French parliamentary report pushes 'fast-food' tax

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

French parliamentary report pushes 'fast-food' tax

Related tags: Public health, Nutrition

A French senatorial report has proposed a 'junk-food' tax on products that are linked to heart disease - with the report taking particular aim at soft drinks, which currently benefit from low taxes.

The proposed tax was presented by the French Senate in a report 'Taxation and public health: evaluation of behavioural taxation'​, last week. The report provides arguments for a 'behavioural tax' which would be aimed at counteracting poor dietary habits, and compensating for the public health costs associated with the consumption of junk-food.

“If the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food is deemed high risk in relation to public health, then they are synonymous to considerable costs to society,"​ the report states.

"Behavioural taxation could therefore be envisaged as a way to reduce costs and generate the funds necessary to offset their negative externalities.”

A summary of the report, found here​, explains that it does not seem logical for certain foods and drinks that are linked to an increase in public health costs to benefit from a 'reduced rate' of VAT - as is currently the case.

"At the moment this applies mainly to drinks with added sugar and energy drinks, which enjoy the same rate as mineral water or fresh fruit juices,"​ notes the report.

"Broadly speaking, the team considers that the application of reduced VAT rates to all foodstuffs except confectionery ... margarines, vegetable fats and caviar should be re-assessed to take into account the nutritional characteristics of the different products."

Taxes or contributions?

The senators behind the report, Yves Daudigny and Catherine Deroche told EurActiv that they prefer to encourage talk of 'contribution to public health' rather than framing the report as a suggestion for a 'behavioural taxation.'

“The term behavioural taxation has a moralistic nature and makes the citizen feel guilty. Our objective is to say that certain products are unhealthy. The fact that these products are subject to a tax which contributes to public health, seems completely coherent,"​ said Senator Catherine Deroche.

Oils, soft drinks and energy drinks

The parliamentary report calls for harmonised taxes on vegetable oils, in addition to a 20% tax on soft drinks - both of which it claims will limit the risks of heart diseases, and the risk of cardiovascular events in particular.

“Behavioural taxation aims to reduce the consumption of drinks known to cause serious cardiac accidents in genetically predisposed consumers, notably by implementing a tax on energy drinks,”​ the report outlines.

Related news

Related products

show more

Free booklet: Fat extraction for food analysis

Free booklet: Fat extraction for food analysis

BÜCHI Labortechnik AG | 09-Dec-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Fat extraction is a standard reference method for quality control, labeling and satisfying stringent regulations. "The five essentials of fat extraction...

Reduce Sugar. Add Fibre. Use VitaFiber™ IMO

Reduce Sugar. Add Fibre. Use VitaFiber™ IMO

LEHVOSS Nutrition– Gee Lawson | 11-Oct-2019 | Data Sheet

VitaFiber™ IMO is a plant-based food ingredient made from tapioca or pea starches and belongs to the special group of carbohydrates called oligosaccharides....

Less sugar, fuller fruity flavour

Less sugar, fuller fruity flavour

H&F – Innovative Solutions for your Product Developments | 23-Sep-2019 | Application Note

Herbstreith & Fox presents new Classic pectins which set with no added calcium – perfect for modern fruit spreads with as little sugar as possible,...

Stable antioxidants for deep frying applications

Stable antioxidants for deep frying applications

Kancor Ingredients Limited | 22-Jul-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Large quantities of wastage occur for frying oil in the snacking segment. When oil is fried at high temperatures, it quickly reaches its smoke point and...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars