Friday, May 14, 2010

Girl Power and Food Censorship

Costa Rica just elected a female president. While I am certainly no feminist, I think it’s pretty cool that having women in positions of power is no longer such an “OMG” issue. Laura Chinchilla (yes, like the animal) joins several other women who currently hold leadership positions in their countries, including Argentina. The highly controversial Cristina Kirchner has been president since 2007 when she took over from her husband, Nestor Kirchner. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has in strengthened her country’s economy and is a leader in the European Union. Other countries with female presidents and prime ministers include: India, the Philippines, Ireland, Finland, Iceland, Switzerland, Croatia, Bangladesh, Lithuania, and Liberia. Interesting, no? Girls Rule!

At the beginning of May, the Secretary of Commerce in Argentina declared that starting June 1st, all foreign-produced food products that have an Argentine-produced equivalent will be banned from the country. This means that products made in Brazil, Europe, the US, and any other country will no longer be allowed to be imported, if there is an Argentine equivalent. This includes many foods, such as pastas, oils, cereals, beer, chocolate, and deli products like ham and cheese.

The announcement was made to all supermarket chains, who will be required to comply with this new decision starting June 1st. The Secretary, Guillermo Moreno, says that this measure is being taken to protect national industry…after all, why should we Argentina import products that it makes itself? He cites the weakness of the Euro and the impending financial crises in Greece and Spain as possible threats to the national economy, and claims that prohibiting the importation of foreign-made food products will strengthen Argentina’s own manufacturing and agriculture industry.

The protectionist measure will affect larger and more international supermarkets such as Carrefour and Jumbo, both of which carry a wider range of imported and foreign goods. Apart from Argentines (and foreign people living here, ahem ME) not being able to buy Swiss chocolate or German beer, many supermarket owners have complained that this ban on foreign products will cause national producers to raise their prices, which will ultimately affect buyers. This, coupled with the current inflation problem, could make buying food a (more) expensive endeavor. LAME.


  1. hey, dont forget to mention this is part of a whole bunch of crazy decisions made by this crazy administration. come 2011 everything should get back to normal, as soon as these ppl leaves office we should see again normal sane actions and policies :P


  2. Juan, what makes you think that after 2011 things will be more normal than now? Are you just feeding on La Nación and Clarín articles? How long have you lived? Can you name one less crazy administration than this one? Is the opposition anything more than a greedy pack of neo-liberals?? Again, those to power???????!!!!!!!!!!