Re: The people who sent me samples are all forum regulars.

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Posted by Maureen on October 11, 2002 at 00:41:30:

In reply to: The people who sent me samples are all forum regulars. posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on October 10, 2002 at 23:40:13:

Well, if others could understand my concerns, I don't understand why
you did not and then make sure that you controlled for that chain of
possession of the henna powders. That is just a critical step.

I am sure that everyone had the best of intent. But this is your
exercise and therefore your responsibility to make absolutely sure
that the process is maintains it's integrity. Everyone's best of
intentions just left the lack of control for how you collected the
samples open to question. It is not about the people who sent the
samples, this is about your determination that the samples were
usuable for determining that the henna power tested absolutely
reflected what any exporter sent so that the feedback to them would
be usable. That is where the weakness is. If you wanted to prove
that I sold someone some cocaine that was laced with PCB OR PCP
(whatever that drug is called), you would have to get the package
directly from me. No matter who sent you cocaine and said that it
was what I sent to them, you can not with any certainty connect that
cocaine to me. You can not with any degree of certainty say that
what you received is exactly what I have because there are too many
things that could have happened to it by the time it got from me to
you. Too many people in the middle. That is exactly what the
testing that you have undetaken absolutely must eliminate. The
uncertainty. Especially if what you think should happen is that
someone should take your findings back to their exporter and
say, "This is what is in your henna powder." One can not, should not
make such an accusation without certainty. One can not and should
not ask for someone to change what they are doing unless it is
certain without any doubt that what the request for that change is
based upon is unquestionable. Without controls for that chain
of "custody" of the henna powder, there are indeed questions that I
would always raise.

This is not personal about people or a person. This is about
business and the need to do business in a manner that is credible and
provides feedback that is useful, timely and reliable. And for the
feedback concerning henna powders to be useful to the exporters, I
will need to be certain that samples provided are indeed what the
exporter sent...that feedback is not concerning a henna powder that I
provided feedback concerning 6 months ago...that I have reason to
support the feedback that I am carrying to someone else. This is
about timeliness and controls. When those pieces go into the
equation, then support follows. This is the same issue I raised with
the first list. The methodology changed but didn't make the results
any more reliable. And essentially the view you are stating is that
I should deal with the issue of trusting people rather than with the
issue trusting the process. In this particular matter, it is
important to be able to trust that the process eliminates the
necessity to trust individuals.

I trust my customers' feedback, their anecdotal accounts of their
experience with the henna powders, their suggestions. It is all
subjective. But I trust it. Your process of testing these henna
powders is not suppose to be subjective. What you determine your
results to mean will of course and of necessity be subjective. But
the process should not be. Determining who sent what and why and how
and when are all of no concern to me. Determining whether or
not, "how" you did "what" you did results in reliable findings, is of
concern to me to the degree to which my products are involved and
continue to be involved. This is an issue regardless of whether or
not it is one you choose to ignore or choose to deal with.

And if one is interested in knowing what this is all about, they
should know it is not the list the link takes them too, but rather,
it is about a process that lacked control over the way the henna
powders were collected so that the list itself could be stated to
reflect with certainty and reliability the henna powders that are
listed there are exactly the same as what is being exported and



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