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Demonstrators gather outside Smithfield Foods, urging meat processing companies to shut down

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Posted at 11:43 AM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 17:35:33-04

SMITHFIELD, Va. - Demonstrators will gather outside Smithfield Foods Headquarters to urge the meat processing company to shut down its plants on May 14.

Doctors with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine will be a part of this demonstration that goes from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Reports say the demonstrators will hold signs reading “Support Workers, Close Meat Plants,” and “Cholesterol Is Not Essential.” They will maintain social distance while protesting outside of Smithfield Foods Headquarters, located at 200 Commerce Street, Smithfield, VA 23430, at the corner of Commerce Street and Luter Drive.

“Keeping Smithfield plants open harms the health of workers, the surrounding community, and consumers, all to line the pockets of the meat industry,” says Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, president and co-founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Over 15,000 meat plant workers are infected with COVID-19, and at least 60 have died, data shows. With workers lined up in close proximity, viruses are easily spread within the slaughterhouse environment.

Although studies show that infectious viruses survive during refrigeration and freezing, reports say that meat companies do not routinely test the extent to which meat products are contaminated with the virus.