The Govt Wants To BAN & Tax Sugary Drinks To “Fight Diabetes”

If the Government gets its way, beverages with higher sugar content, such as energy and soft drinks, could be BANNED from supermarket shelves, food outlets, and vending machines. It appears that the government does not trust you to make your own choices regarding your personal health, and they have decided to play the role of an obsessed, control-freak parent – dictating what you can or cannot drink. 

As part of the Ministry of Health and the Health Promotion Board’s “War on diabetes” campaign that was launched in 2016, agencies are taking these steps to reduce sugar intake from pre-packaged, sugar-sweetened drinks.

The proposed draconian measures include:

  • A nationwide BAN on the sale of higher-sugar, pre-packaged beverages 
  • A tax on manufacturers and importers of these beverages
  • Extended advertising regulations for these beverages beyond the current voluntary guidelines
  • Mandatory front-of-package labels detailing the beverage’s nutrition value, to help consumers identify healthier options and those that are less healthy

If these proposals are rolled out, Singapore will become the first country in the world to impose a blanket ban on pre-packaged sugary drinks. No other country, even third world dictatorships have resorted to such heavy-handed measures in the name of “public health”. Higher-sugar drinks are defined as those containing an average of 5.5 teaspoons of sugar per 250ml and include energy drinks and soft drinks. The proposed tax is aimed at packaged beverages that come in a can, packet, or bottle. These include iconic drinks like Coca-Cola, Sprite, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, and 7-Up.

Thankfully, the proposed measure doesn’t cover drinks that are made on the spot at coffee shops or other drinks shops like Starbucks or bubble tea shops. But if you’re hosting a party and want to buy 1.5L soft drinks, you can no longer do so if the ban takes effect. You’d have to travel to JB. 

The public consultation opens on Tuesday (4, Dec). Members of the public may submit their views and feedback on the Government’s “approved” feedback unit Reach. If you wish to voice your displeasure at this new draconian law, you may do so by 25 Jan 2019. 

As part of its “consultation” (wayang) efforts, the MOH and HPB will be engaging the beverage and advertising industries, as well as health professionals and other academics.

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