Tax red meat and save lives

Other | Sunday 11th November 2018 | Annalisa

New research has found that taxing red meat would save many lives and raise billions to pay for healthcare. The study, led by Marco Springmann a the University of Oxford, found that the cost of processed meat would double if the harm they cause to people’s health was taken into account. The higher prices would cut meat consumption and could lead to a $41bn saving in annual healthcare costs.


The World Health Organisation declared processed red meat to be a carcinogen in 2015 and unprocessed red meat such as steaks and chops to be a probable carcinogen. Red meat has also been linked to heart disease, strokes and diabetes. A processed meat is any food that has been altered in some way during preparation so processed meats don’t just include “turkey ham” but also bacon and sausages.


Whilst nobody likes being told to eat, the research is clear! The UK government already taxes products that are harmful to health like tobacco, alcohol and sugar. Taxing red meat would not just be beneficial to our health but to the environment too. It seems inevitable that we will go down this road so why not sooner rather than later.