Quebec specialists push for 15% junk-food tax
Published Tuesday, February 2, 2010 10:52AM EST
Quebec medical specialists have launched an internet campaign to push for a special tax on junk food.
The Quebec federation of medical specialists says that making such foods more expensive would force people to change their eating habits, which would make them healthier.
The doctors say that eating less junk food reduces the risk of developing serious health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.
Furthermore, the specialists say that the extra revenues could generate $350 million per year for the health-care system.
"There must be new revenue for the government. It's time for us to make suggestions," said Dr. Gaetan Barrette, president of the federation.
The specialists are recommending Quebec levy a 15 per cent "preventative health" tax on the foods such as chewing gum, marshmallows, chocolate bars and soda.
The list of foods includes a total of 30 items that could be modified as the government sees fit, say the specialists.