Animal rights organisation Peta is calling for a tax of bacon, saying the deliciously fatty breakfast item is putting out health at risk.
Peta Australia senior campaigner Ashley Fruno wrote in News Corp’s Rendezview that bacon and other processed meats should be taxed in the same way cigarettes and alcohol are taxed.
“In an effort to become healthier — not to mention more sensible — shouldn’t we raise taxes on the other cancer-causing substances we put in our mouths?” Fruno wrote.
Fruno argued that in 2015, the World Health Organisation classified processed meats as carcinogenic to humans based on evidence they increased the risk of colorectal cancer and that previous studies have shown a diet hight in processed foods and red meat can increase the risk of both cancer and heart disease.
She went on to say that the tax on cigarettes has dramatically reduced the rate of smoking around Australia and that a ‘bacon tax’ could have the same effect.
“The biggest difference between eating a bacon cheeseburger and smoking is that one is more socially acceptable than the other,” she wrote.
“We already pay extra taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and petrol to help offset the health and environmental costs of these items, so it’s reasonable to expect people to pay more for unhealthy — and unnecessary — foods that harm both humans and animals, and contribute significantly to climate change.
“Adding an excise on processed meats to match the tabacco tax would at least tip the scales towards a healthier, cleaner and kinder future for Australia.”
The Cancer Council says that, despite the cigarette tax, smoking is still Australia’s leading cause of preventable deaths.