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Denmark implements fat tax to curb consumption of fatty foods

(Xinhua)

10:18, October 02, 2011

COPENHAGEN, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Denmark implemented a tax on foods high in saturated fat from Saturday, the first of its kind in the world, which will affect products containing more than 2.3 percent saturated fat.

Butter, cream, cheese, meat, cooking oil and processed foods like pizza and dark chocolate are among thousands of products affected. The so-called fat tax is pegged at 16 Danish kroner (2.87 U.S. dollars) per kilo of saturated fat.

Thus, a 250-gram packet of butter, which previously cost 15.5 Danish kroner (2.78 dollars), will now cost 18.10 Danish kroner (3.25 dollars). And the cost of a liter of olive oil has risen from 38.95 Danish kroner (7 dollars) to 41.60 Danish kroner (7.48 dollars), for example.

Some Danes began hoarding the affected products ahead of Saturday's deadline, while stores across Denmark rushed to mark-up prices of these goods.

Although the new tax will mean higher costs for consumers and many food product manufacturers, the Danish government believes the tax is a good way of reducing Danes'consumption of fatty foods.

Local producers are worried the tax will give an unfair advantage to manufacturers from neighboring countries who, they say, can now sell their products more cheaply in the Danish market.

However, tax authorities here said imported food products will also be subject to the tax.

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