Teachers and students of Dhaka University yesterday demanded removal of Kazi Wasi Uddin, additional secretary to the fisheries and livestock ministry, for his remarks over the recent study on milk conducted by the university’s pharmacy faculty.
Under the banner of “Students of Dhaka University”, they formed a human chain at the base of Raju Memorial Sculpture to extend their support to Prof ABM Faroque, who led the researches.
“Prof Faroque disclosed the test result to journalists with the intention of raising awareness, as he considered the matter to be a threat to public health. The remarks that the additional secretary made are not acceptable,” said Prof ASM Abdur Rahman, dean of Pharmacy faculty.
“The additional secretary should be removed and punished. He is insulting the researcher through offensive speech, whereas he should have conducted further research in this regard, since the issue concerns public health,“ he added.
On June 25, a group of DU researchers led by Prof Faroque said they detected detergent and three types of antibiotics in packaged milk, after testing seven samples of widely-sold pasteurised milk from five brands and three samples of unpasteurised milk.
The university’s pharmacy department subsequently denied any involvement with the study.
A senior official of ministry of fisheries and livestock on July 9 threatened to take legal action against DU researchers if they fail to show their study published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The same researchers on Saturday announced that they found traces of four antibiotics in ten samples after conducting their second round of study.
Speaking at the programme, Md Abduz Zaher, associate professor of Food and Nutrition Science Institute, said if one wants to prove any research wrong, they have to do so through conducting another research.
“What is the necessity of publishing findings in a journal when public health is under threat? Human beings ... their health ... always comes first,” said Zaher.
He alleged that multinational companies have created such an influence that one has to face threats like Faroque if they speak against them.
Some members of Ducsu and hall unions also spoke at the programme.