Archive for the ‘laboratory testing’ Category

"Random Drug Testing" during school enrollment

February 5, 2009

To find a result that does not have a “deterministic pattern” is one reason why tests are done on a random basis. Randomness entails lack of order and predictability. If random drug testing in Manila will be done during the enrollment period as suggested by Manila Police District head Roberto Rosales, the result of the tests could be skewed. Accuracy and reliability might be compromised.

By knowing that the test will conducted on a specified time (i.e during enrollment,) high school and college students expecting the lab exam can change their drug behavior to coincide with the test and therefore lend bias to the result. Without the element of surprise, those who opt against being caught using illicit drugs can skip a few days or weeks of the drug so they can get a negative result.

If Police officer Rosales will propose enrollment drug testing to Mayor Alfredo Lim, both men must be told of this potential test bias. Otherwise, the effort and money to be spent in this activity may only go to waste. (Photo Credit: Reynolds/ Sweetwarrior)=0=

RELATED BLOG: “DOH’s plan to spend P90 million for random drug testing” Posted by mesiamd at 1/30/2009

China’s Shenzhou-7 spacecraft, its melamine-contaminated milk & RP’s incapacity to do lab tests

September 27, 2008

The Beijing Space Command and Control Center announced the successful space walk of astronaut Zhai Zhigang who carried a Chinese flag outside the orbit module. The proud news of being the third country to ever do such a feat in space is bogged by the worsening embarrassment from the sale of melamine-tainted milk which sickened more than 53,000 children (mostly in China,) and blamed for the death of at least 4 people. Melamine-related illnesses had been reported in Taiwan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

The Chinese adulterated milk has crept into other dairy and food products including the popular “white rabbit” candies, chocolates, ice-cream, yoghurt, pastries and confectioner’s biscuits. This food safety scandal has been on-going since last year when China has been under criticism for improperly selling pet food, toys, toothpaste laced with industrial toxins. The European Union, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are among countries which banned the Chinese imported milk.

Amid outrage versus greed and corruption, Prime Minster Wen Jiabao promised food safety and ethical standards in Chinese products. This year, the Philippines bought 2 million kilograms of milk from China. Monitoring by the Department of Health (DOH) for illnesses that may be ascribed to melamine-contamination in milk and dairy products is on-going.

The Philippines has meager laboratory capacity to undertake testing for melamine and other poisons. Authorities mull on sending specimens out to neighboring countries the way they did with the endosulfan scare and fatality identification during the sinking of Princess of the Stars three months ago. To avoid future embarrassments, a self-respecting country must put up a decent laboratory of its own. The government must not rely on its neighbors to do its laboratory work. (Photo Credits: AP; Annasea; brutaldolltx) =0=

Update: On September 29, 2008, the popular Cadbury cholocate has been recalled from sale in Great Britain in the wake of melamine-contamination scare. The recall doesn’t cover the Cadbury chocolates being sold in United States.