Latest updates from around the world

The ‘Latest updates from around the world’ section of the website reviews the on-going food and beverage tax debate from all angles. In the sections linked below you can find reviews and links to articles in the media, academic research by leading experts and the views of decision-makers from around Europe contributing to the debate on food and beverage taxation.

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Sugar tax ‘may force shoppers to cross border’

The Beverage Council of Ireland and Food and Drink Ireland have warned that if a 10% sugar tax is introduced in Ireland, shoppers could end up crossing the border to bulk buy soft drinks, chocolate, b...

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Industry, Ineffective consumer behaviour, Ineffective on obesity, What others say: media, Fat tax, Obesity, Sugar tax, Ireland

Evidence lacking for ‘sugar tax’

This article in the Irish Medical Times is a good illustration of the emerging parameters of the debate on a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in Ireland. Professor Donal O'Shea, Chair of the St...

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What others say: experts, What others say: media, Ireland

Why not encourage healthy eating through incentives?

General practitioner Ian Lake asks an important question: Can industry be left to improve population health? In his letter, he argues that tax incentives are easier and more likely to be successful....

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UK Regulations, What others say: media, Advertising, British Medical Journal, Marketing, Tax incentives, United Kingdom

Dutch radio interview on proposed Belgian soft drink tax

Listen to the radio interview with Raymond Gianotten, Secretary General of FWS, the Dutch Soft Drinks Association, on the proposed soft drinks tax.  ...

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Industry, New York soda ban, Obesity, Sugar, Netherlands

OECD Obesity Update

This policy brief presents an update on analyses of trends and social disparities in obesity. Some key insights from the policy brief: “It is difficult to predict how consumers will react to pr...

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Ineffective consumer behaviour, What others say: experts, Obesity, OECD, United Kingdom

How the Danish experience shows the negative effects of a ‘fat tax’

While a 'fat tax' is still being discussed in some European countries, the idea of it has faded in Italy, particularly as the Institut Économique Molinari (IEM) released its study showing the undesir...

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Ineffective consumer behaviour, What others say: media, Denmark, Fat tax, Molinari

The Proof of the Pudding

The Institute of Economic Affairs' May 2013 Current Controversial Paper examines how the Danish 'fat tax' policy went from 'unanimous parliamentary support to becoming an "unbearable burden" on the Da...

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Ineffective consumer behaviour, What others say: media, Christopher Snowdon, Denmark, Fat tax, United Kingdom

Tax will have no impact on obesity, say 2/3 Irish people

Almost two out of three people believe introducing a sugar tax in Ireland will make no different to obesity rates. These findings come from a survey ran by, Ireland's premier Independ...

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What others say: media, Obesity, Poll, Ireland

Denmark abolishes excise duty on Soft Drinks

Unprecedented move designed to boost jobs and growth Denmark has announced the abolition of its soft drink tax in a historic move which rolls away legislation that has been in place since the 1930...

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Industry, What others say: government, Excise, Soft drinks, Taxation, Denmark

EFFAT-FoodDrinkEurope Position on Discriminatory Food Taxes

The governments of some EU Member States have recently introduced taxes on specific food categories and food ingredients such as sugar, fat, artificial sweeteners, soft drinks, fast food and pastry. T...

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Industry, EFFAT, EU, FoodDrinkEurope, Taxation, Europe

Holistic approach needed for a complex problem

Claudia Wüstenhagen, writing in German daily Zeit investigates possible solutions in the context of Germans getting fatter. The article contrasts the attempts by health experts' PR campaigns agains...

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What others say: media, education, Holistic, Taxation, Zeit, Germany

Health effects of a ‘fat tax’ unclear for Germany

The total health effects of a 'fat tax' on the German population remain unclear according to research by leading German food and tax economist Dr. Silke Thiele, of the Department of Food Economics at...

