News

August 22, 2017

International Council of Beverages Associations’ Asia Pacific Group's Statement in response to a proposal by the World Health Organization (WHO) to increase taxes on soft drinks in Sri Lanka

Today the International Council of Beverages Associations’ Asia Pacific Group (ICBA APAC) released the following statement in response to a proposal by the World Health Organization (WHO) to increase taxes on soft drinks in Sri Lanka:

 

“It is disappointing that the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, has requested this proposal given there is no evidence globally that these types of taxes have any discernible impact on public health” said ICBA APAC’s Executive Director, Mr Geoff Parker.

 

“The WHO itself recently concluded that taxes on soft drinks are not a cost-effective option to address overweight and obesity and therefore are a poor option to reduce the prevalence of diseases associated with diabetes.

 

“These types of simplistic taxes are discriminatory and regressive. They ignore all other sources of calories in the diet and will hit the poorest households the hardest. The last thing struggling families need is another tax.

 

“A recent analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute of 74 interventions to address obesity around the world found that the highest-impact intervention areas are portion control and product reformulation, while taxation delivers among the lowest impact.

 

“The beverage industry in Sri Lanka will continue to offer consumers choice by providing a range of beverages both with and without calories, that come in a range of pack and portion sizes.

 

“The industry urges the Minister to take a more holistic approach to this complex problem facing the nation” concluded Mr Parker.

 

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The ICBA Asia Pacific Regional Group is a forum for the dynamic and diverse non-alcoholic beverages industry in the Asia Pacific region.  The members of the Group include national and regional beverages associations as well as international and regional beverages companies that produce, distribute and sell a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, including soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, bottled waters, flavored and/or enhanced waters, ready-to-drink teas and coffees, 100% fruit or vegetable juices, nectars and juice drinks, and dairy-based beverages.

 

Media contact: ICBA APAC Executive Director +61 407 646 195 or Geoff@icba-net.org.  

 

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