The French senate, in an attempt to encourage healthier eating, Wednesday approved what’s being called “The Nutella Amendment.”
The amendment isn’t aimed at Nutella directly, but rather is a tax on palm oil, a prime ingredient in the hazelnut-chocolate spread. With palm oil linked to both obesity and higher cholesterol, quadrupling the tax on the oil has the government hoping that the amendment will control poor eating choices by the French.
Nutella contains 17% palm oil and 55% sugar, leading French Socialist Senator Yves Daudigny to say he hopes Nutella would be encouraged to change its ingredients. A spokesman for the Italian firm, Ferrero, which makes Nutella, said it has no intention of doing so.
The amendment is part of a larger package of tax increases that has to be passed. The palm oil tax will raise only about 40 million euros, so there’s no strong budgetary incentive for the tax to pass. If the package fails, it’s possible that the obesity-related bill could reappear in another form later.