NC pig feed plastics claim went viral. But does public have to worry?

North Carolina sits behind only Iowa and Minnesota as the nation's largest pork producer.

Pork is big business in North Carolina. The industry generates nearly $6 billion in annual sales and supports more than 19,000 jobs statewide. North Carolina sits behind only Iowa and Minnesota as the nation’s largest pork producer.

But last year, a peek into how the sausage literally gets made here shocked many.

The jolt was delivered by a North Carolina man named Emmanuel Moore who, until his firing, worked as a maintenance technician at a grain elevator in Wilson, located about an hour east of Raleigh. The facility manufactures pig feed and is run by Smithfield Foods, a Chinese-owned entity that’s the largest pork producer in the United States.

As a maintenance technician, or millwright, Moore said he was privy to each step of the production process. At 29, he said he was earning $27-an-hour and that he mostly enjoyed his job.

But one thing at the facility bothered him: Moore alleged the final feed contained plastic.

“They’re feeding America, and like morally, I didn’t feel right not saying something,” he said.

With an iPhone, Moore took videos of the production process and posted them to TikTok where they quickly went viral.

Screenshot of one of Emmanuel Moore's videos from last summer.

Going viral on TikTok

The first TikTok, posted on June 24, showed heaps of still-wrapped bread products rising up a conveyor belt. Another, viewed 4.1 million times, purported to show chunks of plastic in the feed Moore cupped in his hand from him. His most-watched TikTok, with 23.5 million views and countless reposts, features another shot of plastic tangled in the machinery.

The caption over this video read: “They fired me today for spreading the truth should I post everything.”

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