The United Kingdom has released a new study showing that if a global "meat tax" was imposed, it would save around 220,000 lives and cut health care bills back by $41 billion.
This comes from previous studies showing that red meat could be potentially carcinogenic. Beef, pork and lamb have carcinogens when eaten in their processed forms, including foods like bacon, jerky, and sausages. Cigarettes and alcohol, both regulated products, also include carcinogens.
Researchers have called for the tax to aid in the health of consumers and lower the risk of diabetes, strokes, and even cancer with foods that contain carcinogens.
Researchers in the UK have proposed a tax of 79% on processed meats like bacon or jerky, and 14% on unprocessed meat such as burgers and steak. They have recommended for the United States though that we impose a 163% tax on processed and 34% on unprocessed. Researcher Dr. Marco Springmann said that "The tax is higher in the US due to an inefficient health system that wastes a lot of money."
CNN also reports on the financial impact that the tax could have. The study showed that we could save $41 billion in healthcare if the tax was passed, in the United States alone we could save $20 billion.
Products with carcinogens like cigarettes and alcohol are already regulated, so why not meat? What do you think of a meat tax? Do you think it would help lower obesity rates, or will people just get their meat in other ways?
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