Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Righteous Open Up A New Front

Just to prove that it's not just our 'doctors' who are as mad a bag of rabid ferrets, get this from the USA.

Doctors press for 'cola tax' in bid to fight child obesity

The battle to contain the global obesity crisis stepped up a gear yesterday as American public health experts demanded a sugar tax on the country's most popular source of refreshment – sweetened carbonated drinks and fruit juices.

In what is certain to become a world-wide debate on the use of economic sanctions to tackle obesity, a group led by academics from Yale and Harvard universities proposed a "cola war", with a 1 cent tax per fluid ounce on sweetened beverages, raising the price of the average can of cola by 15 to 20 per cent.

Yep, that's correct. A war on cola.

An evil peddler of kiddie narcotics, pictured in December

We've had the war on terrorism, the war on drugs, the war on tobacco, the increasingly intensive war on alcohol. Now, the new front has emerged. And as usual, before anyone gets to discuss it, the evidence is overwhelming.

"The reasons to proceed are compelling. The science base linking the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to the risk of chronic disease is clear. Research suggests a tax... would have strong positive effects on reducing consumption. We believe that taxes on beverages that help drive the obesity epidemic should and will become routine," the experts say in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Boy! Thank God this is restricted to the land of the {cough} free. I know we normally get hysteria like this eventually, but there's usually something like five years lead time for us to fight it (like CAMRA and the drinks industry didn't).

Not so, I'm afraid, freedom-lovers.

British nutrition specialists backed the move but said other economic measures, such as a tariff on sugar imports, could have the same impact but be less politically controversial.

Yep, it's not about whether this is a good idea or not, they are past that already. They are now on to how best to approach it. Do you remember being consulted?

Tam Fry, spokesman for the UK National Obesity Forum, said: "We have got to start thinking very seriously about taxing unhealthy food and drink as part of the drive to improve the nation's health and cut obesity. The amount of sugar that goes into these soft drinks is staggering and it has a double whammy, increasing obesity and rotting teeth."

What a joyless carrot-munching cunt you are, Tam. If you came asking me for money to spout this shit, I'd tell you to go jump in the nearest car crusher. However, I've a nagging feeling that the government have already paid for your hectoring on my behalf.

Jack Winkler, professor of nutrition policy at London Metropolitan University, said: "I support this. It would be a massive public acknowledgement about the danger sugar poses to health."

Fuck my boots! The Fonz's bastard anglo brother is in on it too. We're totally shafted.

But he proposed raising the price of sugar permanently by reforming the world commodity markets. Imposing tariffs, which are invisible, would be much better than raising taxes, he said.

Now, I've heard about, debated with, and personally tackled, some nasty healthist fuckweasels in my time, but I really don't remember ever coming across one who advocated changing world commodity markets for their own small-minded, dictatorial ends with a view to making it less than visible to the public. In a country which laughably calls itself a democracy, no less.

It takes one hell of a brass-balled, hellbound goat-fellater to suggest such a staggeringly totalitarian approach, don't you think?

Almost as an addendum comes the still small voice of sanity and common sense.

The British Nutrition Foundation said that, instead of altering food choices, increasing taxes "could simply mean higher prices for consumers – especially those on lower incomes".

Like these mad, state-funded, scaremongering boggle-eyeds care.

I remember when "Stop the world, I want to get off" used to be merely a jocular repartee.


Angry Exile said...

I propose a PR tax. Every time one of these joyless medico or pseudo med pricks wants to do a press release or any other kind of media if they're not actually a TV or newspaper doctor and employed to do it then it costs them 50 grand - to be made up of 50% from the organisation they represent and the rest from the personal income of those making the report. That should persuade them to shut the fuck up unless they're really sure something is genuinely and properly bad for us, and even then to tell us just once and then keep it to themselves.

subrosa said...

I suspect this was initiated by the PR folks at Pepsi.

They'd know all about it if they started on Irn Bru. :)

Leg-iron said...

Not just cola. It's sugar in all forms they're after.

Including fruit juices.

Just in case of HTML screwup -

Curmudgeon said...

Of course, in reality, the effect of putting up taxes is not to reduce consumption but to impose an additional financial burden on those sections of society who can least afford it. As we have seen with tobacco duty, fuel duty and alcohol duty.

And it raises all kinds of questions about how you actually define which foodstuffs are "unhealthy".

MarieC said...

Tam FRY, spokesman for the UK National Obesity Forum.

Fry, surely it's not his real name.

btw - National Obesity Forum -Isn't this the mob that the smoker-hating, Jane Deville Almond is a director of?

Anonymous said...

Christ, not too long now before we're dining on nice, clean, sugarfree water and raw veg to set us up for an evening spent jogging.

