Baylen Linnekin on the Discredited Push for More Food Taxes in Europe


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In November 2012, a left-wing government in Denmark announced it would repeal a first-of-its-kind tax on high-fat foods that a right-wing government there had imposed. Along with repealing the country's so-called fat tax, the Danish government also announced it wouldn't move forward with the predecessor government's planned tax on sugar and sugary foods.

Why the reversal? The government repealed the tax and opted against imposing new ones for three primary reasons. First, the existing tax failed to raise money. Danes simply shopped elsewhere in Europe. Second, the tax cost jobs. Estimates put the number at more than 1,000 Danish jobs lost. Third, the tax failed to make Danes healthier.

But as Keep Food Legal Foundation's Baylen Linnekin notes, the World Health Organization seems unwilling to recognize this reality and is continuing to push for taxes to try to control food consumption.