Brussels, 13 November 2012 – The Danish tax ministry decided to abolish the tax on saturated fatty acids, introduced one year ago. Holger Nielsen, the Danish Minister for Taxation said in a statement that “these taxes created big administrative costs”, adding that this was “not what we need in this economic situation.” In one year, a dramatic rise in border trade with Germany was observed which, as a result, cost many jobs in the retail sector. These negative side effects hitting Danish businesses led to the government’s decision to abandon the “fat tax”.
Introducing taxes on certain nutrients or foods has never been recognised by international organisations, such as the WHO, the OECD and the European Commission, as a panacea for public health. It usually affects citizens with lower income as food taxes increase prices and impacts the competitiveness of national enterprises, putting jobs at risk.
The margarine sector believes that a systematic approach based on nutrition education and promotion of physical activity is needed to change consumer behaviour and reach balanced diets. IMACE, the European Margarine Association, is open to partnership with public health organisations, civil society representatives, government, and industry to launch collaborative public health policies that have better chances of reaching out to everyone.
IMACE also regularly communicates about the role of fats in the diet. Margarines and vegetable fat spreads are included in nutritional recommendations in the EU, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK, among others. These products provide essential fatty acids and help balance the overall quantity of fats consumed by bringing more poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids and less saturated fatty acids. For more information on why margarine and vegetable fat spreads belong to a healthy diet, you can download our factsheet.
The margarine sector is committed to improving public health, both by collaborating with public and private stakeholders and by providing appealing products with an even healthier composition.
For further information, please contact: Mathilde Séchet, IMACE Communication Manager, by telephone +32 2 772 33 53 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org