Conservative MEPs help skewer threat to doner kebabs

13-Dec-2017 @ 14:00

John Procter John Procter

John Procter John Procter

John Procter John Procter

Conservative MEPs help skewer threat to doner kebabs

Moves which could have threatened one of Europe's favourite fast foods have been defeated with the help of Conservative MEPs.

Socialists and Greens wanted to veto a European Commission proposal to formalise and regulate the use of phosphates in kebab meat.

If they had succeeded it would have placed a question mark over the doner kebab sector which employs an estimated 200,000 people across the European Union. Phosphates bind the kebab meat and prevent it falling apart on the spit. They also ensure it cooks more evenly, reducing health risks.

A win for evidence-based decision making in the European Parliament

Speaking after the motion failed to secure an absolute majority in the European Parliament today by just three votes, Conservative MEP John Procter said: "This was a daft and damaging proposal which has quite rightly been skewered.

"Once again some MEPs want to ignore the principle of evidence-based decision making and believe they know better than the EU's own scientific experts.

"It is irresponsible to play fast and loose with people's livelihoods in this way and I am delighted other politicians joined Conservative MEPs to block this motion."

Two studies suggested a connection between phosphate additives and heart disease but the EU's European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has found no such link. The EFSA aims to conduct a new risk assessment and a general re-evaluation on all foodstuffs containing phosphates by the end of 2018.

Mr Procter added: "The use of phosphates in doner kebabs makes up a tiny part of our overall exposure. Kebab shops are an integral part of many high streets and can remain so after this vote."

Phosphates are authorised for use as food additives in a variety of products, including sausages. Although phosphates are permitted in the final cooked product, the Commission wants to extend the formal authorisation to raw frozen vertical meats spits, where phosphates are currently used but not regulated.


« Back