Posted by: r.m. | March 5, 2009

food, revolution, and Chavez

“As of last Saturday, the Venezuelan government has temporarily taken over the administration of a rice processing plant in Guárico state that is owned by Venezuela’s largest food producer, Polar.

“Inspections by the National Institute in Defense of People’s Access to Goods and Services (INDEPABIS) last week revealed that the plant was operating at half its capacity and adding artificial flavoring to 90% of its rice in order to evade government price controls, which only apply to essential, unenhanced food items.

“In a press conference on the floor of the plant Monday afternoon, INDEPABIS Director Eduardo Samán announced that the workers had begun processing 100% unmodified rice at the plant, disproving the claims of Polar executives that state intervention would paralyze production.

Chávez had previously threatened to intervene in private food production facilities in early 2008, on suspicion that Polar and others were hoarding food with the intention of causing political instability through food shortages and price hikes.”

Today, it was published that “Chavez [also] seized a local unit of Cargill, an American food corporation. Chavez said he ordered the takeover because Cargill was skirting price controls implemented by his government, by not producing the type of rice that is subject to the controls.”

Stay Tuned


  1. I wonder what the flavoring was on the rice?

  2. It is obvious that the authorities there are well involved in protecting the consumer…eventhough it might sometimes appear that this is done for political purposes.

  3. It is always good to have someone watching out for the wellbeing of the consumer.
    It is a shame that producers are willing to flavor products just to avoid restrictions, when rice is one of the few food products that we can still consume as natural products.

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