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Pork producer's venture aims to grow skin, organs for humans

Posted April 13

— The world's largest pork producer is entering the business of trying to grow skin and organs for humans.

Virginia's Smithfield Foods said in a news release Wednesday that its new division is called Smithfield Bioscience.

The company already sells its byproducts to firms that produce medicine and supplements. For instance, some of the drugs treat indigestion, thyroid conditions and blood clots.

Smithfield's new division is also among a group of organizations that's figuring out ways to replace tissue for injured soldiers. The public-private initiative is partly funded by the Department of Defense.

Smithfield Bioscience also works with Harvard and Columbia universities on the research and development of immunology therapies.

Located in Smithfield, Virginia, the company was bought in 2013 by a division of the China-based WH Group.

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