"BeamMeUpScotty" wrote in message ...
It's almost funny that Liberals are too stupid to see the damage they do.
Tax food like cigarettes to get people to quit smoking/eating right?
A few years ago Denmark instituted a food tax on butter, milk, cheese,
pizza, meat, oil and processed food if the item contains more than 2.3%
saturated fat. However, within a year the Danish Tax Ministry announced it
would abolish the fat tax,stating that it failed to change Danes' eating
habits, had encouraged cross-border trading, put Danish jobs at risk and had
been a bureaucratic nightmare for producers and outlets. Proposed sugar tax
plans were also scrapped. Although the tax resulted in an additional $216
million in revenue, it also led to a shitload of complaints from Danish
retailers that their customers were taking their business to other
countries, such as Sweden and Germany, to take advantage of their lower
What the world can learn from Denmarks failed fat tax
By Olga Khazan
November 11, 2012
The Danish tax ministry announced Saturday that it's scrapping a fat tax it
introduced in October of last year, saying the measure has only increased
companies' administrative costs and caused Danes to venture across the
border to purchase their unhealthy snacks.
"The fat tax and the extension of the chocolate tax, the so-called sugar
tax, has been criticized for increasing prices for consumers, increasing
companies' administrative costs and putting Danish jobs at risk," the Danish
tax ministry said in a statement Saturday.
The country's fat tax added 16 kroner ($2.7) per kilogram of saturated fats
in a product, and was levied on everything containing saturated fats,
including raw ingredients like butter and milk to prepared foods like
The price of a half-pound of butter, for example, rose by 2.20 kroner, or 37
cents, but apparently the larger problem was the administrative headache
food companies had to endure in order to set the new prices.
The Danish tax ministry said it was also cancelling plans to introduce a tax
on sugar, the AFP reported.
It's an interesting development at a time when the United States and other
countries are attempting to steer consumers to healthier choices with their
own counter-obesity policies.
Last year Hungary instituted a 50 U.S.-cent tax on fatty foods, plus higher
tariffs on soda and alcohol, with the proceeds going to health care costs.
Last week, senators in France called for a tax on foods with palm oil, a
levy that has been termed the "Nutella tax" after the beloved chocolaty
spread that would become pricier as a result.
Israel also is weighing a junk food tax, and in the U.K. Prime Minister
David Cameron said he was considering a fat tax similar to Denmark's,
referring to the United States in a local TV interview as a cautionary tale.
"Look at America, how bad things have got there €“ what happens if we don't
do anything? Yes, that should be a wake-up call," Cameron said.
In the United States, New York is leading the charge in the war on fat by
prohibiting artificial trans fats in restaurant foods, slapping calorie
labels on eatery menus and, most recently, adopting a controversial ban on
oversize sodas in restaurants, which is now working its way through the
state's courts. Local policymakers in Washington also have tossed around a
similar soda measure.
It's hard to predict whether these laws will actually improve public health,
though, or if they'll go the way of Denmark's failed policy.
New York's trans fat ban, which was implemented in 2006, did reduce trans
fat consumption significantly, according to a 2009 study that found that the
percent of restaurants using trans fats had decreased from 50 percent to
less than 2 percent. But calorie-labeling on restaurants menus hasn't
changed consumer purchasing decisions significantly, despite being
replicated in cities across the country.
Meanwhile, tobacco research has shown that smoking rates have dropped off
dramatically after cigarette prices rose nearly 50 percent in the past
decade, and other food studies have concluded that a 10 percent tax leads to
about a 10 percent reduction in calories consumed of the taxed product.
In Denmark, the tax might have become too unpopular because it was seen as
hurting food businesses. The Danish Food Workers Union told Food Navigator
recently that the measure had led to a loss of 1,300 retail and
manufacturing jobs there.
Denmark's obesity problem is also far less severe than U.S.'s: 13 percent of
Danes are obese, according to the Danish National Health and Medicines
Authority, compared with more than 35 percent of Americans, so the
consequences of abandoning the fat-tax initiative are arguably less dire
It could also be that Denmark's tax was just high enough to become a
nuisance for manufacturers -- and to act as an incentive for cross-border
cookie runs -- without making a significant impact on how people actually
A May British Medical Journal study found that "fat taxes" would have to
increase the price of unhealthy food by as much as 20 percent in order to
cut consumption by enough to reduce obesity, and they should be paired with
subsidies on fruits and vegetables so consumers don't swap out one unhealthy
habit for another.