Healthy Living

Meat Tax Too Simplistic, say Experts

Experts are warning that the proposed “meat tax”, as part of climate change efforts will be too simplistic and just won’t work. Rather than taxing meat, according to Oxford University researchers, they should be looking at ultra processed food as a whole.

With the levels of obesity climbing, due in part to all the processed food, ready meals as well as sugary foods around, this should be the next step, rather than a generic meat tax.

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Meat definitely has its place in the food chain and taxing people more could mean certain nutrients as well as health benefits could start to become a problem.

Perhaps indeed, a tax on ultra-processed meat would be a good option, but Dan Crossley, Executive Director of the Food Ethics Council, said it is wrong to lump all meat into the same basket, which is why a tax on all meat ‘won’t work’.

“The clearest evidence is against ultra-processed meat and other ultra-processed foods, which have been allowed to dominate our daily diets. It’s time to challenge this and seriously consider the idea of an ultra-processed food tax,” he said.

A panel of experts at an event convened by the Food Ethics Council was put together to scrutinise the idea of a UK meat tax. This jury is proposing two possibilites:

Some experts are calling for the government to introduce incentives for climate-friendly livestock production as well as penalising those who contribute to global warming. Examples of this could include import tariffs on feedstuffs, carbon taxes, nitrogen taxes and subsidies.

This all comes about as the next 12 months are likely to see many changes to UK food and farming policies. I particular, if the UK leaves the EU later in 2019.

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