Danes Enact a Fat Tax

While Boston is embroiled in dealing with sugary drinks in schools, the Danish Parliament, the “Folketinget,” has charged ahead and voted by a large majority to introduce a tax on saturated fat, putting meat and dairy products in the same category as cigarettes and alcohol.

The tax is to be imposed on meat, meat products, oils and processed foods containing saturated fats, and dairy products.

The Danish Government admitted that the main purpose of the tax is to finance agreed general tax cuts but nevertheless is going ahead with the idea.

The proposal for to the Danish Minister for Taxation, submitted on January 19, 2011, details exactly which products are to be taxed.

A tax is to be paid to the treasury on the weight of saturated fat in the following food identified by the EU Combined Nomenclature code, if the saturated fat content in the food exceeds 2.3 % by weight:

  1. Meat, cf. however Annex 1.
  2. Dairy products under codes 0401- 0406.
  3. Animal fat under codes 1501-1504 and 1516, which are melted out or are extracted in other ways
  4. Edible oils and fats under codes 1507 -1516,
  5. Margarine and other food under code 1517,
  6. Spreadable blended spreads under position 2106.
  7. Other food which, based on an overall evaluation of the nature of the food, its use and the way it is marketed, can be considered to be a substitute for or imitation of the goods specified in points 1 – 6.

Looks like Danish cooks are going to have to give up whipping cream, crème fraiche, butter, margarine, corn/olive/sunflower/rape (canola) oil, and cheese… along with beef, pork, and chicken. Note: lamb didn’t appear on the list…

That pretty much covers it!


Danes vote to bring in a fat tax (may require registration)

Proposal for the Act on a Tax on Saturated Fat in Specific Food – The Fat Tax Act (PDF)

1 comment to Danes Enact a Fat Tax

  • Austin Kobs

    Hopefully American lawmakers will learn something from watching how other nations are dealing with their obesity problem. Obesity is a serious problem requiring a serious solution. There is no one rigth answer and whatever politicians do, its obviously going to anger someone. But that is why they are elected! Politicians need to make the tough choices that teh maerican public seems unable to make for themselves. With obesity costing our nation $147 billion a year, something needs to be done or things are only going to get worse…