Sugary drinks tax in France already making impact

Fizzy drinks companies have already reduced the sugar in their recipes, according to MP Olivier Veran

The tax on sugary fizzy drinks that has been in place in France since July 1 is already having a positive effect on the amount of sugar found in the drinks, an MP has said.

Olivier Veran, La République en Marche (LREM) MP, who helped to spearhead and vote through the new tax, has said that some manufacturers had already taken notice, and had reduced the amount of sugar in their drinks recipes accordingly.

The tax is already being hailed as a success in the fight against obesity, especially in children.

According to Mr Veran, popular brands such as Sprite, Lipton Ice Tea, Seven Up and Fanta have all reduced their sugar content.

Drinks by giants Schweppes, and Lipton Ice Tea, were found to contain 40% less sugar; while Seven Up and Fanta had cut sugar by 30%, he said.

Yet, Mr Veran also highlighted certain brands who, he said, “refused to budge”.This included Coca-Cola, which he claimed had “[cynically] reduced the size of their bottles without changing the price”.

He added that “other drinks had not seen any change in the amount of sugar”, but remained hopeful that this could yet change.

He said: “July 1 is still very recent. But [the measure] has already had a very strong impact. This means less sugar in drinks, so less risk of diabetes, especially in children, and less risk of obesity. This is a major public health measure that does not cost the public a single centime.”

Mr Veran has stated his wish to make the sugar tax more stringent, but said that it is too early to do so now.

Indeed, there are no plans to add further sugar taxes in the next social security Budget, which is set to be voted on by the Assemblée Nationale this October.

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