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Why is pork bad for you — a look at what the science says

Although in small quantities of under 70 grams (2.5 ounces) / day, red meat is not as harmful to your health, consumption of pork is associated with a significant risk of several chronic conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer.

“I would never recommend eating animal products, and certainly not pork,” says Dana Hunnes, assistant professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

The main (but not the only) reason why pork is bad for you is its high content of saturated fats and cholesterol. However, as is often the case with nutrition, the scientific studies are not always clear-cut, and dietary recommendations tend to be laxer than existing evidence.

We eat too much pork

Pigs were domesticated in Mesopotamia, around 15,000 years ago. But up until the 20th century, consumption of pork was relatively low, and often restricted to the autumn-winter part of the year.

In the 20th century, mankind rethought its animal consumption, and industrial farming took over. The world now produces 4 times more meat than 50 years ago — which in 2013, meant 320 million tons of meat. Over 80 billion animals are slaughtered each year for meat, with pig meat being the most popular type of meat globally (although poultry is increasing most rapidly).

The average American consumes 124 kilograms of meat every year, and around 24 of those are pig. Pork (the “food” name of pigs) is consumed in a number of ways, from sausages and bacon to fresh meat and lard.

Image credits: Our World in Data.

Pork consumption in the US has remained relatively stable for much of the past century (although chicken, turkey, and beef have increased compared to the early 1900s). But this doesn’t necessarily mean good news.

Virtually all dietary guidelines recommend no more than 500 grams (1.1 pounds) of red meat a week — not just pork. Meanwhile, Americans consume double that, and the numbers keep growing.

It’s not just Americans (although the US is near the top of the list for per capita red meat consumption) — as the world is becoming more affluent, it is consuming more red meat, and pork is a staple in many parts of the world.

Despite some claims from the industry, pork is undoubtedly red meat. In particular, one advertising campaign from the U.S. National Pork Board labeled pork as “the other white meat”. The campaign was highly successful, and at some point, 87% of consumers identified pork with the slogan, although the USDA never considered pork to be anything other than red meat.

“Pork is considered a red meat, and it is high levels of saturated fat, and all of the other animal protein compounds that are deleterious to health. Pork is not a “white meat”, and even if it were, white meat has also been demonstrated to be deleterious to health,” Hunnes told ZME Science.

Is pork bad for you?

In 2012, a large study on over 100,000 individuals found strong evidence that consumption of red meat is linked to a shorter and less healthy life. The evidence was strong, although pork wasn’t analyzed in particular — this is often the case with such studies, they classify all red meat together.

“This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death,” according to Dr. Frank Hu, one of the senior scientists involved in the study and a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

It was by no means an isolated study. Studies have highlighted the health risks associated with pork consumption for decades. Sometimes, it’s not always obvious problems — for instance, a 1985 study finding a correlation between pork consumption and cirrhosis. But most of the time, the same health problems pop up. Despite the fact that pork can be a source of nutrients such as protein and iron, it is associated with a number of health problems.

Pork consumption and cancer

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that red meat is probably carcinogenic to humans. Several types of cancer have been linked to pork. For instance, a 2011 analysis found that for each additional 100 grams of red meat (either pork or beef) per day, the risk of colorectal cancer increases by 17%. Correlations were also observed for pancreatic and prostate cancer, although the associations were not as strong.

“High intake of red and processed meat is associated with significant increased risk of colorectal, colon and rectal cancers,” the study concluded.

Even moderate intake of pork can increase the cancer risk, another study found. The study, carried out in 2019, found that even red meat consumption in accordance with existing guidelines leads to an increased bowel cancer risk: 20% with each extra slice of ham or rasher of bacon per day. This is particularly significant because it shows that the risk has remained significant even as people’s diets may have changed over the years.

Pork belly. Image credits: Rainer Zenz.

It’s worth noting that all these are big studies — and there’s more. A 2013 meta-analysis (a study of studies) found that gastric cancer risk also increases with red meat consumption, although the authors called for more research to clarify this connection.

A 2016 literature review found that for 100g or more per day of red meat, the risk breast cancer increases by 11%, 17% for colorectal cancer, and 19% for prostate cancer.

