'The pharmacy department does not own the research, but the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Biomedical Research Centre do'
The pharmacy department of Dhaka University (DU) on Friday said the recent research on some food items, including milk, was not owned by the department itself.
The DU pharmacy department issued a press release in this regard, after State Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Swapan Bhattacharjee on Thursday said: “A Dhaka University report claimed to have found arsenic in Milk Vita’s milk. This is a lie.”
The DU press release, signed by pharmacy department Chairman Prof Sitesh Chandra Bachar, said: “The pharmacy department is not taking any responsibility for the research that was published in different mass media outlets, as the result was prepared based on a teacher’s personal research and the department has no involvement with it.”
After completing a study that began in May last year, The DU Faculty of Pharmacy and Biomedical Research Centre on Tuesday revealed that researchers have found detergent and antibiotics in some samples of pasteurized and unpasteurized milk taken from kitchen markets and grocery shops in Dhaka.
The antibiotics include levofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, and azithromycin, which are mainly used to treat bacterial infections in humans.
When contacted, Prof Sitesh Chandra Bachar said it was the job of DU researchers to publish research findings in journals, and not to disclose them through press conferences.
“The study was conducted by some unskilled students, and I think they may have had ulterior motives behind revealing such a report. We have to avoid activities that embarrass the government. We should also avoid doing work that may affect a sector which employs many people,” he added.
Meanwhile, DU Biomedical Research Centre Director Prof ABM Faroque echoed the pharmacy department chairman in saying that the pharmacy department is not the owner of the research.
“The pharmacy department does not own the research, but the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Biomedical Research Centre do,” Prof Faroque said.
Defending the report, the Biomedical Research Centre director added: “The research is alright. It was conducted by nine faculty members and four students.”
He also said the researchers’ only motivation was to serve the public interest.
Faculty of Pharmacy Dean Prof SM Abdur Rahman, who was the chief guest at the unveiling program of the report, said: “After looking at the research findings, they seem true to me.”