“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.”