Romania first to introduce junk food tax

Romania will become the first country in the world to introduce a tax on junk food

The new tax will apply to individuals or organisations that produce, import or process food with a high content of salt, fats, sugar and additives. Health Minister Attila Czeke said the new tax, to be introduced from March this year, will be used for health programmes in the country.

The ministry justified its proposal stating that a significant number of people in Europe suffer from obesity, increasing the risk of diabetes, hypertension and premature death due to unhealthy food.

Dragos Frumosu, head of Romania's food industry federation, warned that the tax will raise prices and cause producers to move their businesses to other countries. He also complained that the draft law did not seek public opinion.