What is it about?

High income Western countries like the UK have been urged to reduce their meat consumption, to improve health and reduce the impact of food production on climate change. A meat tax is one policy lever that has been suggested, and our paper explores the different arguments in the ensuing debate. By showing how arguments connect to different values, we begin to unpick why this debate is so controversial, and find some similarities to previous debates around sugar taxes.

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Why is it important?

Most previous work on meat taxes had used modelling studies to assess their possible impact on health and climate. We took a social science approach and focused on the values underpinning the debate. The research is timely given ongoing conversations about food taxes (particularly in England's June 2021 National Food Strategy report), and efforts to create a healthy and sustainable post-Brexit food system.

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This page is a summary of: “It's not as simple as something like sugar”: values and conflict in the UK meat tax debate, International Journal of Health Governance, June 2021, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/ijhg-03-2021-0026.
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