US judge on NC hog grower’s lawsuits: Dump talk of Chinese ties

ROSE HILL, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge hearing a lawsuit over the bad smells endured by North Carolina neighbors of industrial hog farms says lawyers need to remove references to the Chinese government, the Communist Party, and that country’s People’s Liberation Army.

U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt agreed with industry lawyers that the references to Chinese ownership of a major U.S. pork producer are inflammatory.

More than 500 neighbors of industrial-scale hog operations across eastern North Carolina filed two dozen lawsuits complaining the smells and clouds of flies have persisted since the factory farms moved in during the 1990s.

The lawsuits target factory-farms pioneer Murphy-Brown LLC. The company was bought by Virginia-based Smithfield Foods in 2000. Smithfield was purchased in 2013 in the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese corporation.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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