Europe

Denmark to abolish tax on high-fat foods

  • 10 November 2012
  • From the section Europe
butter
The tax increased the cost of butter and other foods with more than 2.3% saturated fat

The Danish government has said it intends to abolish a tax on foods which are high in saturated fats.

The measure, introduced a little over a year ago, was believed to be the world's first so-called "fat tax".

Foods containing more than 2.3% saturated fat - including dairy produce, meat and processed foods - were subject to the surcharge.

But authorities said the tax had inflated food prices and put Danish jobs at risk.

The Danish tax ministry said it was also cancelling its plans to introduce a tax on sugar, the AFP news agency reports.

The ministry said one of the effects of the fat tax was that some Danes had begun crossing the border into Germany to stock up on food there.

According to the Danish National Health and Medicines Authority, 47% of Danes are overweight and 13% are obese.

The tax was introduced in October 2011, in an attempt to limit the population's intake of fatty foods.

The measure added 16 kroner ($2.70; £1.50) per kg (2.2lb) of saturated fats in a product, increasing the price of a 250g pack of butter by 2.20 kroner.

The decision to get rid of the tax was agreed as part of the centre-left minority government's budget negotiations.

Several supermarkets have reportedly said they will reduce their prices once the tax is abolished.

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