FCPC sets the record straight on new food and beverage taxes

Statement on behalf of FCPC’s Phyllis Tanaka, Registered Dietitian and Vice President, Scientific & Regulatory Affairs - Food and Nutrition.

Canada's food and beverage manufacturers understand obesity is a serious issue and everyone has a role to play as part of the solution. Obesity is a complex issue with no one cause and no one solution. The food and beverage industry has been engaged, helping Canadians adopt healthy active lifestyles by investing in and promoting more healthful products, developing community wellness programs and teaching consumers on how to read and understand nutrition information.

Let’s be very clear – food is not tobacco. Tobacco has no place in a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A tax on food and beverages is nothing but a tax grab that will hurt lower and middle income Ontarians the most.

Last October, the Government of Denmark introduced a tax on fat. They are in the process of  scrapping it because it simply was not working. Taxing food and beverages will not ensure Canadians are healthier, nor will it lower the rate of obesity in this country. Consumer education and more product choice will lead to real results.



  • Food and beverage taxes have been tried in 18 states in the U.S. and have not been proven to work. There is little to no evidence taxing food and beverages results in people making healthier food choices. 
  • In reviewing policy related to childhood obesity, the Government of Australia concluded food and beverage taxes are at best insignificant in reducing obesity but do run a significant risk of harming low income families who have to spend a higher percentage of their income on food and beverages. http://www.pc.gov.au/research/staffworkingpaper/childhood-obesity


For more information contact:
Adam Grachnik
Director, Communications
Food & Consumer Products of Canada



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