Should there be a tax on red meat?

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by BBC News 7 November 2018

Should there be a tax on red meat? BBC News had an article in 2019, which stated:

A “meat tax” could prevent almost 6,000 deaths per year in the UK, according to researchers, but should politicians be telling people what they can and can’t eat?

Oxford University scientists suggested the government tax red meat (beef, lamb, pork) to reduce consumption, which they say would save lives and more than £700 million in UK healthcare costs.

Red meat has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. In addition, the World Health Organisation has warned that processed meats (like bacon, sausages, ham) could cause cancer.

The environmental impact is also significant, in terms of water and land use and carbon emissions.

The study suggests a tax of 14% on red meat and 79% on processed meat. This is like the ‘sugar tax’ on soft drinks, and the charge of 5p on plastic bags, both of which have had an effect.

Scientists at the University of Oxford say governments should consider imposing price hikes on red meat – such as beef, lamb and pork – to reduce consumption.

They say it would save lives and more than £700m in UK healthcare costs, according to new research.

Not everyone agrees – Christopher Snowdon, from the Institute for Economic Affairs called this “the next battleground for the nanny state” and said it would be “absurd” to raise the cost of living through a meat tax.

You can find out more in FuelDrive.

YouDrive thinks:

75 years ago people ate a small piece of good quality home grown meat 2 or 3 times a week, with locally grown vegetables.  Both meat and vegetables didn’t have the additives used now to grow faster and bigger. That’s possibly why there wasn’t as much cancer around 75 years ago, and we have to season it a lot to get the flavour we got 75 years ago. 

There’s also the issue that the impact of this would be greater on those already near the poverty line.

It’s about education and balance.

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