First female scientist appointed Deputy Government Chemist

LGC, the international market leader in analytical, forensic and diagnostic services and reference standards, announces the appointment of Selvarani Elahi as Deputy Government Chemist.

Elahi becomes the first female scientist to hold this title in the UK and takes over the role from Ian Lumley, on his retirement. She will now act as deputy for Dr Derek Craston, who has been the UK’s Government Chemist since 1 June 2008. In addition to her new role, Elahi retains her current position as Head of Consumer Protection Services at LGC. Elahi has over 20 years experience of the analysis of food and agriculture samples to establish their composition, particularly for contaminants, additives, nutrients and to assess their authenticity for both the private and public sectors.

Discharged on behalf of the UK department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the role of the Government Chemist is a State appointment, agreed under the devolved authorities of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Government Chemist title has been in place since 1911, with a remit to discharge the statutory function of referee analyst to resolve disputes over analytical measurements, particularly in relation to food regulatory enforcement. The Government Chemist also takes an active involvement in promoting analytical science and technology, and provides advice to Government and the wider community on policy, standards and regulation.

On her appointment, Selvarani Elahi said: "I am extremely pleased to be taking up the post of Deputy Government Chemist and I look forward to supporting Dr Derek Craston in his role as the UK’s Government Chemist. The Government Chemist function is fundamental to providing an independent voice for sound analytical measurement science and preventing miscarriages of justice. As well as resolving disputes, a key aspect of the role is preventing disputes from arising by conducting salient project work and giving well informed advice to stakeholders. My experience of the analysis of food and animal feed will help me to discharge my duties in this important statutory role.”

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