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Hammock Parties 11-08-2018 05:30 PM

Meat taxes would save lives, cut health care costs, study says


It would drive up the price of your barbecue, but a global meat tax could save 220,000 lives and cut health care bills by $41 billion each year, according to a new study.

The numbers are based on evidence that links meat consumption to increased risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

Three years ago, the World Health Organization declared red meat — such as beef, lamb and pork — to be carcinogenic when eaten in processed forms, including sausages, bacon and beef jerky.

Health officials also have declared that unprocessed red meat such as steak and burgers are "probably" carcinogenic. Other carcinogens such as cigarettes and alcohol are regulated in order to reduce cases of chronic disease.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Marco Springmann, from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at Oxford University, estimated the tax rate that would be necessary to offset health care costs related to red meat consumption.

"The least intrusive form of regulation is a tax to raise prices and reduce consumption," Springmann told CNN.

Researchers concluded that the United Kingdom government should introduce a 79 percent tax on processed meat such as bacon, and 14 percent tax on unprocessed meat such as steak.

In the United States, the numbers would be higher with a 163 percent tax on processed meats and a 34 percent tax on unprocessed meats.

"The tax is higher in the U.S. due to an inefficient health system that wastes a lot of money," Springmann said.

Officials with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals support a meat tax.

"Cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline are already federally taxed to help pay for their hidden health or environmental costs," the organization's website says. "Although meat consumption is a health hazard and meat production is a leading source of environmental degradation, the meat industry has gotten off easy."

The team also calculated the projected impact of a meat tax on death rates due to chronic disease.

With reduced consumption of red meat, the study claims there would be 220,000 fewer deaths from chronic disease per year around the world. Of that total, 6,000 deaths would be avoided in the U.K. and 53,000 in the U.S.

Global savings on health care would reach $41 billion, according to the report, which was published in the journal PLOS One, published by the Public Library of Science. The U.K. would save $1 billion per year, while the U.S. would reduce spending by $20 billion.

The benefits of reducing red meat consumption also go beyond reducing rates of disease and health care costs.

"Consuming red and processed meat not only affects your health but also the economy at large," Springmann said, citing decreased productivity due to illness and care for family members who suffer from chronic disease.

Regular consumption of processed meat has also been linked to a 9 percent higher risk of breast cancer, according to an analysis of various scientific studies published in October.

In fact, eating any ultra-processed food can increase the risk of cancer, obesity and diabetes, according to other research. That includes anything made with artificial flavors, additives and emulsifiers, or high levels of sugar and salt.

Health nutritionist and dietitian Carrie Ruxton said meat consumption already had seen a significant decline in the U.K., adding that red meat provides valuable nutrients to diets.

"A tax on red meat would be a retrograde step, both for overall diet quality in women and girls and for health inequalities," she said in a statement to CNBC.

In the United States, the average person consumed more than 200 pounds of meat in 2017, The Atlantic reported. That number is more than twice the amount people consumed in 1961.

Governments around the world have already shown a willingness to tax products that have been linked with health problems, including cigarettes, alcohol and sugar.

In Philadelphia, a soda tax was upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this summer. The tax charges 1.5 cents per ounce.

Voters in Oregon on Tuesday defeated a measure that would have banned local and state governing bodies from enacting a soda tax. In Washington state, voters approved an initiative that prohibits local governing bodies from adding taxes on groceries. Washington's ban does not affect Seattle's soda tax.

displacedinMN 11-08-2018 05:33 PM

Another tax that goes into the pocket of the government. And does nothing for anyone.

The Franchise 11-08-2018 05:34 PM

Yes, because I'm sure that taxing something that people love would cause it to be consumed less.

ping2000 11-08-2018 05:42 PM

How about a tax on all the bean farts the hippes crank out? Methane pollution.

Carr4MVP 11-08-2018 05:46 PM

The government knows best.

Taco John 11-08-2018 05:48 PM

what in the sam hill is a "global" meat tax?

Donger 11-08-2018 05:49 PM

Pork is red meat?

Hammock Parties 11-08-2018 05:50 PM


Originally Posted by Taco John (Post 13878962)
what in the sam hill is a "global" meat tax?

Scary sentence for sure.

Sounds like liberals want the US to join a global "carcinogen tax" organization like the goddamn Paris Accords.

Chief Northman 11-08-2018 05:54 PM

Livestock left to run free in the cities might change the tune...

HonestChieffan 11-08-2018 05:57 PM


Originally Posted by Taco John (Post 13878962)
what in the sam hill is a "global" meat tax?

You picked up on the most key element.

This started 5 or 6 years ago and has always been wrapped up in the global tax ribbon. Its an old Obama administration participation with these EuroControl progressives.

Hammock Parties 11-08-2018 05:58 PM

I wonder if Hillhawg was in power...if we would be moving towards policy like this...

2bikemike 11-08-2018 06:01 PM

Birth is a terminal disease. I will continue to enjoy red meat and savor my steaks until death. This is what I tell my vegan in-laws. "Lfe is short and meant to be enjoyed. It sure would suck to forgo a tasty steak and die of some other problem."

displacedinMN 11-08-2018 07:12 PM


Originally Posted by Chief Northman (Post 13878975)
Livestock left to run free in the cities might change the tune...

Cows are the best pets..
Free fertilizer
Free Mowing.
Food when you are done.

Bob Dole 11-08-2018 08:02 PM

Orange Man=Meat=BAD!

Just Passin' By 11-08-2018 08:15 PM

An attempt to impose a global meat tax might be one of the two or three things that could unite the people of the U.S.. I figure it would take about 30-35 seconds before he first son of a bitch who tried passing such a bill would be killed, cooked, and fed to the dogs.

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