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Saturday 20 July 2019

Doner is not a goner as kebabs stay on menu

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters
Rory Tevlin

Rory Tevlin

The European Parliament has narrowly defeated plans to ban an additive that is considered key in the production of the popular doner kebab.

Needing to reach 376 to impose a ban on phosphates, the legislature fell three votes short.

The vote was 373-272 with 30 abstentions.

The decision had been hotly awaited by the doner kebab industry, which says it needs the phosphates to keep the frozen meat juicy, tender and tasty.

Others argued that the phosphates were a health risk for cardiovascular diseases.

"We saved your kebab. You're welcome," said the Christian Democrat EPP group, which argued for keeping the phosphates since, it claimed, there was no proof of negative health effects.

The Socialists and Greens led the arguments for the ban on health grounds.

"This is a sad day for consumer rights, which have been trampled on," said Greens EU legislator Bart Staes.

The vote had been seen by some as a battle to save the kebab from EU encroachment.

Still, even if phosphates had been banned, the industry would have been forced only to look for alternatives, not forced to stop producing a fast food that is as popular in some European cities as the hamburger is in the United States.

Irish Independent

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