The French national assembly’s social affairs commission has rejected a proposal to increase a special tax on palm oil from EUR100 (US$129) to EUR300 per tonne.

The so-called ‘Nutella amendment’ had been initiated by the French Senate and justified on the grounds of promoting healthier eating and combating obesity.

It was to have formed part of a bill containing a raft of tax measures – other products targeted being beer and energy drinks – designed to reduce France’s social
security deficit.

A Senate spokesperson told just-food the commission’s decision effectively spelt the end of the amendment.

The Assembly will next week give the bill its second reading, without the Nutella amendment, before being forwarded to the Senate.

“Even if the Senate rejects the bill again, the Assembly always has the last word and the final vote,” the spokesperson added.

Last week, Ferrero published an ad in France’s national press defending its use of palm oil in chocolate spread Nutella.