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October 6, 2011

UK: Cameron mulls ‘fat tax’ in UK

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the Government may look at introducing a 'fat tax'.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the Government may look at introducing a ‘fat tax’.

On Saturday (1 October), Denmark introduced a levy on foods that contain more than 2.3% saturated fat. The tax applies to meats, including chicken and pork, cheese, butter, edible vegetable oil, margarine and other foods such as potato-based snacks. 

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester earlier this week, Cameron told Channel 5 that a tax on foods containing saturated fat is also something the UK government is considering.

“I think it is something that we should look at,” he told the news channel.

Following Cameron’s comments, The Department of Health said today that it has “never ruled out a ‘fat tax’ but we keep all international evidence under review”.

The Department added: “We are working with food companies to reduce fat, sugar and salt and ensure healthier options are available.”

UK industry trade body Food and Drink Federation, meanwhile, has expressed views on how a tax would affect families on low incomes. “Many foods are already taxed and plans to further tax food will be felt hardest by those families who can least afford higher food prices,” a spokesperson said.

According to the FDF the amount of saturated fat in UK products has declined by 9% over the last five years, equating to 3,000 tonnes less than five years ago.

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