Welcome to the Government Chemist website

The Government Chemist at LGC applies sound analytical science in the public interest, acting as the referee analyst in cases of dispute and providing advice to Government and industry.

Underpinning the statutory role of the GC is the GC programme: a programme of work funded by National Measurement Office (NMO), an Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).


The two principal roles of the ‘Government Chemist function’ are:
  • “an independent and impartial referee analyst, authorised analyst and analyst by reference to or pursuant to certain legislation”: the statutory function;
  • “a source of advice for HM Government and the wider analytical community on the analytical chemistry implications on matters of policy and of standards and of regulations”, the advisory function.

The Government Chemist is named as referee analyst and authorised analyst under various statutes. The current Government Chemist is Dr Derek Craston, who was appointed by DIUS (now BIS) in June 2008.

The latest Government Chemist Review showing how research and dedicated casework came together in 2012 to protect the public, while maintaining a cost-effective technical appeal option for businesses and SMEs can be downloaded here.

Aluminium in Imported Noodles

Noodles v2Recommendations for the analysis and reporting of aluminium in imported noodles

Procedures for submitting a referee sample

The Government Chemist regularly receives samples for referee analysis under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Agriculture Act 1970.