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Smithfield Foods Sends Letter to Employees
Date:4/30/2009

SMITHFIELD, Va., April 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- C. Larry Pope, President and Chief Executive Officer of Smithfield Foods, Inc. (NYSE: SFD), sent the following letter to all employees:

To Our Employees:

Like you, I have been closely monitoring all aspects of the H1N1 influenza outbreak (this is the official name of the mis-named but widely quoted "swine flu" since it has been determined by health officials throughout the world that the illness is a mutation of a number of strains). Unfortunately, the media and bloggers have jumped to conclusions based more on fear than fact and have sensationalized a serious illness.

As of this writing, there are still a number of facts about H1N1 that remain a mystery, including where the strain originated, how it is spreading, how far it will spread and when it will run its course. Hopefully, answers to these questions will soon be resolved. However, let me share with you some facts we do know at this time...namely, what Smithfield has done, is doing and will continue to do about keeping our workers and pigs healthy.

Earlier this week, when news of the virus first became public, we reported that we had found no evidence of the presence of the influenza virus in any of our pig herds or our employees at any of our worldwide operations, including those in the United States. Yesterday, we also announced that because so much attention was being given to the joint operation we run with a Mexican company in Veracruz (and it was believed by some that the initial outbreak of H1N1 flu originated with a little boy in La Gloria, a town not far from a farm that our joint venture partner operates in Mexico), we ran additional tests of pigs at that facility. The results of these independent laboratory tests should be available in a few days and we will, of course, annou
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SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.
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