The surcharge on food containing more than 2.3 per cent saturated fats is intended help combat obesity and heart disease, and the new tax of DKK16 €2.15) per kg of saturated fat will be levied on foods such as cheese, butter, pizza, biscuits, oils and meats.
Joop Kleibeuker, secretary general of the EDA, said: “We cannot support the introduction of this tax. Saturated fat in milk consists of a range of fatty acids with different effects on human health.
Kleibeuker added: "Recent scientific publications reveal that the matrix of the food in which the nutrients are contained has an impact on their health effect.
"The food matrix influences the effect that saturated fatty acids may have on risk for cardiovascular disease. Drinking milk is not associated with increased risk. The EDA therefore considers that a saturated fattax on dairy products – including full fat dairy products – is not justified,” he said.
The Danish tax would also increase administrative burdens for Danish and foreign industries, the EDA said.
In addition, the trade body argued it would and create inequality between domestic and imported products due to taxation differences, with taxes dependent either solely on the content of saturated fats and the addition of fats used when foods were prepared in Denmark.
"This creates an imbalance in the internal market which has to be discussed on European level," the EDA said.