Meanwhile, a 2017 review found numerous potential carcinogens in red meat products, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and heterocyclic amines

“Red meat products, especially those that have been processed, have a wide variety of carcinogenic molecules known to increase the risk of colorectal cancer,” the study concluded.

It should be noted that this is an increase in relative risk. Let’s take an example.

Let’s say the cancer risk is 10%, and pork consumption causes a 17% increase in the total cancer risk. The net increase in risk is 17% of 10% — so in total, it’s a 1.7% increase that takes the total risk from 10 to 11.7%.

Some use this to claim that the disease risk from red meat is exaggerated. At the end of the day, we all judge risk in our own way, and one may consider the extra risk acceptable — but even a 1% change is huge considering how common these diseases are.

The exact risk is hard to establish, but overall, pork consumption seems to be linked with higher cancer risk. There is “sufficient evidence” to draw a link between the consumption of processed meat products and cancer, WHO experts also conclude.

Pork consumption and obesity

It’s no secret that the world (and especially the developed world) is facing an obesity crisis. Decades ago, the culprit was considered to be fat, whereas in more recent years, sugar has also emerged as a major issue. However, according to a recent study, meat is also to blame.

“In the analysis of obesity prevalence across 170 countries, we have found that sugar availability in a nation explains 50% of obesity variation while meat availability another 50%. After correcting for differences in nations’ wealth (Gross Domestic Product), calorie consumption, levels of urbanization and of physical inactivity, which are all major contributors to obesity, sugar availability remained an important factor, contributing independently 13%, while meat contributed another 13% to obesity,” said Professor Maciej Henneberg, head of the Biological Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy Research Unit, and one of the study authors.

Again, the effect of individual meats was not calculated, but overall, high meat availability was found to be correlated with obesity. It’s also worth noting that it’s not necessarily the fat, but also the protein in the meat that contributes to obesity.

According to another 2014 review of studies covering a combined total over 1 million participants, “red and processed meat intake is directly associated with risk of obesity, and higher BMI.”

The key to understanding these nutritional studies is to look at the big picture. You will always find differences between individual studies, and you can find studies that support varying viewpoints.

If you want to have a better understanding of this process, it’s best to look at large-scale studies and reviews of studies.

The fact that many diet-and-disease studies lump pork together with other types of red meat also dilutes the association related to pork alone.

According to the Global Burden of Disease study 4.7 million people died prematurely in 2017 as a result of obesity. Obesity is one of the most important health risk factors. According to recent estimates

Pork consumption and the link to diabetes and cardiovascular disease

This is where things are not as clear as before. Because red meat consumption is associated with increased weight, and increased weight is associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it’s doubly difficult to assess which risks are caused directly by meat, and which by increased weight. This is why studies in this regard are often inconclusive and hard to interpret.

Even so, the prevailing evidence seems to show negative effects of red meat consumption.

A 2011 study on over 100,000 participants found that “red meat consumption, particularly processed red meat, is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.” Substituting one serving of red meat per day with nuts, low-fat dairy and whole grains reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 35%. Another study, one year earlier, concluded that a “reduction of the consumption of processed meat may help prevent the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes”.

A review of almost half a million people found a positive link between red meat consumption and cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. Eating red meat daily triples the levels of a heart disease-related chemical called TMAO.

“These findings reinforce current dietary recommendations that encourage all ages to follow a heart-healthy eating plan that limits red meat,” says nutrition researcher Dr. Charlotte Pratt, the NHLBI project officer for the study. “This means eating a variety of foods, including more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, and plant-based protein sources such as beans and peas.”

Another recent study has found that eating two servings of red meat per week was linked to a 7% higher risk of heart and circulatory diseases, compared to eating none at all (again, this is relative risk).

However, another study concluded that eating meat within the recommended quantity does not increase cardiovascular risk, and recent studies have called for more studies on this issue.

A part of the reason why nutritional studies are so hard to reconcile is that they often rely on self-reported questionnaires. Humans are notoriously unreliable when it comes to self-reporting and often tend to distort the data.

This is why it’s important to look at results from multiple angles, and when possible, also try to find the mechanism producing the observed effect.

