LEGAL | Staff Reporter, UK

Coca-Cola slams sugar tax

Jon Woods, General Manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, released a blog post on the official Coca-Cola website, pointing out that taxing soft drinks containing sugar is not the solution to solve obesity.

"While we agree with the Government that obesity rates are too high and need to be reduced, we do not believe additional taxes are the solution. There is no reliable evidence from anywhere in the world that shows taxing food and drink – let alone just some soft drinks - has changed people’s behaviour and made them thinner," Woods said.

"We are a consumer-led business. We listen to and respond to our consumers, and for several years they have been telling us they want a greater choice of lower and no sugar drinks. We have responded to this by reformulating many of our drinks to reduce their sugar content, introducing smaller packs and increasing the marketing investment in our no sugar options."

Woods insisted that Coke's active response to its customer feedback will be more effective in helping people reduce their sugar intake.

"As well as being ineffective, the sugar tax will not just impact the manufacturers of soft drinks, but also the thousands of businesses – the sugar farmers, suppliers, pubs, restaurants and newsagents - for whom soft drinks are a vital part of their trade," he said.

"It will also hit consumers in the pocket regardless of what they drink. The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has reported that it will cost more than £1bn in its first year due to an increase in interest payments on inflation-linked Government loans." 

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