A Personal Review on 40 Years at the Kantonales Labor Zurich: Success – Failure – Conclusions


  • Koni Grob Kantonales Labor Zürich (Official Food Control Authority of the Canton of Zurich), Fehrenstrasse 15, CH-8032 Zurich, Switzerland. koni@grob.org




Acrylamide, Biphenyl a diglycidyl ether (badge), Food analysis, Gas chromatography


My career at the Kantonales Labor Zürich (KLZH) started with the introduction of capillary gas chromatography (GC) and took me through an ideal curriculum: first the elaboration of a solid technical background, then a broad range of applications covering all stages from the development of smart and solid methods, understanding the background of a matter and searching for solutions and risk assessment, lobbying to get solutions implemented, sometimes even writing legislation. Selected milestones are described with how the subject came up, what we did and a critical review of the success we had. This gave ample opportunity to think about consumer protection, efficiency in control and performance of authorities. It was a highly motivating job, but sometimes also frustrating because of the weak position of the authorities in defending public interests against big industry. Authorities should be respected, which primarily means competence, strict implementation of relevant rules and insistence if necessary. Often this has little to do with the number or samples analyzed – on the contrary: high sample throughput often prevents us going into depth. In all, what the food safety authorities are capable of implementing is far from that promised to the consumers by legislation.






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