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French MPs Vote To Tax Energy Drinks

Published on Oct 25 2013 11:31 AM in Drinks

French MPs Vote To Tax Energy Drinks

French parliamentarians yesterday voted for a new tax on energy drinks, such as Red Bull.

The vote is the second attempt to impose a charge on the products after the first was overturned in court. Members of the parliament voted to approve a tax of one euro per litre from next year on drinks that contain at least 0.22 grammes of caffeine per litre, or 0.3 grammes of taurine.

The amendment has already been dubbed 'the Red Bull amendment' by local media after the world's most popular energy drink.

The new tax aims at promoting health by limiting the consumption of such drinks, but does not affect ordinary coffee.

Red Bull has been on sale in France since 2008 after being banned for 12 years due to health authorities' concerns about taurine.

The American Medical Association said in June it would support a ban on the marketing of energy drinks to children under 18, saying the beverages could cause heart problems and other health issues.

While taxes on alcohol and cigarettes have been commonplace for many years, taxes on specific unhealthy foods and drinks aimed at combating obesity have only recently been introduced by some governments.

In September 2011, Hungary raised a tax on a series of unhealthy products such as certain soft drinks, energy drinks, pre-packed sweetened products, salty snacks and condiments. At the same time, the health minister of Ireland, James Reilly, announced that he was considering introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks.

In France, a tax on all beverages with added sugar or with artificial sweeteners had already been introduced in 2012.

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