South Africa Will Start Taxing Soda

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South Africa will join many other countries like Mexico and introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

Mail & Guardian: Gordhan Announces Sugar Tax

I think most countries will introduce similar taxes soon. It’s the most obvious way to immediately bring down sugar consumption and start turning the global obesity epidemic around.

It’s also a very clear signal that sugar-sweetened soda is similar to other unhealthy taxed substances, like tobacco.

Earlier

Dietitians of Canada Calls for the Taxation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Soda Companies Targeting Young People in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Says Report

What Coca-Cola Isn’t Telling You About Its “Health” Funding in Australia

11 comments

  1. Paul
    Regular people have already been victimized by government's criminally wrong dietary advice now you favor punishing them again via government force/coercion of another type? This problem cannot be solved by FORCING people. More free information and persuasion untethered to government will save the day.
    Reply: #3
  2. Alfred J.
    As we learned from tobacco, the kind of really steep declines in consumption we need throughout the population don't come until the tax raises the price to 250-300%. So my fear is that the tax isn't going to be large enough to be successful. :( We need a can of soda to cost nearly US$3.50-4.00.
    Replies: #4, #5
  3. Nick Z.
    Agree with you 100%! This is wrong and goes against our right of personal choice.
  4. Pierre
    Actually, the money collected from these sugar addicts should cover the cost of their self inflicted diseases.
  5. Paul
    Actually Alfred, smoking declines followed a massive public information campaign, not coercive government action. Free information can save people. Force and coercion cannot. And again, why punish the exact same people who already suffered the most from the direct consequences of BAD government dietary advice? And Pierre, why are you so eager to blame people for following government mandated diets?
  6. Alfred J.
    Actually Paul, what you say is incorrect. The OECD has studies this issue extensively. What works to lower smoking significantly is carrot and stick. Taxes; workplaces & public policies banning smoking at job sites, bars, airplanes etc; health insurance penalties and required stop-smoking programs; and support programs such as group therapy; lower-cost aids such as gum etc.; family and social support; individual commitment.

    Smoking is a physical, chemical addiction as well as an emotional habit, and both must be tackled on all these fronts before the best public health outcomes are seen. "Education" doesn't overcome the physical portion of the addiction.

    Sugar will be no different, as science is telling us.

  7. 1 comment removed
  8. Paul
    With all due respect Alfred, government studies often say government coercion is effective but common sense says otherwise. Why has drug use increased in spite of a long and massive government war on citizens to reduce it? Yes, taxes cause behavior modification just like electric shocks do, but is that the best way? Free information and rigorous debate will do the job once we get government misinformation and outright propaganda out of the way.
  9. Pierre
    Paul, almost nobody follow the government advise.

    People are not 100% responsible of their poor diet choice.

    They are bombarded with false informations from the agribusiness that want people to consume their junk loaded with added sugar.

    The agribusiness puts sugar everywhere in the food chain because they know it is an addictive
    substance. They call it the bliss point.

    The difference between tobacco and sugar is that the tobacco is not necessary to live whereas you need to eat to stay alive.

    So this drug must be taxed like tobacco.

    Anyway, governments around the world are broke, so you can expect a taxe on sugar sooner or later.

  10. Paul
    Pierre, you cannot even put the word "healthy" on eggs in the USA but sugar coated cereal often includes "healthy" based on USDA regulations. This is just a tiny example of how the government has worked with industry to deprive US of facts and good food. When industry colluded with government and media to FORCE a message on people it has a horrible effect, and we see the results. Again, more freedom and less force.
  11. Howard Lee Harkness
    When government bureaucrats are actually correct on a nutritional topic, it's so rare that it makes international news. For that reason, politicians and bureaucrats, who know LESS THAN NOTHING about nutrition, and who are the ONLY group of people less capable of recognizing the boundaries of their competence than MDs, should stay COMPLETELY out of telling anybody what they can or can't eat.

    Period.

  12. Apicius
    Will fruit juice be fined as well, or just soda? Because, you know there is a big difference. With fruit juice, you need to squeeze fruits, filter out the fibrous part, some more industrial process steps (add water, stabilizers, colour, etc) , and final product is put in a container. With soda, you need to squeeze cane, filter out fibrous part, some more industrial process steps (add water, stabilizers, colour, etc), and final product is put in a container. So...we should definitely tax soda and not juice. Logical of course.

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