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UK Doctors Call For Tax On Meat And Dairy Products

by | May 28, 2020

140 NHS doctors have signed an open letter to the UK government asking for a tax on meat and dairy products.

The doctors have also suggested a tax on junk food, in addition to asking for plant-based foods to be subsidized.

The call for change comes as data shows patients with diet-related ill-health conditions are at an increased risk of dying from COVID-19.

“This is really urgent” said Dr Shireen Kassam, a Consultant Haematologist.

“At Crisis Point”

“80% of chronic illnesses are directly related to diet and lifestyle and one-in-five deaths in the UK are caused by unhealthy diets, which is one high in processed foods and animal foods.”

“The current pandemic has shown the vulnerability of the population’s health. We have been at crisis point for a long time, probably nearly a decade” she added.

“I have seen no solutions the government is providing. We want to know what the UK is doing to address our unfair, unhealthy and unsustainable food system.”

As well as taxing meat, dairy, and junk food, the doctors are suggesting an end to processed meat being served in hospitals and schools.

meat and dairy cow
The doctors are urging the government to tax meat and dairy (Zacchio/Shutterstock.com)

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Dr Kassam believes that 80 percent of chronic diseases can be prevented “by addressing the social and lifestyle determinants of health.”

In a letter to the government — shared exclusively with Metro.co.uk — the collective of doctors wrote, “As healthcare professionals we are concerned that business will restart as usual after the pandemic.”

“Not Acceptable”

“It is not acceptable that the NHS is collapsing under the burden of chronic diseases, the majority of which could be prevented and treated by addressing diet and lifestyle factors.”

“We are willing to take on the task of shifting the NHS focus from a reactive healthcare system to one that promotes health and prevents chronic illness.”

“However, this action needs to be fully embraced by NHS leaders and the government, who should now place the nation’s long-term health at the centre of their policy.”

Do you think the UK government will respond positively to the letter and take action? Let us know your thoughts on a meat and dairy tax in the comments below!

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