Researchers at Oxford University are recommending that the U.K. – and the rest of the world, actually – begin putting exorbitant taxes on meat like bacon and steak to reduce their consumption, a measure they claim will save lives and reduce health care costs by billions.
That’s right. Oxford wants to tax your bacon, and by as much as triple digits.
“Researchers concluded that the UK government should introduce a tax of 79% on processed meat such as bacon, and 14% on unprocessed meat such as steak,” CNN reported.
The study determined that putting a tax on certain meats, including beef, lamb and pork, would dissuade people from eating too much of it, which studies have shown can cause heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.
"The least intrusive form of regulation is a tax to raise prices and reduce consumption," Dr. Marco Springmanntold CNN.
Springmann added that in the U.S., bacon would need to be taxed 163 percent and steak taxed 34 percent to get the same result “due to an inefficient health system that wastes a lot of money.”
Springmann’s team estimates taxing meats beyond people’s ability to buy them would save an estimated 220,000 lives around the world each year and about $41 billion in worldwide health care costs. Because, apparently, grown adults can’t be trusted to make their own healthcare and dietary decisions and accept the consequences that come with them.
Lest you poo-poo the study as another crackpot measure that couldn’t possibly see the light of day, remember that the U.K has already enacted a 16 percent sugar tax on sodas and other “unhealthy” beverages, as have many more progressive cities across the U.S. including Berkeley and Philadelphia.
Of course, Oxford couldn’t be bothered to look into how much money such a measure would cost meat producers and grocers around the world – or the number of lives that would lost in the inevitable Great Bacon War.