Re: Suggestion on sampling perhaps


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Posted by Maureen on October 12, 2002 at 06:20:41:

In reply to: Suggestion on sampling perhaps posted by Denise on October 11, 2002 at 21:07:54:

Hi Denise,

I thought there would have been other commentary on your suggestion
by now. But suggestions that get to the issue of reliability
continue to just be put out and not get picked up. Actually Kimia
packaging changed from the kilo bags around the beginning of the
year. Some exporters will take on this change in the way they ship
their henna powder regardless of the cost. And the cost is really
quite high. Some can't take this on. I've got 8 different exporters
that I work with and that is just the ones that supply me with henna
powder.

There is a perspective to all of these things that we want from
exporters that I think gets lost here sometimes. If a large exporter
like Abid and Company packaged their henna powder in kilo bags and I
requested those to be put into bags of 100 gram quantities, that
would create all sorts of problems in their system that is set up to
package in those kilo bags or boxes because of the size of their
operation...because of the amount of money they have invested in
those 1 kilo bags or boxes...because of the expense of obtaining the
10,000 or so 100 gram bags at the minimal quantity for purchase
requirement...because of the additional cost for printing their logo
and graphics on those small bags. A smaller enterprise would have
the same consideration of cost to make such a change. Their reality
is that they ship to us 5 and 10 and sometimes even 20 kilos of henna
powder at a time. We want the packaging on that changed. Meanwhile,
they are shipping 100 tons of henna powder to Korea, China and other
places around the world and those buyers are not requesting such a
change. They would of necessity have to consider the money they make
on 10 kilos of henna powder with a change in packaging against the
100 tons they are shipping out requiring no change. The reason
provided for doing it would have to be a very compelling one.
Certainly not just so the henna powder can be tested.

But, I don't know an exporter who would not probably send a packet of
henna powder in a small individual size that could be used for
testing. But, there it has already been mentioned here that thre is
fear that an exporter might not be honorable and just might send
something other than what the supplier gets to sell. So if there is
no faith then there is no need for any exporter to bother. Since
there is just as little faith in what suppliers might do to their
powders then there is also no need for suppliers to bother. And
those are the two sources from which the powders could be obtained
and maintain integrity in the custody and therefore the control of
the sample.

I am sure you remember the OJ Simpson trial when the detective put
some evidence in the trunk of his car and forgot to turn it in for
four days. He swore that the evidence was in the trunk of his car
for all of that time, but that didn't fly because he could not
establish with absolute certainty that it was indeed in the trunk of
his car for the four days. There was no reliable chain of custody
there. That chain of custody thing in law is the equivalent as
controlling for the reliability of the sample in research, testing
and analysis.

My preference is that a sample goes directly from exporter to
tester. That is a direct line. No question about reliability unless
the package is delivered open...which happens. Then it should be
tossed. And the exporter has all sorts of information that the
supplier does not have and therefore can not provide. The exporter
has the information about date of harvest of the crop; date of
packaging; season of harvest; any anomale in the weather conditions
during the planting, growing and harvesting of the crop.

This crop could be tested along with any samples anyone else from
anywhere wanted to send in. No need to control those except for date
they were obtained. There is need to control for having the same
current henna powder acquired from the exporter and that obtained
from customers tested. If there is descrepency what shows up one can
not conclude that the exporter switched powder. One can only
conclude that there is a difference in what shows up in the sample
sent from various sources that were suppose to be the same powder.
This could be attributed to all sorts of things. I have a couple of
powders that there would be significant difference in what the
supplier sent and what I sent out to customers because I sifted it
prior to sending it out. So there would be a difference in how they
looked. There should be a difference in how they looked. It is the
supplier who could verify that the henna powder sent by the exporter
and that sent by customers "should" be the same. Suppliers know when
they got shipments in and when they are selling from that shipment.
It would be easy enough to color code that.

I am sure that there are other and better ideas for how to do this.
But when suggestions put out fall flat on the floor, it is just a
mental exercise. I am just putting another idea out because I know
if reliability is desired...reliability can be obtained.

Maureen

 


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