Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Denmark purchased using Flora profits?

Ali prompted me to put up this link and I see Barry Groves has something up about it too.

I think it was Iain Banks who wrote about corporate interests or massive personal wealth buying up a small country in the Himalayas, can't remember which novel it was. Fiction anyway.

Unilever appears to have bought Denmark. Where next for corporate take over? Hint, probably the UK, we're dumb enough. Probably not Hungary. At least the worst aspects of the Hungarian tax can be corrected with the shake of a salt cellar.



henry the fifth said...

I wrote to Barry Groves and Cate Shanahan ( author of "Deep Nutrition") about this. I've heard this being suggested for the UK. I feel that the disparate groups and authors who feel that saturated fats are not the problem should present a more aggresive united front to challenge the orthodoxy. The internet is one way of doing this..otherwise I fear it's only a matter of time

ItsTheWooo said...

Taxing any food product in an attempt to curb obesity is ridiculous at this point in time as we do not clearly understand obesity well enough to make such a move and declare any particular food obesigenic.

I mean, with cigs, it makes sense. We have proven that cigarettes cause lung cancer. Taxing them makes sense.

We have not proven butter causes anything except deliciousness when fried in a pan or eaten with a spoon, and there are many people like myself who eat butter TO STOP being fatties.

And caffeine, also, helps me to stop being a fattie (and to be more awesome in general).

That some idiot who is either naturally fat or naturally thin is trying to tax foods based on his reflexive gut instincts about what does or does not cause fattie-ness is annoying.

I would love to tax sugar and sugared drinks (whether 100% juice or not) but I wouldn't do that because:

1) it won't stop people from drinking them, any more than taxing cigarettes stop people from somking them (that's addiction for you... you'll smash a car window in and steal 76 cents if it gets you closer to your fix)

2) its retarded to punish people for being vulnerable to fatness. I mean, if someone is a fatso, it's their own decision to do something about it or not. It is very very difficult to manipulate your diet especially in a world where people give horrible advice on how not to be a fattie ("low reward diet!!!")

Most people just end up getting fatter due to leptin-suppression from starvation (which is what a poorly executed diet is: starvation, transient starvation).

This sets you up for worse glucose intolerance and the growth of new fat tissue which permanently increases minimum body fatness / maximum fatness. Which is why people get fatter after every failed diet.

This is just dumb all around, it's just an excuse to raise taxes probably, and everyone hates fatties so why not blame them for it.

Galina L. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Galina L. said...

Is it a coincidence that recently neighboring Scandinavian countries voted for more carb restrictions (http://www.dietdoctor.com/the-swedish-low-carb-revolution , http://www.dietdoctor.com/the-swedish-diet-revolution-now-in-finland)? With a butter shortage in Sweden due to the rise in consumption and rumors that two bread factories in Finland are about to close due to the decrease in demand, it is strange to see Denmark moving into opposite direction.

Margaretrc said...

I worry that it is only a matter of time before some idiot(s) in the US will try to impose a similar tax. It's already being discussed--at least in the media--now that we've seen Denmark get away with it. People liken it to taxing alcohol and cigarettes, neglecting to realize a basic fact: We don't need alcohol or cigarettes to survive--we need food, including foods that contain saturated fat, to live. Taxing it is/would be a huge mistake, particularly since it is not the fat that causes obesity and taxing it will do diddly squat to fix it. It's not right, but at least Hungary is taxing some of the right things: sugar and carbohydrates--i.e. processed foods!

maxwell said...

But how will they tax breast milk? Hmmm

Suzanne Looms said...

Thanks for posting this. Other sites in the high fat low carb community seem to have ignored the news or put it on the backburner. The only one I can find who has posted information about it is Annika Dahlqvist.


She recognises moves in Sweden to go the same way (Professor Claude Marcus is calling for new legislation.) I think it would be a mistake for Swedish LC/HF clinicians to be complacent.

In the UK it's just as likely that any calls for LC/HF dietary guidelines would be challenged by pointing to Denmark as the trendsetter ('and look how low their rate of obesity is....')

I think Henry the fifth is right and it's only a matter of time unless we challenge the lack of science behind such political decisions. David Cameron is now muttering about a fat tax here.

STG said...

Perhaps there is an economic opportunity for an enterprising soul: an illegal, black market to supply consumers in Denmark with untaxed fat? It makes me hungry--I need to go get a spoonful of cream cheese--love that saturated fat!

Chris said...

What offends me is the whole Orwellian social engineering component of it. We know better than you so you're going to do it our way. Or else. Can you imagine people going to jail for buying/selling/eating saturated fat with out a tax stamp?

The metric for creating stuff like this should be whether it's right to interfere like this by threatening violence to achieve the desired ends, not whether the policy is effective.


There won't be a noticeable black market at that rate of taxation. Even cigarettes are barely worth smuggling and they've got something like a 400% tax mark-up. People are willing to take huge risks for drugs like heroin because they cost next to nothing to produce and net enormous profits at the point of sale thanks to the large demand and severely restricted supply in some places.

arnoud said...

