Food Politics

The Nutella Amendment: France Decides to Tax Nutella, Among Other Things

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Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM

click to enlarge Nutella on toast - FLICKR/ELISASIZZLE
Maybe it's a good thing that New York City Mayor Bloomberg has targeted soda as a leading cause of the obesity epidemic, because he could have targeted something far, far more important: Nutella. Which is precisely what the government of France has done. In an effort to curb obesity, France is proposing a "fat tax," which would target not pâté or foie gras, but palm oil. Right. Because that's what's making everyone fat, apparently, not the many McDonald's restaurants in Paris or all that glorious cheese. (And yes, if you were wondering, French people get fat too, although calling out Gerard Depardieu seems really unfair.)

In what has become known as the Nutella Amendment, France's (Socialist, of course) government plans to quadruple taxes on products containing palm oil, a key ingredient in the hugely popular Italian hazelnut-chocolate spread. The argument is that palm oil consumption is fueling obesity, reports The Guardian. And no, this isn't making anybody happy, particularly French schoolchildren and the government of Malaysia, which produces palm oil.

Currently, palm oil is taxed at around €100 per metric tonne in France. The French government is proposing to raise this to €400. Nutella's ingredients include (in order, she says, looking at the three large jars of Nutella currently in her kitchen): sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, emulsifiers and flavors.

In an effort to raise revenue and, of course, improve the health of its citizens, the government of President François Hollande has already raised taxes on sugary drinks -- and is proposing to raise them on beer. So much for that decadent French vacation you've been planning. For places to get Nutella closer to home than Paris, here's the company's handy store locator. Bon appétit.

And in related news:

Nutella Settles Lawsuit Over 'Healthy Breakfast' Claims

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