Yesterday French parliamentarians voted for a new tax on energy drinks such as Red Bull. After the first parliamentarian attempt to impose a charge on such products was overturned in court, the second vote approved a tax of one euro per litre from next year on. Drinks that contain at least 0.22 grammes of caffeine per litre or 0.3 grammes of taurine will be affected. - The French media already called it the 'the Red Bull amendment' named after the world's most popular energy drink.
The new tax aims at promoting health by limiting the consumption of such drinks, but does not affect ordinary coffee. Gerard Bapt, Socialist member of the Parliament and doctor by profession, started the initiative based on French studies that have shown that energy beverages can cause heart problems and neuropsychological problems. The American Medical Association endorses this approach by supporting a ban on the marketing of energy drinks to children under 18.
Only recently some governments have introduced taxes on specific unhealthy foods and drinks aimed at combating obesity. Among them are Finland, Hungary, Denmark and France. The Irish Health minister James Reilly, announced that he was considering the introduction of a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks.
AMA press release on Banning Marketing of Energy drinks to Kids
EurActiv.com with Reuters