Another important aspect is how the meat is prepared: is it processed, and if yes, how? Is it cooked at high temperatures? All this can matter. As a rule of thumb, the more it is processed and cooked, the worse it is. This is particularly concerning since pork is often consumed in processed form (in products such as bacon or sausages), which seem to have an even higher health risk.

Other health risks associated with pork consumption: liver disease, MS, yersinia

Some of the health issues associated with pork consumption tend to fly under the radar.

For instance, the link between pork and multiple sclerosis (MS) is known at least since the 1980s, and has been demonstrated across dozens of countries. The link has been supported by multiple studies carried in various environments. It’s more than just an observation: between 2007 and 2009, a cluster of 24 pork plant workers fell mysteriously ill with a disease that triggers MS-like symptoms — a problem which was ultimately traced back to pork.

Remember the 1985 cirrhosis study we mentioned at the start of the article? Surprisingly, pork can also cause liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. Alcohol is of course a main driver here, but pig meat has been repeatedly proven to play a role in both liver cancer and cirrhosis.

Yersinia is another potential risk factor that is often overlooked. In pork that isn’t properly cooked, the Yersinia bacteria can creep in, causing severe symptoms and even contributing to mortality. In the US alone, yersinia kills 35 people and causes 117,000 cases of food poisoning each year. Its main point of access inside the human body? You’ve guessed it — pork. The problem can be averted by properly cooking the meat.

Can pork ever be good for you?

Example of nutritional value of 100 gram serving of pork. Values may vary substantially based on the type of meat and how it is prepared.

Every once in a while, you end up seeing a “pork isn’t bad for you” study picked up by the media. Recently, one such study published in late 2019 made all the rounds. “Red meat is back on the menu” and “Stop worrying about red meat” were just some of the headlines flown around, validating what meat lovers all around the world wanted to hear. But there’s a problem — several, actually.

This was just one study, the authors themselves admitted low-quality evidence, and the study was called into question in more ways than one (see our detailed analysis of that study here).

A Professor of Medicine and Human Nutrition at University of Otago, New Zealand, summed up the general feeling among scientists:

“In my opinion, the weak recommendation based on low-certainty evidence that adults continue current consumption of unprocessed red meat and processed meat is potentially unhelpful and could be misleading.”

This doesn’t mean that the study is meaningless or that we should immediately disregard conflicting evidence — but neither should we overturn decades of research because a conflicting study came out. This just means that we shouldn’t jump on the next study that gets picked up by the media. Instead, looking at multiple, large studies can offer a much more accurate image.

It can be daunting to look through studies when all you want is to know whether bacon is alright, so if you want to boil it down to a simple tidbit, it’s hard to see pork as part of a healthy diet.

“All animal proteins, exclusive of what animal they come from, can be harmful to health, especially if and when they are processed. So I would never recommend eating animal products, and certainly not pork,” says Hunnes.

This being said, if your diet is low in salts, saturated fats and you have an active lifestyle, you can incorporate low amounts of lean, preferably unprocessed pork into your diet, and will still have a relatively low risk of developing chronic diseases.

There are many things we don’t fully understand about nutrition, but what we do know is that the total matters more than the sum of the parts. Some things are healthier than others, and it’s important to be careful with all aspects of your lifestyle.

However as Havard researchers have pointed out, even the dietary guidelines sometimes don’t take into consideration the risks that their very own analyses highlight.

But don’t you need red meat for protein?

As mentioned, pork can contain large amounts of protein, but the idea that you need to eat red meat to get your protein is a myth.

“We need nutrients, and we need amino acids that come from protein, but neither of these do we need from animal proteins,” Hunne explains.

Replacing red meat with plant protein has been found to increase longevity and improve overall health in a number of studies. While people who don’t eat much meat (or don’t eat meat at all) need to pay some attention to complementing their protein and vitamin intake, diets focused on plant rather than animal protein tend to be associated with better health outcomes.

Plant-based protein is associated with better health in several studies.

In 2006, a study compared plant with animal protein, concluding that “with a proper combination of sources, vegetable proteins may provide similar benefits as protein from animal sources.”

Results of a 2016 meta-analysis found that plant-based protein is associated with a lower risk of disease of all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular problems — a link that was especially prevalent for people who have at least one health risk factor.

