Smithfield Foods, Inc. has filed suit in federal district court in Des Moines, IA, charging that portions of Iowa's law prohibiting packer control of pork production is unconstitutional.

Smithfield is joined in the suit by Murphy Farms, LLC and Prestage-Stoecker Farms, Inc.

During its legislative session this year, the Iowa General Assembly amended state code. Effective July 1, 2004, vertical integration is legal only for Iowa cooperative associations or for other cooperative associations with links to Iowa. Penalties are set at $25,000 per day.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller stressed his office will strongly defend the state statute. “Two successive General Assemblies took action to amend and strengthen Iowa law regulating corporate farming. The purpose of the law stated by the legislature is to preserve free and private enterprise, prevent monopoly and protect consumers.”