Minister drinks milk on live TV to allay cancer fears
Screen cap.Agriculture and Livestock Minister Mehmet Mehdi Eker drank milk on live television to counter rumors that the drink is carcinogenic, NTV reported on its website.
"Mothers can give this milk to their children without any fear," Eker said.
Eker blamed the media for the fury over cancer rumors.
"A sentence was pulled out of context and was made into a headline. We already told everyone that this was not true. We process the milk carefully before it [is sold],” he said.
The incident was reminiscent of a similar act of Cahit Aral, Turkey’s industry minister in the 1980s, who drank tea in front of cameras to allay fears of radiation in Turkey’s Black Sea region after the Chernobyl disaster of 1986.
Eker had previously denied rumors that Turkish milk could cause liver cancer, hepatitis and cirrhosis due to traces of antibiotics and alpha toxin M1.
There was only one incident when traces of antibiotics and alpha toxin M1 were found last year, and the company was punished under former regulations, a ministry official recently told the Hürriyet Daily News.