“Substitution of plant protein for animal protein, especially that from processed red meat, was associated with lower mortality, suggesting the importance of protein source.”

The bottom line

Consumption of meat, in any quantity, can be detrimental to your health in a number of ways, and generally speaking, the more you eat, the more you increase your risk.

Not all pork is made equal. Uncooked meat can carry pathogens, while processed meat tends to be worse. Meat that is high in saturated fats and trans fats causes the greatest risk to health.

Multiple conditions have been associated with pork consumption, including but not limited to diabetes, MS, cardiovascular disease, obesity, cirrhosis, and multiple types of cancer. The exact nature of this risk is still a matter of active research, but if you want to be on the safe side, no amount of pork is safe. If you just can’t give it up, the common recommendation is to not go over 500 g (1.1 pounds) per week and stick to lean, unprocessed meat.

Substituting red meat protein with plant protein is linked to a longer, healthier life, with multiple studies backing this up. Reducing pork consumption can also have a positive environmental impact, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption associated with our food. Ethically, slaughtering billions of animals every year (especially animals as — or even more — intelligent than dogs) is not the right thing to do.

Oh, and there’s another reason why avoiding pork might be wise, Hunnes notes.

“In the past couple of decades, a couple of disease epidemics (swine flus) have emerged from pigs. Just another reason not to raise animals in confinement.

In short, I do not recommend eating pork. Under any circumstances,” she concludes.

Livestock-MRSA found in British-sourced pork at Asda and Sainsbury’s

British-grown pork livestock has been tested positive for livestock associated MRSA, the Guardian reports. The tests were carried out by Dr Mark Holmes, director of studies in clinical veterinary medicine at Churchill College, Cambridge University, and commissioned by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, founded by the Soil Association, Compassion in World Farming and Sustain.

Image credits Tanakawho / Flickr.

Out of a sample of 97 UK-grown-pork products purchased from British supermarkets, three items — sourced from Asda and Sainsbury’s — were contaminated with MRSA CC398, a livestock strain of the superbug, the publication reports. Working with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), the Guardian has identified the most likely source of the infection in import-legislature loopholes. Through these, pigs from countries where the bacteria is rampant, such as Denmark, have been imported to the UK without proper precautions.

And that’s really bad news.

While MRSA CC398 isn’t as harmful to us as the human-specific strains, it’s still a potentially deadly bacteria that can resist almost everything we can throw at it. Research has found that combining three previously-efficient drugs together can serve as a sort of stop-gap measure against the bacteria; there’s also a thousand year-old salve that’s shown some potential agains MRSA, and Canadian clay. And that’s it.

About 300 people die each year as result of MRSA infection in England and Wales alone, and the bug seriously threatens patients with weakened immune systems.

“MRSA infections kill 11,000 people each year in the United States, and the pathogen is considered one of the world’s worst drug-resistant microbes,” said Gautam Dantas, PhD, an associate professor of pathology and immunology at the Washington University School of Medicine, unaffiliated with the publication.

Still, six cases of MRSA CC398 death have been confirmed in Denmark so far, but there are probably a lot more, the Guardian reports. Animals can catch the bacteria from infected pigs, and people can contract it from eating infected meat or from working with infected animals. Thoroughly cooking it should destroy the germs, but a small risk remains.

The publication warns that UK pigs might be in for the same fate as Denmark’s, where MRSA CC389 spread over a decade ago and now afflicts two-thirds of farms. It’s a major health issue for the country, with some 12,000 people believed to have contracted it — and there are no screening programs set in place for danish pigs.

“If we don’t have tight infection control and we don’t try to control the movement of live animals, infection can spread. The British are up in arms about the movement of people, but the EU also has a large movement of animals,” said Prof Tim Lang from the Food Policy at City University, London.

“We need biosecurity, we need to tighten up this livestock movement. You may get cheap meat, but in the long term it’s going to add to your public health problems.”

