IN THE COMPLICATED negotiations for tax cuts and trade deals in the USA, almost slipped through has been a tax on real meat.
This was just the first attempt by a group called Civil Foods to use taxes to try to push an ‘environmentally friendly, carbon reducing’ tax regime.
The group is already in the USA and Europe and is heading for Australia.
It is backed by wealthy high tech investors — big in the sort of companies in and on every computer and mobile phone that use every means to avoid paying tax when they can move money so easily to low tax states.
In part, their involvement in Civil Foods is to try to have food taxed so that governments ease-off on pursing the tax avoiding high tech companies.
But the largely billionaire investors are also heavily committed to organic/vegetarian/vegan diet and a number of other social causes.
So, in Washington they are arguing against tax breaks for food crops used to make ethanol, wants a tax put on real meat (but not fake meat made from soy that they have heavily invested in), and want the US government to double their R&D investment in organic food. They were successful with the last demand at the European Union. It has doubled its support for organic foods to one per cent on the EU Agriculture research budget.
Civil Foods argues that moving to organic/vegetarian diet will improve the health of rich and poor people, and will reduce global warming by reducing forest destruction and the outputs of ruminant animals. Food should not be used for ethanol, both to keep food for people, but also because electric cars are on the rise and don’t need liquid fuels (guess which investors are big in electric vehicles).
They also support the banning of a number of chemicals used for weed control and animal health, in part because of their damage to the environment and also because they are redundant if food is organically grown.
Civil Foods probably won’t get far this December in Washington, because Congress and Senate has so much pressure to pass the core points of President Trump’s tax cuts.
But they have had some success in the EU and have surprised legislators and lobbyists in the USA with their size and force of this early lobbying campaign.