Members of the Committee have written a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urging the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to investigate the acquisition.
The Senators strongly believe the acquisition has the potential to threaten the safety of the American food system.
“The security, safety, and resiliency of our food system is integral to the overall security of our nation,” the letter stated. “In light of recent acquisitions of US food and agriculture companies such as Smithfield by Shuanghui in 2013 and the acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina in 2016, it has become increasingly clear that growing foreign investment in US agriculture requires a thorough review process to safeguard the American food system.”
The Brazilian business announced last week that it had reached an agreement to purchase the US processor for US$969 million and believed the acquisition would consolidate its position in the beef industry.
The concerns come after Brazil’s turbulent year of corruption scandals regarding its food safety system, which included beef shipments from Marfrig that were intended for the US market.
Following the corruption, the US halted imports of fresh beef from Brazil and still remains hesitant over trading deals.
The Senators have also asked the Treasury Department to involve the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration in reviews of foreign acquisitions of major US agricultural assets.