The G20 received a call for a global tax on sugar.

The G20 received a call for a global tax on sugar.

The International Diabetes Federation petitioned world leaders in the walk-up to the G20 meeting to impose a global tax on sugar to counter obesity, improve health and all around save lives.

The IDF asked that their request be placed for consideration on the agenda alongside the G20’s other planned issues of discussion – the geopolitical topics and financial debates, Reuters reported.

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Petra Wilson, the chief executive of the IDF, which is an umbrella organization for 230-plus associations, said the tax could prove helpful in fighting the war on diabetes, in much the same way governments impose levies on tobacco to discourage smoking.

“It is very well established that heavy taxation on tobacco and relentless reinforcement of the message that tobacco is unhealthy has had a very good effect,” Wilson said, to Reuters. “It is time now we adopted a similar approach with sugar.”

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She also admitted sugar and tobacco are two different products in that humans can live without the latter.

“It is, of course, more difficult with sugar because whilst people can live entirely without tobacco, they can’t live entirely without sugar,” she said. “But humans can live without added sugars.”

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Mexico, Chile and France have adopted various sugar tax packages in the past, but political opposition is staunch. Wilson said she wasn’t sure if the G20 would address the topic. The world powers are due to meet in Turkey on November 15 for a two-day conference.

 

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