The inbreeding of expertise


Inbred or just inbread?

One of the problems of the ISO system is that membership of technical committees sometimes leaves few outside the committees with enough expertise and gravitas to criticise their work. Such experts may carry undue ISO influence into other committees, national bodies, professional organisations, and as technical assessors for inspection bodies.

Standarisation to ISO methods enforced by the cartel brings the potential for lack of competition between methods that stifles the emergence of superior methodology.

Selecting for homozygous weakness.

The Spanish paper below describes an assessment of one ISO method.  It is for those with highly specialist expertise to critically evaluate competing methods such as this.  However, this paper shows the standards of sensitivity and specificity that might be expected in diagnostic veterinary pathology.   The standards achievable and that these authors consider adequate are in the 80-90% range.  For the paperwork that is inspected, any failure is a non-compliance.

Why do inspectors expect higher standards from the paperwork kept by the personnel than the tests themselves are capable of delivering?  Do they think this can improve on the shortcomings of the tests?  

It only makes sense if you’ve caught the same obsession.

Sensitivity of the ISO 6579:2002/Amd 1:2007 Standard Method for Detection of Salmonella spp. on Mesenteric Lymph Nodes from Slaughter Pigs

R. C. Mainar-Jaime et al.

Published ahead of print 24 October 2012, doi: 10.1128/​JCM.02099-12 J. Clin. Microbiol.  January 2013 vol. 51 no. 1 89-94

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