Who is the Government Chemist and what does he do? by Ellie Gadd
July 17, 2015, 09:10
Filed under: Government Chemist Information | Tags:

This is a question that Government Chemist Programme Manager Daniel Scott answered during a recent informal presentation for LGC staff. The Government Chemist function is housed within LGC – an international life sciences measurement and testing company – and Daniel explained the history of the role to the group of employees. Watch our video to find out more…


Our legislation updates are moving by Nick Boley
June 24, 2015, 11:17
Filed under: Government Chemist Information

Our regular updates on legislative changes that relate to chemical measurement and the role of the Government Chemist are moving to our main website pages on GOV.UK.

These updates provide information on scientific and regulatory issues that affect the measurement community and as a result, are receiving increasing volumes of web traffic. To ensure that these updates are easily accessible, and to maximise their reach, they have been moved to GOV.UK/governmentchemist.

To ensure you continue to receive these updates, subscribe to our news alerts.

We will be continuing to post blogs providing commentary on our activities delivered under the Government Chemist programme, including publishing presentation slides, information on our training and blogs signposting you to media coverage.

Our recent updates on GOV.UK are:

CEN update: information affecting chemical measurements

Restricted substances in electrical and electronic equipment

Amendment to ecological criteria for paints and varnishes

Government Chemist conference – knowledge is power by Ellie Gadd

Francis Bacon declared ‘knowledge is power’ in the essay ‘Meditationes Sacrae’ written in 1597. More than 400 years later, Bacon’s declaration of ‘knowledge is power’ still rings true – particularly for the science and innovation work carried out under the Government Chemist programme.

We are committed to sharing the knowledge and expertise we gain through our research under the Government Chemist function and regularly publish advice and guidance.

Last November we held our biennial Government Chemist conference, ‘Beating the cheats:  Quality, safety and authenticity in the food chain’, at the Royal Society in London. Expert speakers outlined methods for “Beating the cheats”, including presentations aimed at sharing the latest cutting edge analytical methods and research developments in the fight against food fraud.

With the help of the Science Media Centre, we held a successful media briefing ahead of the conference where our panel of speakers outlined the major issues that would be presented at the event. The panel also included Dr Frieda Jorgensen, from Public Health England, who was invited to discuss the problem of campylobacter contamination in some supermarket chickens – a topic that had been hitting the headlines.

As a direct result of the briefing, some of the major issues around food authenticity, food safety and food fraud were highlighted in the national media. This included a half page feature on wine fraud in the Sunday Times which discussed the extent of fraud and mislabelling in the UK, and outlined government plans for Britain’s new food-policing unit to target the criminals behind the fraud.

Several national newspapers – including The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph and the Daily Mail – reported on the widespread problem of campylobacter contamination in supermarket fresh chicken.

Selvarani Elahi, Deputy Government Chemist, and Michael Walker, Consultant Referee Analyst for the Government Chemist programme, were interviewed by BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. Selvarani discussed food fraud, adulteration and water content in frozen poultry and Michael discussed the safety of the supply chain, food fraud and allergen thresholds.

It’s not just through the media that we share information about our research; we also publish news stories and blogs and we even recorded some of the presentations at the Government Chemist conference which have recently been uploaded to the Government Chemist pages on GOV.UK.

So if you want to know more about what we are doing, check out GOV.UK/GovernmentChemist where you can subscribe for Government Chemist updates or alerts.

2015 Government Chemist Advisory Function Seminar by Nick Boley

Following the successful seminar held in Manchester in February 2013 entitled “REACH and CLP enforcement: measurement and related issues for Public Analysts and Enforcement Authorities”, the Government Chemist has been asked to run a repeat of this seminar so that a wider audience from Public Analysts and Local Enforcement Authorities (Trading Standards, etc) can benefit.

The free seminar will take place on Thursday 19 March 2015, at the Lodge, IET, Austin Court, Birmingham, B1 2JP.

The programme will be the same, and it is hoped that most of the speakers will be able to reprise their presentations.

 Draft Programme 19 Mar 2015

Consultation Responses from the Government Chemist 4th Quarter 2013 by Nick Boley
January 27, 2014, 11:40
Filed under: Government Chemist Information, Uncategorized | Tags:

The Government Chemist responded to two consultations during October, November and December 2013. Details of the responses can be found here on the Government Chemist website.

The consultations covered:

  • European Commission DG Environment: Public Consultation on the revision of the Annexes of the Groundwater Directive
  • Food Standards Agency: The Feed Law Code of Practice Review


New Report published on Quantitative Chromium Species Measurement by Nick Boley

A new report has been published under the Government Chemist’s Advisory Function which demonstrates a method for the quantitative determination of chromium species in clean and effluent waters.

Chromium (VI) is a significantly more toxic species than other chromium species (particularly the more common Chromium (III)) and difficulties in determining it accurately in environmental matrices has long been problematical. The method involved was ion pair/chelation reversed phase HPLC-ICPMS, and represents an excellent piece of work which demonstrates this technique and opens doors for the measurement of other species and chromium species in other matrices.

The work was carried out by John Entwisle and Heidi Goenaga-Infante in LGC Science & Technology’s Specialist Inorganic Analysis Team. The report is can be found on the Government Chemist website.

Report on Nanoparticles Measurement available on GC Website by Nick Boley
October 25, 2013, 09:22
Filed under: Government Chemist Information, Nanomaterials | Tags: ,

A report entitled “Physicochemical characterisation of silica nanoparticles in complex food matrices” has been published on the Government Chemist website.

The report looks into the methodology available to measure nanoparticles in support of the proposed EU definition of a nanoparticle, which may be adopted as a regulation in 2014.

The work was carried out at LGC by Chun Yin Lee, as part of his MSc project at the University  of Loughborough, and funded by the Government Chemist under the micro-funded studies project within the GC Advisory Function.