The real issue here, just like with human-specific MRSA, is the drug resistance part. What most people don’t understand is that it’s not limited to humans — it’s happening in agriculture, too. The rise of the CC398 strain can in part be attributed to an overuse of antibiotics in factory farming, where cramped and dirty conditions allows disease to flourish. Farmers are left with little choice but feed their livestock huge amounts of antibiotics, promoting the rise of drug resistance at a much higher rate than those seen in humans. And if the bacteria gains a foothold in the UK (and there’s not much we can do to spot it apart from screenings) our drugs won’t be able to destroy it. So even such a low number of cases is worrying.

Where’s it coming from?

The Guardian reports that last year, out of 100 samples of pork from UK supermarkets, nine were found to contain MRSA. One of these was sourced from an Irish farm, and the others from pigs in Denmark. The findings marked the first confirmed occurrence of the superbug in the UK.

Image credits Tim Geers / Flickr.

While it’s impossible to determine if the meat tested now comes from UK or imported pigs, it does show that the bacteria is present in UK farms. Imports are likely the original source of the infection, The Guardian adds. At least one Danish farm has been found to be a regular supplier of importer pigs to the UK even if their pigs were contaminated with MRSA in 2014, the BIJ reported. The company, Breeding Centre Rønshauge A/S, refused to say how many pigs it had exported to the UK and whether they could have been contaminated. But official export figures show that the company supplied 41 pigs to the UK in July this year, 65 in 2013 and 16 in 2012. The UK government does not screen for the infection in imported animals, citing a low risk of serious illness.

“It is extremely worrying to find LA [livestock-associated]-MRSA in British-produced pork,” said Emma Rose, from the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics.

“Scientists are now warning that the extensive MRSA reservoir in animals could ultimately lead to a pandemic spread in the human population. LA-MRSA is able to cause serious and potentially fatal infections in humans, and as the bacteria is resistant to antibiotics, it is extremely difficult to treat. What’s more, even more dangerous variations are emerging as the superbug evolves.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that LA-MRSA “is not the same as MRSA strains that can cause healthcare-associated infections” if the meat isn’t properly cooked, and the risk to people is “low”. Defra and the National Pig Association recommend that all pigs imported to Britain be screened for the bacteria.

“The government is reviewing options for surveillance, which will be proportionate to the very low health risk posed by livestock-associated MRSA.”

When animals are imported, they’re screened for multiple diseases, but the one for CC398 is voluntary. So there’s no way to know how many infected pigs there are in UK right now. There have been two confirmed cases, one in Northern Ireland and one in eastern England, but without any systematic tests carried out in farms, all we’re left with are extremely rough estimations. The publication says that this and other health concerns related to UK meat come down to pressure towards factory farms producing the cheapest possible meat.

How feeding pigs with leftovers can save the rainforest

In 2001 a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the United Kingdom was traced back to a farmer that illegally fed uncooked waste to his pigs. It left the country’s agricultural industry in tatters — over 10 million sheep and cattle were killed in an effort to contain the disease. Later that year EU legislators banned the use of human food waste (or swill) as pig feed, a decision that is now coming under a lot of fire from disgruntled livestock farmers and the scientific community.

Image via wikimedia

Following the ban, EU pig farmers had to turn to grain and soybean-based feedstock for their animals, a costly and land-consuming swift; a new study, looking into the effects this decision has had on the industry, estimates that lifting the ban would not only provide a use for the estimated 100 million tonnes of food wasted in the EU each year, but also save 1.8 million hectares of global agricultural land – an area roughly half the size of Germany. These areas include hundreds of thousands of acres of uniquely biodiverse land in developing countries, such as South America’s forests and savannah.

Hot leftovers, hotter debate

The main concern of legislators that decided upon the ban was preventing a similar outbreak from hitting what was at that time a struggling industry. But while the EU took this drastic decision other countries, most notably Japan, responded by (very successfully) regulating the heat-treatment system that turns food waste to animal feed. Japan is currently reusing over 35% of its food waste as feedstock, and its swill-fed “Eco-pork” makes a pretty profit in Europe as a premium product.

This is why researchers and farmers have come to describe the EU’s ban as a “knee-jerk reaction,” a panicked hit on the big red “NO” button that just doesn’t make sense anymore.

The authors looked at the current land use of EU’s pork industry, availability of food waste and quality and quantity of the meat from feed trials that compares pigswill to grain-based diets to estimate how much land could be saved if the ban was lifted. The models in the paper show that pigswill reintroduction would not only decrease the amount of land the EU pork industry requires by 21.5%.

