THE public should first be educated on the health risks related to high consumption of salty foods before the government decides whether or not imposing tax will be effective in curbing unhealthy eating, according to a health reform advocate.
“Ang legislation without proper education ay hindi po magiging effective,” former PhilHealth independent director and health reform advocate Dr. Tony Leachon said in an interview.
Earlier, the Department of Health (DOF) said its proposal to impose taxes on food with high salt content aims to lessen high consumption of salty foods that could lead to hypertension, heart and kidney diseases.
Consumers should be informed and educated about the content and risks related to the food they consume with proper labeling and calorie counter.
“Ang suggestion ko sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration) magkaroon muna tayo ng calorie counter tsaka magkaroon ng tamang food labeling,” Leachon said.
Also, he noted that in other countries such as the United Kingdom (UK), food products have a traffic-light-like labeling wherein the gravity of risks are indicated on the color of the packaging or label.
“In UK, meron silang traffic light labeling kung masama ang pagkain naka pula, berde ayos, pag dilaw medyo okay,” he said.
If after two years or three years, the labeling scheme did not abate the consumption of salty foods then, he said, adding, “dun tayo mag–isip kung kailangan i-tax ang maalat na pagkain.”(GMA News)