Sunday, December 3, 2023

Colombia introduces Latin America’s first junk food tax

After years of campaigns by civil society groups Colombia has introduced the first law in Latin America targeting ultra-processed, “junk” foods, despite vehement opposition from food industry lobbies.

The scope of the law surpasses others introduced in the region that target harmful foods, as it includes a wider range of products. The same products that are taxed also have front-of-packaging labels warning of their high calorie, sugar, salt, or fat levels—increasing the effectiveness of the measures, advocates say.

The law will likely spark similar schemes throughout Latin America, said Beatriz Champagne, executive director of the Coalition for Americas’ Health, a Latin American advocacy group. “Every time a country puts forward a new strategy such as this in our region, it becomes a model and …

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