(Brussels, 12 November 2012) FoodDrinkEurope welcomes the latest development in Denmark following the announcement made on 10 November to abolish the 'Fat Tax' introduced in the country in October 2011, and to revoke plans to introduce a 'Sugar Tax'.
The decision by the Danish authorities confirms what food business operators and others have been saying in Europe since the introduction of this fiscal measure; namely, that discriminatory food taxes:
1. generate higher food prices for consumers, leading to increased cross-border shopping and local job losses;
2. are cumbersome to implement, creating administrative and bureaucratic burdens;
3. impact negatively on the competitiveness of Europe's largest manufacturing industry; and,
4. are ineffective in changing consumer behaviour in relation to complex issues such as diets and lifestyles that affect obesity trends.
International organisations, such as the WHO, as well as the European Commission, acknowledge that nutrition education, which encourages consumers to have a balanced diet and lead a healthy lifestyle, is essential if we want to tackle the complex issue of obesity. This necessitates collaborative actions where governments work together with other stakeholders - public health organisations, civil society representatives and industry - with each assuming its respective role, in order to help create systemic behavioural change among consumers.
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