Look at it this way: 'You get what you pay for.'
If you want foods with more healthy saturated fats, you'll have to pay more.
(Taxation often has unintended consequences.)

majkinetor said...

Ah, such a great comments.
ItsTheWooo2, I LOL-ed.

No surprise here tbh...
The same happened to cannabis century ago and is still there, despite hundreds of papers showing beneficial action in various pathological states.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

We were astounded by this news too. We definitely need to fight the insanity.

Was the novel "Transitions" perchance? I prefer the Culture novels, but this one was interesting too. There are some great UK sci-fi authors.


Anonymous said...

Seems this bad science is being discussed as a good option for Australia.

Butter would go from $2.50 to $4.07.


Seriously disturbing.

ItsTheWooo said...

I mean srsly, it's pretty clear at this point in time that butter is a-okay, even though we won't go so far as to admit it's healthy most opinions in the nutrition world are that butter is superior to margarine and it is okay to eat as your dietary fat. The anti-butter hysteria is at least 10 years old, so the motivation for this tax must be political/financial and has nothing to do with curbing unhealthy eating. That is just a ruse to get people to go along with it.

I know very little about politics / industry and even less about it as pertaining to denmark but I'm sure a little digging would reveal the real reason behind this tax.

John said...

I would not accept a 60% increase in the price of butter or other high fat dairy--I would seriously move.

blogblog said...

This is just another cynical tax grab.

Anek Dodl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

Many years ago I went to a talk by Richard Doll, the scientist famous for discovering the link between smoking and lung cancer. He was asked in the question time about saturated fat, and he told us he wouldn't eat butter because it causes heart disease.

I was shocked, because a study had just been published in Science showing dairy products protect against heart disease. I tried to tell him about it and he got very angry. I suggested heart disease might be caused by micronutrient deficiencies, and he became quite apoplectic.

In the l960s it was shown that a diet very high in saturated fat causes heart disease in mice. The experiments were repeated by Leslie Klevay, who found the mice did not get heart disease if they were given extra copper. Saturated fat at very high levels can prevent copper absorption.

According to Klevay, more than 70 anatomical, chemical and physiological similarities between animals deficient in copper and people with ischaemic heart disease have been found. The RDA for copper in the US has recently been set at exactly the level found by Klevay to produce symptoms of heart disease in volunteers. Too low, in other words.

I once wrote to the UK Department of Health about copper, and was told 'copper deficiency is rare'. The problem is saturated fat, you see.

STG said...


My comment was tongue and cheek. However, I appreciate your feedback and thoughtful contributions to this blog.

Wolfstriked said...

Jane,as peter has pointed out many times on this blog,most tests are done with crazy variables.They say high saturated but what is the carb content set at.If you look at the diet components of usual laboratory rat studies testing high saturated fat it usually has a high carb content mostly in form of sugar.

pompito said...

Hi Peter.

I am an enthusiast of history, specially Hispanic history and America discover.

Have you ever note the high incidence of cannibalism in jungle tribes or tribes in zones that have not good sources of hunted meat?

In America cannibalism was not a ritual thing, but an important part of the diet.

I know that because some Spanish scientists and humanists who visited America in the S XVI wrote books about the culture and diet of this tribes and human meat was an important part of they diet, not just a ritual thing like movies or novels show us these days. They had complete menus around human meat, fat and organs.

I suppose this could be of your interest as I have not a lot of science background to say something interesting here.

Thank you and excuse my English

ItsTheWooo said...

I have never thought of that, but it does stand to reason that cannibalism practiced by primitive people may represent a physiological drive to obtain high quality meat, not any different than how animals will eat each other if food becomes scarce.

I never thought of this because we have been brainwashed to believe that fruit/plant food meets human needs, therefore the thought never occurred to me that tribal cannibalism may represent some kind of drive for meat.

All humans who practice strict vegetarianism have been known only to do so for religious reasons (and this includes modern vegetarians). When left to natural desire/drive humans clearly prefer meat and will eat this before other foods. Therefore, a group of humans forced to eat vegetation, with low quality/no protein sources available, do not be surprised if they develop a culture around eating other humans.
You will not observe this in india or among anoretic vegans because they abstain from meat for delusional religious reasons. The dopamine high from starving and believing in religion will supplement the drive to eat real food.

I also believe this is why starvation/ food avoidance is always found hand in hand with religious delusions. The low serotonin/high dopamine state produced by starvation normally orients a person to EAT FRIGGING FOOD!!! at all costs, but it can also produce fanaticism and religious intensity and a high state sort of like drugs. If ya keep not eating, and keep praying, you will see and hear god eventually, lol. One part delirium, one part starvation induced dopamine dominance, this is the recipe to religious awakening.

This is why dieting can provoke such devotion from dieters, sort of a miiild form of what happens in a condition like anorexia nervosa/emaciated frutarian/vegans.

blogblog said...

only higher primates suffer from CHD. Rats don't have heart attacks regardless of what they are fed.

The natural diet of rats is grain. Wild rates get <4% of their calories from fat.

