UK: Industry rejects fresh "fat tax" call
Debate turns to "fat tax" once again
The UK food industry has rejected fresh calls for the imposition of a tax on unhealthy foods.
Modelling studies suggest extending VAT (at 17.5%) to unhealthy foods in the UK could cut up to 2,700 heart disease deaths a year, scientists at the University of Oxford have claimed.
However, the UK would need to put a so-called "fat tax" of 20% on unhealthy food and drink in order to have a "significant effect" the number of people suffering from diet-related diseases such as obesity and heart disease, the medical experts headed by Dr Oliver Mytton suggested.
In addition, the group said that evidence suggests taxing a wide range of unhealthy foods is likely to result in greater health benefits than "narrow taxes".
They argue that such a move could be combined with subsidies on healthier foods, such as fruit and vegetables.
The group released its findings ahead of the 65th World Health Assembly, to be held in Geneva next week. Prevention and control of non-communicable diseases will be key issues for discussion at the conference.
Responding to the report, industry association the Food and Drink Federation insisted that it is working towards "meaningful" progress on health issues through the UK government's Responsibility Deal.
"When the whole of the food industry is focused on continuing to give hard-pressed families great tasting food at an affordable price, discussion of adding 20% to food prices seems fanciful if not irresponsible," FDF director of communications Terry Jones said.
Companies: Food and Drink Federation
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), which represents UK food manufacturers, shows little sign of relinquishing its dogged support of a system based solely on percentage of guideline daily amounts (GD...
Food and drink industry stakeholders gathered in London yesterday (7 November) for The Westminster Food & Nutrition conference. The topic of discussion surrounded food labelling policy in the UK and t...
A busy but fruitful week for just-food was dominated by the SIAL trade expo in Paris, where thousands of international manufacturers gathered to showcase products and discuss the challenges and opport...
- Analysis: Is Heinz, Kraft merger "a growth story"?
- McDonald's antibiotics move may be seminal moment
- M&A Watch: Who could be on 3G Capital's radar?
- Viewpoint: Faber-led Danone gets realistic
- Green Giant talk underlines pressure at Gen Mills
- UPDATE: Heinz, Kraft strike merger agreement
- Kraft "in buyout talks" with Heinz owner 3G
- Heinz to cut 71 jobs at UK plant
- Infographic: Heinz, Kraft unveil combined business
- Buffett: Kraft Heinz to withstand health focus