The doner kebab – a meat-filled food beloved by many Brits – is under threat.
EU politicians are moving to ban phosphates, necessary to keep seasoned kebab meat moist, citing health concerns based on studies linking the additive to heart disease.
The issue arose when the EU’s executive commission proposed to officially authorise the use of phosphates in lamb, mutton, beef, or veal.
The Health Committee voted 32-22 to oppose it, following recent studies indicating the additive put people at a greater risk of heart disease.
A vote of the full Parliament set to take place in two weeks could see the ingredient banned, potentially banishing the doner kebab from European menus.
Kebab shop owners are not happy about it.
“They are looking for ways to hurt Turkish businesses here,” Baris Donmez, the owner of a 24-hour kebab bistro in Berlin’s Mitte district, told Associated Press. “Such a ban would be the biggest pile of garbage imaginable.”
“If the European Parliament gets its way, this would be the death sentence for the entire doner kebab industry in the European Union,” Kenan Koyuncu of the German Association of Doner Kebab Producers told Germany’s Bild daily newspaper.
Renate Sommer, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, wrote on Facebook: ”A ban of the phosphate addition would be the end of doner production and would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.”