STRASBOURG, France – Plans to ban the use of phosphates as a preservative in doner kebab meat on health grounds were defeated by just three votes at a plenary session in the European Parliament on Wednesday.
The EP’s Public Health and Food Safety Committee sought a ban on the phosphates, which are used to keep kebab meat juicy and tasty, but failed to gather the necessary 376 votes in the chamber by a close shave, falling three short with 272 against and 30 abstentions.
“A resolution opposing the authorization of phosphate additives in kebab meat failed to win an absolute majority of 376 MEPs on Wednesday,” an EP statement said. “The European Commission can therefore now proceed to allow the use of phosphoric acid, di- and triphosphates and polyphosphates (E 338-452) in kebab meat – be it mutton, lamb, veal, beef or poultry,” it continued.
Several studies have linked phosphate consumption to cardiovascular diseases.
Following the vote, the EP’s center-right EPP group tweeted: “We saved you kebab. You’re welcome.”
The EP’s Greens group were less impressed, however, and Flemish MEP Bart Staes described the results as “a dark day for public health.”