Service De Protection De La Consommation, Genève, Switzerland

Using mass spectrometry, the test results proved that the “impossible” can be detected.

At the Service for Consumers and Veterinary Affairs (SCAV) in Geneva, Dr. Didier Ortelli and his team are responsible for an extremely diverse range of testing such as food quality, restaurant norms, bird flu in the Lake Geneva region, veterinary medicines and all pesticide and environmental degradant issues.

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Recently Dr. Ortelli conducted a study that examined pesticide residues in Lake Geneva. While the majority of the labs doing this type of analysis looked for classic Triazines and their metabolites, Dr. Ortelli applied his wideband method to a water sample from Lake Geneva and discovered Sulfuron in relatively high concentrations.

Dr. Ortelli immediately showed his boss the results, to which his boss replied that it was “impossible” to find Sulfuron. His boss said the Sulfuron is a relatively recent compound and these concentrations would normally correlate to 150 years of agricultural usage. So, Dr. Ortelli went back to the lab, ran the tests again and confirmed the analysis. He discovered that the source of the pollution was from a factory on a river upstream that was releasing the compound.

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