Scientific papers more than five ears old are generally considered obsolete.

blogblog said...


Exactly. Every major religion has developed in societies that have grain based diets and regular food shortages.

Religious faith and schizophrenia appear to be identical in a functional MRI.

Peter said...

Hi pompito,

I'd certainly never come across this. It files under "things you never knew that you didn't know". I guess that would be in the ancient Spanish literature and not very easy access.... Hmmmm Veg*ns. Hmmmmmm.


Peter said...

Oh, also Tom Naughton has a post that is distantly related to this concept!

Sorry for my strange outlook!


Jane said...

Wolfstriked, did you misunderstand my comment? I am agreeing with Peter, not disagreeing.

Galina L. said...

@ Blogblog
Only high primates have CHD? What protects other animals?

Galina L. said...

@ Blogblog
Only high primates have CHD? What protects other animals?

blogblog said...


that is the $64,000 question.

Linus Pauling suggested high levels of endogenous vitamin C.

ItsTheWooo said...

I can totally believe that MRI shows few differences between schizophrenia and religious faith. For some reason, in spite of our reason and progress western culture frowns upon calling out religion for what it is. We are forbidden from telling delusional religious believers they are afflicted with a mental problem, a dopamine-fueled delusion, not much different than mania. FACT: If you believe in fairytales, and experience euphoria and revelation and intense focus and clarity from them, you are a psychotic. You are not even close to rational. You need to get your dopamine in check stat before you blow up a plane or do some other religious-high motivated nuttery.

The human brain is weird, clearly wired for insanity, delusional religious psychosis is just a more socially accepted form of that. There is a reason craziness (the permanent, serious kind) is usually heralded by religious awakening. Every soon to be manic or psychotic begins their trip with AND SUDDENLY I HEARD / SAW GOD AND IT WAS CLEAR!!!11

At least the starvation-induced sort of high, typically inhibits action (dangerous action), and they just sit around talking about how cows are people and it's immoral to murder a chicken, feeling high and powerful from it all.

pompito said...

"I have never thought of that, but it does stand to reason that cannibalism practiced by primitive people may represent a physiological drive to obtain high quality meat, not any different than how animals will eat each other if food becomes scarce. "

Absolutely. But what I want to note is that cannibalism in this societies were not only a secondary food source, but an important part of the diet. Eating human meat in America was as normal as eating pizza in Italy. Amazing but that is.

Cannibalism was not a religious believe like some ignorant anthropologist (the cardiologist of the social sciences) tell us, but an important part of the diet. In this case religion in my view have develop as a rational form of justification for cannibalism, exactly the same that happened in African tribes, and the same that english explorers discover in Africa years later. The same pattern.

And this rational form of religion was simply the observation that if you eat meat, viscerals and fat of the people you become stronger. And this evolutive pattern happened in the nirvana of a vegan, the jungle, with limitless source of green things. And happened in different places of the earth, America an Africa, which were uncommunicable for centuries.

I will continue in another message later trying to answer this question:

Why do you think that this tribes, with healthy and young people, with no apparent diseases or famine problems were not able to increase their population? Thats really curious.

Peter said...

Cynthia, I think it was The Business.

@pompito, do go ahead, it's an interesting subject


Anonymous said...

I too am surprised this didnt happen first in England. What will they do with all that Danish bacon?

The UK government has taken the job of making dietary policy away from the execrable Andrew Wadge and the FSA who are bankrolled by Unilever - which is a Good Thing.

They have given it instead to MacDonalds and Pepsico.


Meanwhile the diagnostic criteria for diabetes have been changed to diagnose fewer patients later, so I suggest investing in the manufacturers of knives and scalpels as this will cause an even bigger demand for amputations.

"But how will they tax breast milk? Hmmm "


montmorency said...

Interestingly, (and I speak as a big, big fan of Scandinavia in general (and Wallander, and Forbrydelsen in particular)), Denmark is regarded as the least healthy of the three principal Scandinavian countries.

And it's interesting that Sweden seems to have taken low-carb (or LCHF as they call it) to their hearts. Check out the talk at AHS by "The Diet Doctor" (Andreas).

In the UK, as it happens, in the last year or so, the price of butter has gone from (on average) around £1/250g to around £1.50/250g.

It hasn't stopped me buying it. So I don't think a 25% tax would, either.

But yes, British politicians (and civil servants) are insane enough to do this kind of thing too.

If a simple low-carb, fat diet, were adopted by, say, 51% of the British population, I predict that the improvement in the general health of the nation would be such that the "Health" (=sickness) budget could be slashed by more than 75%.

It never will be.

There are too many vested interests at heart.

Puddleg said...

I found this Freudian slip in the linked article...

"A 2007 study by Mr Rayner's group concluded that a combination of taxes on healthy foods and tax breaks on fruit and vegetables could save 3,200 lives a year in the UK. "

Very likely! Those healthy foods will kill you.

The Hungarians pretty much got it right. If it was my law, the tax would be on fructose, sucrose, and all vegetable oils with higher than 12% PUFA.

Peter said...

Love it!