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Carbon footprints to appear on food labels

The UK government has announced plans to roll out a scheme to print the carbon footprint of all produce sold in UK supermarkets to show where it came from and how much energy has been used to provide this product to the consumer. While the likes of Tesco, Pepsi and other leading retailers in the UK are already taking an interest in the carbon footprint of the products they sell, the UK government's plans go well beyond this.

While there is no harm in knowing exactly where your food came from, how much energy was used to produce it and other potentially interesting facts, there is a feeling that the UK government may use this new strategy to dictate our future diet. Indeed Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, has already been quoted as suggesting that UK consumers should eat less "red meat or excessively packaged products" due simply to their larger than normal carbon print.

At some point there is no doubt we will see the introduction of some form of carbon footprint tax which will be added to those products and services which attract large carbon footprints. While the government has not yet suggested any form of taxation in this particular area you get the impression we are being primed for yet another indirect tax.

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