Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Health Ministry will propose tax increases to sodas and juices with sugar

BRASILIA-the Ministry of health will present the Government a proposal to increase the taxation of sugary drinks, such as fruit juices and soft drinks. The technical team of the folder already conducted a first survey on the taxation of the sector and now devotes itself to hear groups involved, as the food sector and associations fighting for improvement of the eating habits of Brazilians, to finalize the proposal for change. As part of this agenda, the Health Minister, Ricardo Barros, must meet this Wednesday, 13, with representatives of small manufacturers.
The price increase of sugary drinks is appointed by the World Health Organization as an important strategy to reduce and prevent obesity. In October, the who suggested the countries that helped push in 20% the price of the product.
Although Brazil is signatory of plans to recommend the lifting of taxes of sugary drinks, associations claim that the initiatives registered so far are shy. Discussions gain body for the past two months. Barros claimed to be in favour of the measure. "We're taking the theme for a meeting with members of the economic team and Staff," he said.
Various models of changes are under discussion. Among the points that will be assessed are the set of operations that large companies put in place between the purchase of raw material in the free zone of Manaus and the finished product. The evaluation of small businesses, the existing format allows large companies to obtain a significant tax reduction. "Eventually there might be an equation," said the Minister.
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Preliminary studies show that the IPI soft drinks fell from 2012. "We're against than is indicated by international organizations", says the Executive Director of the Health promotion ACT, Paula Johns.
The IRS, the justification is that the logic of taxation was changed and the system is now more fair. Barros asked your team make a detailed evaluation about the values. "We are committed to reduce obesity in 30% by 2019. We are evaluating the proposals for this, and among them is the increased tax. But this is not a decision of a Ministry, is a Government decision, "said the Minister.
Today, one of every three children under 2 years consume soda up to five times a week. Among the adult population, the prevalence of obesity almost quadrupled between 1975 and 2015.
The recommendation to raise taxes and prices of sugary drinks is already followed by some countries. In Hungary, for example, a fee was established from 2011. The reduction of consumption recorded after as was 19%. South Africa and Ireland approved rates, which take effect in 2017 and 2018.
The Brazilian Association of the industry of soft drinks and non-alcoholic drinks, an organization that brings together the largest manufacturers of soft drinks, juices, soft drinks and chocolate, the measure would not reduce obesity. And the example given is that of Mexico where a rate caused initial reduction. Of 2015 here, however, the sales of products grew back.
Estadão – 14/09/2017
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