...and did I hear on this morning's Today programme that a UK medic has said that smoking and drinking knocks 10 years off lifespan? How (ahem) subtle of them to link alcohol and smoking so that alcohol becomes tainted by association.


Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Jane Deville Almond

I wonder if she was given a normal name as a child then she may not have turned out to be so concerned with interfering in every aspect of our lives.

Unknown said...

I don't know about you but I feel I'm being bludgeoned to death by the Health Taliban...when will this shit ever stop?

Anonymous said...

"And it raises all kinds of questions about how you actually define which foodstuffs are "unhealthy".

Indeed. Five years ago, my diabetic father went on the Atkins Diet and his dietician said he was "going to kill himself." Three stone later and with pharma consumption down from ten pills to one he just ignores them, as do I. I feel a lot healthier on Atkins and have lost 2 stone without even trying. Now, NHS guidelines have shifted a little too, but in the States many Doctors are, as is the way of these things, calling carbohydrates "poison." So which religious facton will win? Will my healthy cuts of meat and steamed vegetables be on the "approved" list or will the vegan nut-munchers win? My diet, as proven by blood tests, general health and weight loss is healthy (for my metabolic type at least). But they usually go after eggs and cheese and meat.

Kind of like how ASH went after Alan Carr despite his stop-smoking method being 20 times more effective than NRT.

Oh, and the UK National Obesity Forum.... Not a fake charity is it? Must look at to check.

Anonymous said...

Beware of Geeks - I'm certain that our Jane is the type of fool who would soak up an article in some trashy mag telling her that, if she adopted an 'interesting' name, her self-esteem and cred-ib-il-ity would rocket, so she's adopted the deVille bit. Shame no-one told her that there are still people who can see through the name to the knuckle-dragger beneath.


Mark Wadsworth said...

The real cola ware is of course Pepsi vs Coca Cola (my G-d, do those two businesses hate each other) but my favourite cola war is the fact that Israelis drink Pepsi and Palestinians drink Coke and never shall the twain meet.

Heck knows how this started, but it's part of the reason I drink Pepsi.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Re the NOF, it's not a fakecharity, it's a food industry lobby group.

John Bull said...

I myself enjoy, drinking until i`m merry,smoking cigars n cigarettes even the occasional pipe,eating red meat rare,3 sugars in my tea,crisps, cakes,biscuits,trifles, spam,deep fried foods.I eat breakfast,brunch,lunch,tea, dinner,high tea and finish off with a supper of deviled kidneys,fried bread,liver and a half mug of brandy.
I can proudly say im over 300 years old so go figure?,....but then i dont drink fizzy pop, that must be it then.

Anonymous said...

And so they push us all on the low-sugar aspartame filled crap?

WV pinesses... I thought pricks but that will do :)

BTS said...

Spam? I didn't realise that it still existed let alone that someone would choose to eat it..

You're a brave man John.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, spam has, in the past few years, acquired cult status. Can irony be expressed through food?


BTS said...

"Varieties of Spam vary by region and include Spam Classic, Spam Hot & Spicy, Spam Less Sodium, Spam Lite, Spam Oven Roasted Turkey, Hickory Smoked, and Spam Spread; the latter is also available as halal food (see the halal sign on cans), meaning that it is permissible under Islamic law, and is especially popular in Muslim markets."

Apparently it provides for quite a varied diet..

Anonymous said...

why bother with a tariff
"Raw sugar futures are hovering neat a 28-1/2 year peak after thundering in
a bull run since late July on prospects for huge imports by India after a weak
monsoon decimated the cane crop in the world's biggest consumer of the
sweetener, and slow harvesting in leading grower and exporter Brazil.
Although the monsoon did improve recently, it came too late to help this
year's cane crop.
" Reuters New York Commodities Desk

ChrisM said...

Don't they already have massive sugar subsidies in the US? So they are proposing to now both tax and subsidise it!

Anonymous said...

I look forward to a war on Aspartame.

Nah, won't happen. Too many special interests depend on the billions derived from it.

David Davis (Libertarian Alliance) said...

We can all start working on the plans for being able to smuggle sugar around the needy world, at gunpoint if need be.

Pirates may be of help to us here. They know what to do in these situations.

Sugar-ships could be hijacked on the High Seas, and the Iranian Navy, for a small kick-back, might agree to escort them to belligerent ports, such as Felixstowe and Seaforth, and defend them against the Euro- navy's lifebelt-assault-troops while they are being unloaded.

We've been through worse: we can get round this one. the price of sugar may rise, but poor people will still be able to get some, as just opposed to the Enemy-Class.

I remember being told not long after The War that food "is rationed by THe Government, so that the rich-people won't be able to buy it all and cause poor workers to starve".