Researchers Aim to Find “Optimal Tax Levels” to Combat Effects of Meat on Health
U.K. and U.S. researchers have published a study on “a market-based approach of taxing red and processed meat according to its health impacts.” Springmann et al., “Health-motivated taxes on red and processed meat: A modelling study on optimal tax levels and associated health impacts,” PLOS One, November 6, 2018. The researchers predict that meat-related health care costs will amount to $285 billion in 2020, and they created a model to determine what level of tax or pricing change would account for the associated costs. They purportedly determined that doubling the price of processed meats and raising the price of red meat by about 20 percent would result in enough revenue to account for costs of the reduced consumption rates that would be associated with a rise in price.
“I hope that governments will consider introducing a health levy on red and processed meat as part of a range of measures to make healthy and sustainable decision-making easier for consumers,” a University of Oxford press release quotes the head researcher as saying. “A health levy on red and processed meat would not limit choices, but send a powerful signal to consumers and take pressure off our healthcare systems.”