European Commission objects to use of phosphate as food additive

EU – The European Commission has objected to the use of phosphate as a food additive, with its fate in the balance as politicians hold a debate whether it should continue to be used, with a full Parliamentary vote due to take place in Strasbourg.

In 2012, a study found a possible link between phosphates when used as food additives and heart disease, which led to some concerns from members of parliament (MEPs).

Despite the evidence being inconclusive, the European parliament’s health committee recently voted down a European Commission proposal that would have allowed phosphoric acid and polyphosphates in kebab meat made of mutton, lamb, veal, beef or poultry.

The decision of the phosphates is bound to determine the fate of kebabs as the popular late-night snack in UK and Germany.

However, the Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament claim phosphate is being used to increase the weight of meat, due to its water-binding properties, mainly in frozen vertical meat spits, such as donor kebabs.

“As there are significant scientific studies detecting phosphates in meat which prove that they have negative consequences on human health, there should have been no need for this vote.

But, now we have voted, I’m pleased a broad majority voted in favor of the objection. This shows we are taking public health serious,” said Christel Schaldemose of Denmark, member of the Social Democrats.

The S&D spokesperson on health Miriam Dalli MEP added how this “serious issue” should not be ignored and calls for a European Food Safety Authority review.

“We are questioning the safety of phosphates as food additives when used for the manufacturing and processing of rotating meat splits.

We believe that the Commission should take all risks into account when granting authorization to the use of such additives,” she said.

“When it comes to people’s’ health we are cautious because we believe that this is a priority for everyone.

That is why we want to wait for a new review by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the use of phosphates in food products.

There is no rush when it comes to people’s’ health. Let’s wait for the new scientific findings to ensure a high level of consumer protection, human health and safety.”

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