Forensic Toxicology: compounds identification and legal responsibility

The scientific community has accepted SANIST technology as an approach to identify compounds in forensic toxicology.  The abstract is available here. The work has been realized in collaboration with different national and international public reference governament institutes.

Basically the method is based on the creation of a certified  mass spectra databases and on an algorithm for database search match based on some EU rules.

The majority of laboratory do not follow these criterias. At this point a question come in mind. Are the data obtained outside of EU rules valid for the law? What is the risk to provide an identification result that the legal authority can potentially declare not valid? This is a critic theme expecially in the forensic and toxicology fields where the maximum of accuracy is required during the drug identification step. For instance if a driver is found cocaine positive in the screening phase it is required the mass spectrometry analysis to confirm the data. On the basis of this results the legal authority can decide how to proceed. Obviously, the mass spectrometry database search must follow all criterias to ensure to provide the right identification. Actually the only criteria that the law accept is that implemented in the SANIST technology.

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