Thursday, March 09, 2017

The International Council of beverage Associations respond to newspaper article Health Affairs regarding the tax on sugary drinks in Mexico

The International Council of Beverages associations (ICBA) released the following positioning in response to the Health Affairs article about the impact of the taxes applied on sugary drinks in Mexico *:
"ICBA supports substantial policies with solid evidence and scientific bases for combating global challenge of obesity. Above all, this study did not show any impact of taxes in Mexico obesity rates. In fact, data from the national health and nutrition survey of Mexico, 2016, suggest that obesity rates have soared among adults in recent years, demonstrating that taxation does not bring any benefit to the health of Mexicans. Previous studies have shown that, in 2014, the tax reduced less than 6 daily calories on a diet of more than 3,000 calories, but had real-life economic impact of families with lower purchasing power.
Unfortunately, the authors of this article rely on theoretical models whose estimates are not aligned with the current tax revenue of the Mexican Secretary for finance and public credit (SHCP) [1]. The official government data indicates the increase in sales of sugary drinks in 2016, the opposite of reduction designed to suggest the authors.
Tax interventions have not been successful in terms of the reduction of obesity. What actually works are the real, significant and coordinated efforts of Government, industry, health professionals, local markets with consumers around the world, working together to implement evidence-based solutions.
Among the actions of the ICBA and its members are, for example:
-Development of new beverage options with less, low or no calories.
-Recasting of existing drinks with significant reduction of calories.
-Development of options for smaller portions.
-Support for the removal of soft drinks in primary schools.
– Development and implementation of the ICBA Guidelines for Marketing children 2008, which were updated and expanded in 2015.
– Development of the ICBA Guidelines for nutrition labelling to support the global soft drinks industry in providing meaningful information, intelligible and based on facts about nutrition.
– Creation, in 2013, the ICBA Guidelines for Composition, labelling and responsible Marketing of energy drinks to help ensure that these products are not marketed to children.
-Support for physical activity, nutritional programs, research and partnerships that advance in the science of nutrition.
The voluntary actions of industry have reduced the supply of calories and supported decision-making of consumers more than discriminatory taxes on drinks. The ICBA values the opportunity to work with stakeholders in productive solutions to the challenge of obesity and is committed to be part of the solution. "
The International Council of Beverages associations (ICBA) is an international non-governmental organization created in 1995 that represents the interests of the global soft drinks industry. ICBA members include national and regional associations, as well as international companies, operating in more than 200 countries and territories, producing, distributing and selling a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, including soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, bottled water, flavoured water, ready-to-drink teas and coffees, 100% juices of fruits or vegetables, fruit nectars, juices and milk drinks. To press demands, please contact ICBA on +1 (202) 463-6739 or
* Note disclosed on February 23 2017, the original English version available at:
[1] the data on tax revenue of the Government can be accessed at:
The Brazilian Association of manufacturers of soft drinks and non-alcoholic drinks (ABIR) is part of the ICBA and endorse the note disclosed. The brazilian industry of non-alcoholic beverages has developed actions like the above to support the fight against obesity. Example, in 2016, were released the guidelines OPEN about Marketing to children, providing for the suspension of the release of several products for audiences aged up to 12 years. The associated ABIR also developed new beverage options for consumers, carry out actions to support healthy practices such as sports, support scientific studies in the area of health and have other initiatives, such as the change of portfolios of drinks to be sold in schools from nutritional criteria.
Highlights the fact that the Brazilian soft drinks sector contribute today with $10 billion in taxes annually. This is a tax burden twice higher than applied on the Mexican industry (already considering the tax on sugary drinks applied in that country).
ABIR - 07/03/2017
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