If Arnhem was the “bridge too far” for General Montgomery, Nutella may be a tax too far for President François Hollande. I have been admittedly critical of the massive tax increase by the Hollande government on the top earners in France. I just do not believe it makes economic sense. However, the latest tax is not simply designed to acquire more revenue but to fight the fat in France — part of a trend inside and outside the United States. The French Senate tripled the tax on palm and some other vegetable oils — a move that will significantly raise the cost of such French favorites like Nutella.
Nutella itself has defied the move and said that it would not change its recipe. Most French would sooner change Versailles into a duplex than change Nutella.
I strongly oppose these fat taxes and measures like the large soda ban in New York. We clearly do need to fight obesity in society. However, individuals should not be denied choice or penalized financially for not yielding to the demands of their government about what they eat or cook.
The appearance of a fat tax in France is particularly bizarre. Paris rests on a bedrock of marzipan and spun sugar. This is like the Italian tripling a pasta tax. Paris is one of the great food centers of the world and perhaps the greatest in history. Indeed, we have a LuLu poster in our kitchen from one of our fat-saturated trips to France. Had Marie Antoinette known that this was coming, she would have rushed to the guillotine at the Place de la Révolution.
Source: Washington Post
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