Authored by: Ollie Lammers
Public Justice and Food & Water Watch submitted a brief regarding Smithfield wanting the case dismissed against them.
A case was filed against Smithfield alleging they continued to lie to consumers about the COVID-19 pandemic to protect its bottom line at the expense of its workers' health and safety.
The company attempted to dismiss the case after a Congress report was released showing how meatpacking facilities were lying to the public about the meat supply to incite panic buying.
The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis report shows that the largest meatpacking facilities, including Smithfield, lied about their meat supply. The report also shows the companies lobbied for the federal government to keep their factories open despite unsafe working conditions.
Congress's research validates the litigation Public Justice has sought since the pandemic's start. Smithfield has started an aggressive marketing campaign to counteract the findings and pending litigation.
The company claims they were implementing safety precautions for COVID-19 for all employees and that the meat shortage would happen if they had to close their factories.
Smithfield claims the federal government, at the start of the pandemic, claimed the country would have a meat shortage if their factories and others temporarily shut down. Congress' report traces the information about a potential meat shortage from meat industry lobbyists, including the CEO of Smithfield.
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For more on the litigation against Smithfield, listen to podcast episode 16, Cases That Made a Difference®, The Importance of Worker's Rights in the Meat Packing Industry with Public Justice.