Iain Green's blog

Iain Green's blog

Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) Seminar in Japan, July 2012

 Dr. Naohiro Yoshida of Tokyo Inst. of Technology, Dr. Hideki Nara of NIES, Dr. Yoshito Chikaraishi of JAMSTEC

Climate and earth scientists gathered in Tokyo for a seminar on Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) hosted by Picarro’s partners in Japan, Sanyo Trading Co. Ltd.  Special guest speakers, Dr. Naohiro Yoshida of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Dr. Hideki Nara of the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) and Dr. Yoshito Chikaraishi of the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) provided talks on their diverse fields of research.  Highlights included Dr.

Chocolate Industry: Time to Act; Embrace Science

Cocoa industry;embrace science

Multinational companies that are deriving a profit from chocolate products need to take responsibility for their supply chains, particularly if they involve child labor or illicit trade practices, both of which are occurring in the cocoa industry as we speak. The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) and other NGOs have raised this issue.

Fair Trade Cocoa. Unfair on Children

Cocoa suppliers

Bravo to CNN for a thought provoking program on cocoa farm child labor in the Ivory Coast. The missing component from the discussion is that there is a solution that would go much further than the current crop of toothless fair trade ‘certifications’. Stable isotopes do a great job of distinguishing cocoa grown in different regions (see data inset).

HACCP: Use Stable Isotopes to Dig Deeper Into Your Supply Chain.


During a speech on Food Safety1, Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discussed the benefits of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point programs – HACCP.

Food Safety And Modernization Act. Neither safe nor modern?

4 foods IFT blog.jpg

The following is a transcript of my comments at the Nov 2nd 2011 Stakeholders Meeting set up by The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) at the behest of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in compliance with Section 204 of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). The current programs only require documentation of the container itself. They are incapable of tracking the goods inside the container.

Farm Bill 2012; Molecular Tracking is a Necessity

4 foods farm bill blog

It seems such a short time ago that Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) was expanded and enacted through Title XI of the Farm Bill 2008. Yet legislators have already started the committee meetings and town hall discussions that are framing the early debates on Farm Bill 2012. COOL was intended as a step forward to improve consumers’ ability of to make rational choices of the origin of their food. However, it highlights the most significant problem in the food industry – there is insufficient testing used to verify the origin of the foods in our stores and restaurants.

Origins of E.coli - Why RFID Fails and Why We Need Molecular Tracking with Isotopes

E.coli bacteria

We just launched a new Food Tracebility and Food Safety mini-site and our timing sadly coincided with a tragedy in this arena. As the unfolding details of the horrible E.coli outbreak in Europe have highlighted, everything is wrong with current food traceability legislation, testing and understanding.

Tracing Meat to the Source for Safety's Sake: Isotope Signatures Beat RFID or Any Labels


Rarely does a month go by without another major meat recall. In this case, the meat in question was shipped from Italy to Canada and contained dangerous levels of Lysteria bacteria.  And it was cooked, not raw, meat. We hope that no one gets sick.