Seychelles, an archipelago and sovereign state located off the coast of East Africa, has lifted the 25 percent tax on plant-based milk.
Previously, all vegan milks sold in the country were subject to the tax due to being classified as a dairy milk product. According to Margaret Pillay, deputy cabinet secretary for policy affairs in the president’s office, the change comes as the Seychelles Ministry of Health is looking to direct its efforts towards promoting the health benefits of plant-based milk.
“So, the cabinet of ministers decided to remove all duty on these plant-based milk products to support people who are using them and to encourage others to follow suit for their health benefit,” Pillay said in a statement.
In recent years, non-dairy milks such as soy, almond, rice, and others have become commonplace within the nation.
Over the past few years, the global plant-based milk market has grown exponentially (and is expected to continue to grow) as more consumers than ever before are avoiding dairy for various reasons. More individuals are becoming aware of the industrial animal farming’s impact on the environment, whereas others are concerned about dairy’s questionable health effects. Several studies have linked milk consumption to a variety of medical issues such as increased risk for certain forms of cancer, high blood pressure, and more.
Further, recent research by the World Cancer Research Fund revealed that regular consumption of milk increases the risk of prostate cancer and while more definitive evidence is needed, milk has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. Earlier this year, Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo and her family were convinced to go vegan by Pompeo’s breast doctor, who promotes a plant-based diet as an effective way of reducing breast cancer risk in her new book.
Indeed, many health studies and medical professionals have endorsed a vegan diet as one of the healthiest ways to eat, suggesting that this lifestyle combats cancer and prevents type-2 diabetes more effectively than a diet heavy in meat and dairy products.
In another victory for the environment, on the same day, the Seychelles government approved a ban on single-use plastic straws.