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Salty foods could face tax in Thailand – But not crisps

The Excise Department and Public Health Ministry are mulling a tax on salted foods to try and wean Thais away from sodium-heavy diets – but snacks and fish sauce would be exempted.

Excise Department director general Patchara Anuntasilpa said on Wednesday (October 16) the tax would be based on the amount of salt content and a proposal would likely go to Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana by the end of the year.

“If the tax is approved, we will allow entrepreneurs one or two years to reduce the salt content and launch a less-salty version of their product,” said Patchara.

The tax would apply to frozen and canned foods and instant noodles, but not to snacks, fish and other seasoning sauce or dishes sold by street vendors.

The World Health Organisation and United Nations have recommended taxes on foods with high salt content, noting that too much sodium in the diet can lead to kidney and heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure.

ALSO READ: 6 salty foods to watch out for

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