The National,Friday 09th December 2011
By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE Health Department plans to increase tax on unhealthy food to protect people from lifestyle diseases, parliament heard yesterday.
Minister for Health Jamie Maxtone-Graham said during question time that many people were dying from lifestyle-related diseases which was a concern not only for Papua New Guinea but also other countries.
He said in a recent United Nations meeting, 64 recommendations were made to address lifestyle diseases.
According to a report released by the UN, the Western Pacific was leading the world in deaths resulting from such diseases.
“We need to protect our people from
eating unhealthy food that is full of sugar, salt and fat,” Maxtone-Graham said.
He plans to introduce a legislation that will impose higher tax on unhealthy food imported.
He said as a member of the World Trade Organisation, PNG could not ban imports but could regulate them by imposing hefty taxes.