European MEP’s vote down phosphate ban

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

MEPs fail to secure absolute majority to block use of phosphates in kebabs ©Maria_Lapina/iStock
MEPs fail to secure absolute majority to block use of phosphates in kebabs ©Maria_Lapina/iStock

Related tags: European union, European parliament

The European Parliament has voted down proposals to block the use of phosphates in meat cooked on spits.

MEPs narrowly rejected an objection to proposals from the European Commission to allow phosphates to be used as additives in products such as donor kebabs.

The use of “frozen vertical meat spits​” is not currently authorised under EU law. Nevertheless, according to the Greens in the European Parliament, the meat industry has “for a long time”​ been using phosphate additives in kebabs “on a large scale”​.

The EC wants to legalise this practice and introduced a draft regulation that would permit phosphoric acid, phosphates and polyphosphates as food additives in these meat preparations.

The objection was raised by Green/EFA MEP Bart Staes and the Socialists & Democrat’s Christel Schaldemose. They said a ban on phosphates would “protect public health”​.

In order to overrule the Commission, Staes and Schaldermose required the backing of an absolute majority of MEPs plus one, meaning at least 376 votes. During the vote on Wednesday (13 December), 373 MEPs rejected the EC proposal by backing the objection, while 272 MEPs voted in favour of allowing phosphates in meat cooked on skewers, while 30 abstained.

‘Hands off the kebab’ – EPP Group

Ahead of the vote, the rightward-leaning EPP Group vowed to support the European Commission's proposal to authorise the use of phosphates in frozen meat spits.

“The EPP Group will do everything in its power to stop the scaremongering and avoid a European kebab ban,"​ said Renate Sommer MEP, the EPP Group's spokeswoman for the file.

Sommer said the group it was resisting the proposal because research suggests the level of phosphates contained in kebabs is “negligible"​ – while the average intake of phosphates from Coca-Cola is “much higher”.

"The changes in the EU legislation concerning phosphates are meant to make it more difficult for the control authorities in ​Member States to impose such a ban without concrete argumentation, and are hence necessary,”​ Sommer argued.

Is there a health risk?

The EPP Group also maintains no evidence supports the suggestion that consumption of phosphates represents a risk to health.

"There is no proof that phosphates have negative health effects,”​ Sommer insisted.

However, the Greens maintain there are “serious concerns​” over the health implications.

“Our objection to the Commission’s proposals is nothing to do with wanting to ban kebabs. We want people to be able to enjoy all their favourite foods, but without the addition of potentially dangerous and unnecessary food additives.”

The European Food Safety Authority is currently reviewing the health risks associated with phosphate additives. Its findings will be published before the end of next year.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

MANE’S CLEAN LABEL STOCKS

MANE’S CLEAN LABEL STOCKS

MANE Flavours and Fragrances Manufacturer | 03-Aug-2020 | Product Presentation

MANE's latest culinary stocks are made with our own concentrated juices that use upcycled ingredients from trusted farms. The concentrated juices...

This is how you can improve ROIs with instructions

This is how you can improve ROIs with instructions

SwipeGuide | 16-Mar-2020 | Technical / White Paper

OPI. Changeover time. 5S. CILT. First-time-right. All of these are crucial metrics for efficient processing and packaging procedures.
Is it possible...

Webinar Case Study – Editorial Webinar

Webinar Case Study – Editorial Webinar

William Reed Business Media | 03-Dec-2019 | Case Study

Download our case study to learn how GlobalMeatNews generated brand awareness and leads for its sponsors with its October 2019 editorial webinar.

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars