Showing results for: Food taxes
A new report by the Commons’ Health Committee discusses the potential of implementing a sugary drink tax as a way of combating child obesity. Sugary drinks are the largest sources of sugar for 11 to 18 year-olds and there is increasing concern over the effects of sugar on people’s health, particularly the health of children and teenagers.
Meat and dairy consumption have increased globally over the past fifty years. As livestock account for 80% of agriculture’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this article argues that to achieve climate targets, humans need to change their dietary habits.
Voters in Berkeley approved the first excise tax in the U.S. on sugar-sweetened beverages in 2014. This study analyses the effect it has had in its first year on retail prices.
Sales tax and excise duty tax are two different taxes that are levied by the government. A sales tax is imposed at the point of sale. It is payable by the consumer, and is collected by the retailer who then passes it onto the state.
An article in Beverage Daily covers the recent FCRN-Chatham House (EAT-funded) report “Policies and actions to shift eating patterns: What works.” The article highlights a key conclusion of the report:
This study compared the impact that a 20 per cent sales tax and a 20 cents per litre excise tax on beverages such as carbonated non-diet soft drinks, cordials and fruit drinks would have on moderate and high consumers. It found that although high consumers of sugar-sweetened beverages have the least elastic demand, they drink so much that they are up against household budget limits, and therefore adding tax would bring down their consumption.
Novel use of UK national data finds a growing gap between the prices of more and less healthy foods between 2002 and 2012. Healthy foods in 2012 were three times more expensive per calorie than less healthy foods.
Food prices in the UK have risen faster than the price of other goods in recent years, and this new study, which tracked the price of 94 key food and beverage items from 2002 to 2012, shows that the increase has been greater for more healthy foods, making them progressively more expensive over time.
A new paper published in Futures urges discussions about unsustainable food consumption to include more consideration of consumer habits and practices. Responding to reports by the World Economic Forum and the European Commission, it hypothesises that technological innovations and ‘produce more with less’ approaches fail to take into account the varied and nuanced consumer attitudes that surround food, and therefore do not fully consider whether the public would ever actually adopt proposed solutions.
Food taxes & subsidies are effective at improving diets, according to a systematic review carried out by Australian researchers and published in the journal Nutrition Reviews. The systematic review analyses evidence from research published between January 2009 and March 2012 looking at the effectiveness of food taxes and subsidies on consumption. Included in the review were only papers assessing a specific food tax and those which directly and prospectively observed consumer responses to a fiscal policy intervention.
This study from Monash University looks at the effects of introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages across different income groups, comparing impacts on consumption, bodyweight and tax burden. They compare between introducing a flat rate 20% valoric tax and a 20 c/L volumetric tax and find that for low-income households the volumetric tax leads both to greater per capita weight loss and lower tax burden.
A senatorial report in France is now pushing for the implementation of a fast food or ‘behavioural’ tax. The tax would target products linked to heart disease, focusing in particular on soft drinks. The report 'Taxation and public health: evaluation of behavioural taxation' argues that a behavioural tax would help combat the surge in diet related diseases and associated costs.
The international research team behind this article calls for an increased climate policy focus on reducing ruminant meat consumption. They argue that climate negotiations thus far have paid too little attention to the role of livestock when discussing greenhouse gas mitigation. Methane from ruminants is the largest human-related source of the greenhouse gasses. As such, reducing ruminant populations is the most effective way to cut methane emissions and would also reduce CO2 emissions resulting from forest clearance for livestock farming. The livestock sector as a whole contributes around 14.5 % of all human-caused GHGs according to the latest FAO report) – a figure that includes overall GHG emissions, not just methane.