Tax Soda, Subsidize Veggies
July 24, 2011 9:23 AM Subscribe
Subsidizing Healthy Foods by Taxing Unhealthy Foods.
posted by modernnomad (103 comments total)
11 users marked this as a favorite
Mark Bitman proposes a "national program that would make progress on a half-dozen problems at once — disease, budget, health care, environment, food access and more — while paying for itself." [NYT]Simply put: taxes would reduce consumption of unhealthful foods and generate billions of dollars annually. That money could be used to subsidize the purchase of staple foods like seasonal greens, vegetables, whole grains, dried legumes and fruit.
Other countries are considering or have already started programs to tax foods with negative effects on health. Denmark’s saturated-fat tax is going into effect Oct. 1, and Romania passed (and then un-passed) something similar; earlier this month, a French minister raised the idea of tripling the value added tax on soda. Meanwhile, Hungary is proposing a new tax on foods with “too much” sugar, salt or fat, while increasing taxes on liquor and soft drinks, all to pay for state-financed health care; and Brazil’s Fome Zero (Zero Hunger) program features subsidized produce markets and state-sponsored low-cost restaurants.