HuffPost Hypes Meat Tax To Butcher Climate Change

Posted on Thu 11/26/2015 by

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AlatheiaLarsenpicture-459-1430232516By Alatheia Larsen ~

The Grinch stole Christmas, and now the Huffington Post wants to take away Christmas Dinner.

On Nov. 24, HuffPost praised a new report from London-based Chatham House think tank that encourages governments to create “financial incentives” to discourage people from eating  meat.

cow“Financial incentives” being a misleading phrase for “tax,” which even HuffPost acknowledges. But nowhere did HuffPost or the original report address how invasive such a government policy would be.

The Chatham House plan works on assumptions from a 2013 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report. That one blamed livestock for “nearly 15 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

In order to reduce those emissions, HuffPost is cheering on the Chatham House’s call for governments and businesses to strong-arm citizens into not buying meat.

“The report cautions that consumer knowledge alone won’t be enough to cut back on these emissions. The push will have to come from government policy and business coalitions, including retailers and producers in the food supply chain,” HuffPost explained.

However, even Chatham House senior research fellow and co-author of the report, Antony Froggatt, had to admit taxing meat could be seriously harmful.

“There’s concern about prices and the impact on poorer people,” Froggatt said, according to HuffPost.  He added that a meat tax would be “detrimental” if healthy alternatives were not easily available.

The report admits that “interventionist approaches require careful management to mitigate unintended consequences and, in particular, adverse effects on the poorest,” but still fully supports government intervention in the first place.

Alatheia Larsen contributes posts at the NewsBusters site where she is  a staff writer/research analyst for MRC Business.

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