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FAKE NEWS: Famine will strike in Romania as well, and stores have begun rationing certain products

FAKE NEWS: Famine will strike in Romania as well, and stores have begun rationing certain products
©EPA-EFE/YAHYA ARHAB  |   Food aid is provided by an aid agency amid heightened food insecurity in Sana'a, Yemen, 14 October 2021.

Romania will be affected by a severe shortage of food, and the first signs of the global famine have already started to show. The narrative was built starting from an announcement on a shop window.

NEWS: “The United Nations Organization (UN) has been sending warnings for months against famine, labeling it the worst food catastrophe of the last decade. In this context, it seems Romania too will be affected by the food crisis […] Some were quick to buy shelf-stable food in rather large quantities, so representatives of grocery stores in Timiș County decided to put a cap on the maximum quantity that can be purchased for certain items. According to Opinia Timișoarei, there are already stores that have limited the purchase of basic foodstuffs, so that people don’t hoard supplies for fear of a food crisis. For instance, the front door of a supermarket in Deta displayed a notice informing clients that products such as cooking oil and sugar are rationed and will sell only within the limit of 6 liters and 5 kilograms, respectively, per person”, evz.ro writes.

NARRATIVE: Romania will be affected by a food shortage.

BACKGROUND: Against the backdrop of the fourth wave of the pandemic, but also considering the energy crisis currently facing Europe due to the low stocks of natural gas, Russian propaganda and some sensationalist media are trying to promote the idea that Romania will also be hit by an economic crisis, which at its peak will leave shelves empty across the country.

The narrative inadvertently tries to strike a balance with the Nicolae Ceaușescu regime, when shelves were empty and food was rationed.

The narrative about a possible “famine” comes after the recent wave of fake news, which Veridica has debunked, according to which Europa is on the brink of a catastrophic blackout. All these narratives are fueled by the ongoing political turmoil, as for several weeks Romania has been ruled by an interim government.

PURPOSE: To spread fear among the population with the cold season approaching.

WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: In order to support his argument, the author refers to UN warnings about the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has created the circumstances for a much more severe famine, especially in third-world countries. Such concerns are constantly expressed by the UN with respect to the world’s underdeveloped areas, all the more so as they have frequently struggled with famine. The United Nations doesn’t refer to states in the West and certainly not Romania. The UN argues, without referring to any specific country, that “it will take a tremendous effort for the world to honour its pledge to end hunger by 2030”.

Furthermore, using the example about the store in Deta, Timiș County to induce panic at national level is an overstatement. In fact, the source cited by EvZ in its article, namely opiniatimisoarei.ro, states that “there is no official information regarding a possible food shortage in Europe over the next period”, a detail which the author, Antonia Hendrik, who has published a number of similarly apocalyptic articles for EvZ.ro, deliberated left out.

In order to support her argument, the author quotes the former Minister of Agriculture, Petre Daea, who speaks about Romania’s underperforming irrigation system, not about a food crisis that would soon hit the country, as the article in EvZ claims.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: At local level, some stores have displayed notices about the quantity of certain products that a person is allowed to purchase, in order to avoid inconveniences that were reported last year, when various citizens took stores by storm and bought huge quantities of products fearing a possible crisis.


  • Publication / Media:
    EvZ.ro
  • Date of publication:
    08/11/2021
  • Language / Target audience:
    Cetățenii români panicați de efectele crizei pandemice în plan socio-economic
  • Amplification:
    Știri247.ro, capital.ro
  • Key narrative:
    România va fi lovită de o penurie de alimente
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  • PURPOSE: To spread fear among the population with the cold season approaching.
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