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Thailand enters 'War on Sugar' with tax on sweetened beverages

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Thailand enters 'War on Sugar' with tax on sweetened beverages

By Chris Prentice

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thailand has slapped tariffs on sugar likely to hit $9 million worth of U.S. beverage exports, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday, as one of the top producers of the sweetener joins a growing list of regions implementing such taxes.

 

The Thai government implemented its first-ever excise tax on sugar in beverages in a bid to reduce consumption, the report published on USDA's website said, citing industry estimates for the potential impacts on U.S. manufacturers like PepsiCo Inc, Coca-Cola Co and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc.

 

Governments around the world have been weighing introduction of taxes on sugary beverages in order to stem health epidemics including diabetes and obesity. The World Health Organization, which has backed the levies, said earlier this month that child and teen obesity had soared tenfold in four decades.

 

A handful of regions in the United States voted in 2016 to implement sugary-drinks taxes, but the soda industry scored a victory this month when one of them, Chicago's home county, voted for repeal.

 

Thailand moved ahead with the sugar levy last month among a series of other excise taxes on goods, including some alcoholic beverages and cigarettes forecast to generate 12 billion baht ($360 million) in revenues.

 

Previously, imported beverages were taxed at a 20-percent rate. The new system cuts that to 10 percent but adds a tariff on beverages with over 6 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters, the USDA said in its report.

 

Thailand is the third-largest producer of the sweetener after Brazil and India.

 

To read the full report, go here: http://bit.ly/2zCbFfz

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-10-21

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Sugar tax not high enough.

While they're at it, time to lower the tax on the wonderful HEALTH promoting drink -- WINE. You know, the real stuff, not the faux crap being promoted here full of sugar juice. 

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This made me laugh.  I have never known a country where the population put sugar in absolutely everything, bar nothing.   They even put sugar into drinks that are already high in the stuff, .like hot chocolate. Why they are mostly thin I have no idea. 

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Just now, Pilotman said:

This made me laugh.  I have never known a country where the population put sugar in absolutely everything, bar nothing.   They even put sugar into drinks that are already high in the stuff, .like hot chocolate. Why they are mostly thin I have no idea. 

They may be "mostly" thin but there is a strong trend towards increased obesity, especially in youth, and sadly obesity in youth generally carries forward to obesity in adulthood. It's wise to try to address this before Thailand becomes another Mexico. 

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5 minutes ago, Pilotman said:

This made me laugh.  I have never known a country where the population put sugar in absolutely everything, bar nothing.   They even put sugar into drinks that are already high in the stuff, .like hot chocolate. Why they are mostly thin I have no idea. 

 

I once stood next to a Thai lady in a food court and counted that she put 8 (eight) heaped spoonfuls of sugar onto her Lad Na. Probably more sugar that noodles.

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I'd like to know if putting tax on these drinks actually has any effect on consumption levels. If mummy is just going to pay an extra 2 baht to keep her kid happy, the only winner is the tax department. Getting kids involved in activity sports is far more beneficial for the bodys weight, not to mention the cardio vascular system.

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9 minutes ago, Pilotman said:

This made me laugh.  I have never known a country where the population put sugar in absolutely everything, bar nothing.   They even put sugar into drinks that are already high in the stuff, .like hot chocolate. Why they are mostly thin I have no idea. 

In 7/11 in the "fresh food" section there is a pre-packed, pre-cooked CP steamed/poached chicken breast... with sugar added

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10 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

They may be "mostly" thin but there is a strong trend towards increased obesity, especially in youth, and sadly obesity in youth generally carries forward to obesity in adulthood. It's wise to try to address this before Thailand becomes another Mexico. 

Not surprising.  My wife gets through bags of the stuff and I just can't seem to educate here.  She is slim and has no problem maintaining her weight, but I do notice that the new generation of babies in our family are over weight and being fed sugary stuff.  

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10 minutes ago, petedk said:

 

I once stood next to a Thai lady in a food court and counted that she put 8 (eight) heaped spoonfuls of sugar onto her Lad Na. Probably more sugar that noodles.

 

Funny thing is that asking for "nit noi" of the usual is still quite a large heap of sugar.  You have to watch the preparer and tell them exactly how much extra to add. 

 

Thai gov't will make a lot of money here.

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1 minute ago, darksidedog said:

I'd like to know if putting tax on these drinks actually has any effect on consumption levels. If mummy is just going to pay an extra 2 baht to keep her kid happy, the only winner is the tax department. Getting kids involved in activity sports is far more beneficial for the bodys weight, not to mention the cardio vascular system.

That is one of the problems worldwide. Kids nowadays get no exercise. 

 

I am amazed to see young people riding motorbikes up to street vendors and stopping in front of the cart, not getting off their bikes and ordering food. I regularly see a girl jump on her motorbike to ride 20 meters. 

 

People just hate walking or doing any form of physical exercise. Many Thais are surprised when they hear how much I walk every day (I am still a little overweight though, but that is my love of food).

 

I doubt very much if putting tax on these drinks will have any effect on consumption. I know some who habitually drink a bottle of coke in the morning as soon as they arrive at work. Also many Thais will find it hard to drop the sweet ice coffees.

 

 

 

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One of my in-laws live across the street from a huge sugar plant south of Wang Sapung in Loei.  I wonder if that will affect them.  Though I heard they were considering selling their 40 or so Rai for some insane price in the tens of millions Baht.  Land prices are insane in some places.

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13 minutes ago, petedk said:

 

I once stood next to a Thai lady in a food court and counted that she put 8 (eight) heaped spoonfuls of sugar onto her Lad Na. Probably more sugar that noodles.

My brother-in-law put two level tablespoons of dried, toasted & ground Thai hot pepper into his bowl of noodles. I was too busy freaking out to count the sugar.  He's a cook in a Thai restaurant in USA.  Do NOT ask for authentic Thai food.  555

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18 minutes ago, 4evermaat said:

 

Funny thing is that asking for "nit noi" of the usual is still quite a large heap of sugar.  You have to watch the preparer and tell them exactly how much extra to add. 

 

Thai gov't will make a lot of money here.

Just tell them "No sugar".

 

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If previously imported beverages were taxed at a 20-percent rate and, the new system cuts that to 10 percent but adds a tariff on beverages with over 6 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters, surely one can expect the beverage companies to reduce the sugar content to just below 6 grams per 100 milliliter thus saving themselves 10% tax ?

 

What about Thai made beverages ?

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