Zee News' 'milk' story issue raised in Rajya Sabha

NEW DELHI: It is a classic example of how a news channel came up with a scoop story that enables it to gain substantial brand mileage. The Inside Story programme of Zee News that raised the issue of how the milk pouch arriving at consumer doorsteps could be liquid urea has resulted in a debate in the upper house of the Indian Parliament.

The Zee News programme The Inside Story traces the entire process from the making of the white liquid to its being loaded on lorries as consignments to milk co-operatives.

According to a Zee News press release, Congress member Suresh Pachauri, called for a discussion on the issue accompanied by an attention motion and a clarification from the health minister keeping in mind the seriousness of the issue. The Rajya Sabha chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, adds the release, was equally convinced that the matter was of dire importance.

The release also adds that in a separate development, Delhi health minister AK Walia who happened to see the episode on Zee News, promptly ordered an examination of Mother Diary milk.

The programme on Zee News had shown the method to make this lethal liquid easy and concluded that the practice is widespread. Local milk vendors in Uttar Pradesh mix 'Reetha' (a herb used to shampoo hair) with refined oils like Chambal, Helicopter and Dhara and then add it to a mixture of water, sugar, salt and urea. The release adds that synthetic milk is also made using Sunsilk shampoo or adulterated with caustic soda, starch or paper pulp. To make it frothy, the suppliers add detergents like Ezee.

The release also says that thick white blend that emerges is also capable of fooling experts working at various dairy co-operatives. The Inside Story programme took this synthetic combination to a well - known dairy - UP Parag, claims the release. The synthetic milk passed not one but six tests conducted to determine authenticity and purity of milk. Parag Dairy, that supplies nearly 30,000 litres of milk to Mother Dairy (claims to be the biggest milk - supplying network in Delhi), also vouched for the quality of the milk.

Zee News story broke the news that the cheap liquid is being manufactured in various cities of UP like Ghaziabad, Mussoorie, Pilakhuwa, Hapur, Hafizpur, Simbholi, Garh and Muradnagar besides Delhi, Haryana and Karnataka.

The release also states that the country has witnessed dramatic reactions and outrage from people towards this 'substitute' to a wholesome meal, that may actually be gradual poisoning for children and people consuming milk.

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