Taxation on red and processed meat

Research released by University of Oxford suggests placing a tax on red and processed meat, similar to that placed on sugary drinks, with the intention to reduce the negative impacts that consumption of these products can have on health.

Processed meat is generally defined as any meat preserved by salting, curing, smoking, or by adding chemical preservatives, including bacon, sausages, salami, hot dogs and processed deli meats. Red meat includes beef, lamb and pork. Processed meat has been classified as carcinogenic and red meat as probably carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation. Consumption of these products has increased on average by 25% throughout the world.

The tax levels modelled in the research were:

  • Republic of Ireland

    • 80% for processed meat
    • 12% for red meat
  • United Kingdom

    • 79% for processed meat
    • 14% for red meat

It is proposed that taxing these products would reduce consumption which would in turn reduce the cases of chronic disease, such as cancer and coronary heart disease, related to consumption of red and processed meat. This has the potential to reduce the number of global deaths each year by nearly seven million if it results in one less serving daily.

For information on recommended portion sizes take a look at the healthy eating guidelines.


Posted: 08/11/2018 12:31:27 by Joanna Gallagher
Filed under: Cancer, Heat disease, Processed meat, Red meat, Tax


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