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What others say: experts, Fat tax, Food economics, Food prices, Silke Thiele, University of Kiel, Germany

The unintended consequences of a tax on soft drinks

What happens if half of the population of a small city faced a 10% tax on soft drinks, whilst the other half didn't? Well, according to the results of a six-month field investigation carried out by r...

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What others say: experts, Consumer behaviour, Inconclusive, Taxation, United States

Shared responsibility in diet and nutrition

Dutch food news website Food for Food (.org) posted an interview with journalist, blogger and weight consultant Rebecca Rijnders who supports a tax on sugar in the Netherlands. Despite knowledge and...

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What others say: media, Responsibility, Sugar, Taxation, Netherlands

A tax on fatty foods makes no one thin

Do taxes on certain foods really work to decrease obesity levels? Real-life models are proving this hard to stomach. For one, the Danish tax on saturated fat was abolished last November, and the Hunga...

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Education not tax, Industry, What others say: media, Fat tax, Labelling, Nanny-state, Germany

The Skinny on Anti-Obesity Soda Laws

Governments feel the need to intervene when it comes to increasing obesity rates, shown by the attempt to ban the sale of large soft drinks in New York, or the proposal for a penny-per-ounce excise ta...

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Ineffective consumer behaviour, What others say: media, Consumer behaviour, Exercise, Michael Marlow, Nanny-state, New York soda ban, Soda tax, United States

The Impacts of Selective Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Taxes

Concerns over lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and associated risk factors have led to greater government interest in the use of selective food and non-alcoholic beverages taxes (...

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Government revenue, Taxes unfair, What others say: experts

‘To combat obesity, they say…’

'...To micro-manage our lives, more like,' says Dr Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute regarding a proposed tax on fizzy drinks. In his blog post, Butler is adamant that taxing sugary drinks is...

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Education not tax, Ineffective consumer behaviour, What others say: media, Consumer behaviour, Government revenue, Obesity, Sugary drinks, Tax, United Kingdom

Tax will not change consumers’ habits, say public-private initiative

In 2010, the Dutch food sector countered the European Public Health Alliance’s urge to Member States  to adopt obesity taxes on unhealthy products by saying that a tax would not change consumers’...

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Industry, What others say: government, Consumer behaviour, Netherlands

A narrow escape provides time to learn lessons

A 'sugar tax' on soft drinks was narrowly excluded from the Irish budget for 2013, although the issue remains on the table according to key support Health Minister Reilly. Gillian Hamill of Shelf-Life...

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What others say: media, Food prices, Holistic, Obesity, VAT, Ireland

Sugar tax ruled out for time being in Ireland

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan has refused to sanction a sugar tax in the budget, despite significant push from Health Minister James Reilly, as reported by the Irish Times. Mr. Noonan ruled t...

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Uncategorized, Ireland

‘Fat tax’ gets slim support

Are Ireland on the verge of making the same mistake as Denmark? The imposition, and then subsequent u-turn on the Danish tax on saturated fat has left a gaping €170m hole in the budget, after it wa...

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What others say: media, Consumption patterns, Food prices, Government revenue, jobs, Soft drinks, Taxation, Ireland

A nanny state that dictates what we drink will soon be telling us how to think

Daily Mail journalist Simon Heffer considers the idea of 'state-nannying' outrageous, as it not only 'endangers our liberties, undermines our self-respect.' Governments are becoming increasingly mor...

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What others say: media, Government revenue, Nanny-state, Paternalism, Taxation, United Kingdom

AmCham: discriminatory taxation ineffective, distorts competition

This is a summary of the American Chamber of Commerce EU's position paper entitled "Discriminatory taxation of food and beverages is ineffective and distorts competition". The American Chamber of...

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Industry, discriminatory taxation, EU, Europe

Would a sugar tax protect us from diabetes?

Professor Andreas Pfeiffer said ‘it seems we are losing the battle’ at the European Diabetes Congress in 2012, as the number of people diagnosed with type-1 diabetes increases globally by 3% every...

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What others say: media, Denmark, Diabetes, education, Fat tax, Healthy lifestyle, Germany