Mr Chavez threatened to nationalise some producers
Venezuela's leading food company has condemned President Hugo Chavez' decision to seize its rice processing plants over a price dispute.
Soldiers have taken over two of Empresas Polar's mills, reports say.
The company said it would seek a Supreme Court injunction to remove troops from its property.
Mr Chavez has accused some food firms of overcharging, and warned they could be nationalised if they tried to interfere with supplies of rice.
Major rice processors in the country also include the US-owned giant Cargill.
Mill owners have said any rice shortages were because of inefficient distribution rather than reduced production quotas.
Empresas Polar official Guillermo Bolinaga told a news conference after the seizure of the rice plants: "We are going to exercise the legal action that we have a right to."
Mr Chavez - who has nationalised large swathes of Venezuela's economy - did not say how long the government intervention would last.
Announcing the move to send troops to the rice plants in a televised address to the nation on Saturday, Mr Chavez criticised the producers for failing to sell their rice at government prices.
"I have ordered the immediate intervention in all those sectors of agro-industry, intervention by the revolutionary government," he said.
"This government is here to protect the people, not the bourgeoisie or the rich."
He said that those companies who had threatened to paralyse rice production could be expropriated.
The agriculture minister later confirmed that the military were in control of at least one major national producer, Primor, the BBC's Will Grant reported from Caracas on Sunday.
In Venezuela, the government provides basic foodstuffs at low prices in state-run markets known as "mercales".