Governments around the world are considering taxing red meat like tobacco in an effort to curb climate change

Posted by on August 29, 2019 9:36 pm
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First the taxman came for your cigars, now he might be coming for your steak. That’s according to a new report sent to Business Insider by research company Fitch Solutions, which concluded that "sin taxes" – levies on products deemed undesirable like tobacco, sugary foods and drinks – could soon be applied to meat. "Governments could leverage on this demand for more sustainability and tax the consumer instead of implementing stricter environmental production regulations," Fitch first  

suggested in May.

Since then, new research by the company predicts such a tax could go global, due to environmental, health and ethical concerns. "The global rise of sugar taxes makes it easy to envisage a similar wave of regulatory measures targeting the meat industry," Fitch told Business Insider. Just last week, a coalition of cross-party

German politicians proposed hiking the value-added tax

(VAT) on meat from 7% to 19% in the hopes of cutting consumption. Like sugar, red meat has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes, which Fitch said laid the groundwork for similar taxes.

A study by University of Oxford

, for example, found introducing the measure could prevent almost 6,000 deaths a year and save nearly $850 million in healthcare costs. Unlike sugar, however, the justification for restricting people’s appetite for meat relates to broader issues than just health, with climate change, deforestation, and ethical concerns all looming large in the minds of consumers…