Where there’s swill there’s a way

Lead researcher of the study, Erasmus zu Ermgassen from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology said in the paper:

“Following the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak, different countries looked at the same situation, the same evidence, and came to opposite conclusions for policy. In many countries in East Asia we have a working model for the safe use of food waste as pig feed. It is a highly regulated and closely monitored system that recycles food waste and produces low-cost pig feed with a low environmental impact.”

The meat industry is a big part of the global agricultural sector — some 75% of farmland worldwide is used to feed and rear our livestock. The European Union reports that around 34kg of pork are produced domestically per capita each year, a huge 21 and a half million tonnes of meat in total. And much of the industry’s environmental burden can be attributed to the farms that grow their feed — dedicated farming of cereal and soybean meal uses up in excess of 1.2 million hectares of land across South American countries.

But swill is readily available, doesn’t require any new farmland to be cleared and is much cheaper than soybean-based feed. Reintroducing swill feeding would reduce operating costs of EU pig farmers by 50%, the researchers report. So why are legislators reticent in changing current policy? Zu Ermgassen argues that those concerns are largely based on incorrect assumptions that feeding pigs our leftovers is unnatural.

“Pigs are omnivorous animals; in the wild they would eat anything they could forage for, from vegetable matter to other animal carcasses, and they have been fed food waste since they were domesticated by humans 10,000 years ago. Swill actually provides a more traditional diet for pigs than the grain-based feed currently used in modern EU systems,” he said.

“A recent survey found that 25% of smallholder farmers in the UK admit to illegally feeding uncooked food waste to their pigs, so the fact is that the current ban is not particularly safe from a disease-outbreak perspective. Feeding uncooked food waste is dangerous because pigs can catch diseases from raw meat, but a system supporting the regulated use of heat-treated swill does not have the same risks,” he added.

As demand for meat and dairy products is believed to increase by 60% till 2050, reducing the environmental footprint of our livestock farms will become increasingly critical. Zu Ermgassen points out that economic and environmental concern is driving a reassessment of EU animal feed bans that were put in place in the 2000s, as well as attempts to recycle food waste more effectively. The EU is currently looking into repealing bans on using waste pig and poultry products as fish feed and reintroducing insects as pig and poultry feed.

“The reintroduction of swill feeding in the EU would require backing from pig producers, the public, and policy makers, but it has substantial potential to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of EU pork production. It is time to reassess whether the EU’s blanket ban on the use of food waste as feed is the right thing for the pig industry,” he said.

Chinese Meat Firm With Terrible Food Safety Record Buys The Largest Pork Producer In The U.S.

Tho global meat giants with shady food and environmental safety records shook hands as they are planning to become the world’s biggest meat producer. Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the U.S., has been bought by China’s Shuanghui International Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion. The global meat industry, which is grasped firmly by a handful of companies will become even less competitive than it is today.


Why is this a bad thing? Well, the lack of competition is always a bad thing – regardless of field. Everything from evolution to food safety has everything to benefit from a little (or even a little more) competition – if one giant conglomerate controls most of the market, we have every reason to believe that the food (and environmental) safety standards will drop to more abysmal depths.

Both Smithfield and Shuanghui have had problems due to their unethical practices: Smithfield has come under criticism for the millions of gallons of untreated fecal matter it produces and stores in the lagoons. In a four-year period in North Carolina alone, 4.7 million gallons of hog fecal matter were released into the state’s rivers. In 1997, the company was fined $12.6 million in 1997 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 6,900 violations of the Clean Water Act after discharging illegal levels of slaughterhouse waste into the Pagan River in Virginia.

In 2011, a Shuanghui plant was caught feeding their pigs an illegal additive, clenbuterol, to speed muscle growth. 300 people fell violently ill after eating the clenbuterol pigs. They, much like Smithfield, have a background with abusing employees, animals, and the environment.


China’s pork consumption is absolutely staggering – dwarfing American dramatically. As a matter of fact, American pork consumption had just started dropping, but one can not help but wonder if this aggressive move by the Chinese won’t increase the consumption once again.

Via Think Progress