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World's largest DNA lab reports fraud

Added: (Mon Nov 22 2004)

Pressbox (Press Release) - PRESS RELEASE

Monday, November 22, 2004 Posted: 10:00 AM EST (1500 GMT)

London -- The world's largest private DNA testing firm has fired an analyst for allegedly falsifying test data.

Officials with Cellmark -- with labs in Maryland, Texas, Tennessee and Britain -- said the alleged falsification occurred in 20 tests.

The alleged tampering prompted the Los Angeles County public defender's office to begin reviewing all pending cases involving Cellmark. Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, said that the cases involving the analyst have not gone to trial.

"Cellmark isolated the problem very quickly, they moved on it very quickly," she said. "We don't believe that any other cases are going to be ultimately affected by this because all of the cases are being re-analyzed."

A spokeswoman for the police lab, refused to comment on the matter. Charlotte Word, the laboratory director for Cellmark, also would not comment.

But in a letter sent to the Police Lab in September that was obtained by The (Baltimore) Sun, a Cellmark official disclosed that the company had fired analyst Sarah Blair for "professional misconduct."

Blair, in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Sun, denied the allegations. "I explained everything to the company when I left," said Blair. "I'm still sticking to the same story that I'm innocent."

Cellmark has analyzed evidence in several high-profile cases, including those involving O.J. Simpson, Jon Benet Ramsey, the Unabomber and the Green River killer. Police departments throughout the world have used the lab's services

Cellmark are also responsible for the vast majority of legal cases in the UK where there is an increased demand for paternity testing, the company also handles cases for families who are hoping to immigrate to the UK.

Avi Lasarow, Managing Director of DNA Bioscience UK, a leading DNA testing company with government approved labs says "DNA Bioscience will offer to run 2nd tests for any Cellmark customer that are concerned about their results at half price"

With a combined experience of over 75 years, the laboratory staff at DNA Bioscience are dedicated to the continued research and development of genetics testing, servicing clients in areas of health, immigration, social services and the legal profession.
The company is based at 10 Old Bailey London, the nerve centre of the legal community and can be contacted at:

0800 321 7016

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