8 thoughts on “UPDATED: SA Food Bank Garden Dirt Given Clean Bill of Health

  1. Great article, Bob. Let’s see if the Express-News, which created the hysteria, manages to apologize or chooses to leave it open-ended so as to foster unnecessary mistrust of our local government; ala FOX News style.

  2. Seems like Geo Strata should be held accountable for their incompetence. The City should demand a refund and a retraction, and ban them from applying for City contracts for a certain period of time. If not for their flawed report so much mistrust and expense could have been avoided.

  3. Bob, this is a very good piece and kudos to the Rivard Report for staying on this and following up and for providing access to documents. I hope you will stay on top of this as my take away from (an admittedly very superficial look at what you have provided) is the following:

    1) Raba Kistner report — my science training tells me that when I look at someone’s research I go to the Methodology section and, among others, how they defined their sampling regime. Ultimately, your conclusions are based on your statistical analysis resulting from your sampling regime. Statistical methods 101 tells us that upfront, you state the hypothesis you will be testing, define a “confidence interval” based on how important it is to get it right and specify the appropriate statistical tests you will apply to test the hypothesis Then, based on all the above and your knowledge (or lack thereof) of variability within the sampling unit, you define the sampling regime and calculate the number of samples needed to test the hypothesis and draw conclusions. By providing all of these elements (usu. in a “Methodology” section) and showing the results of the statistical analysis and tests (usu. in something akin to an “Analysis” section), this allows others to replicate your results — unless your intended audience was readers of the Journal of Irreproducible Results — as well as for readers to evaluate how robust your conclusions are, based on the statistical power of the sampling regime and analysis. A search of the Raba Kistner document provides zero hits on any key words associated with what I have (pendantically, sorry!) banged on about above. So, it is nice to see that R-K punched in a lot more holes and took more samples, which I am sure gives a better characterization of the site then that of the prior study, but I have no idea if there results are conclusive or not.

    2) Good news that no contamination was found at this time at the Food Bank. I hope that testing on the dirt dumped across the street will be done well and find that there are no contaminants present that can blow across the street or move through shallow groundwater and come up through phreatic rise and bioconcentrate in their food plants. But until then, I hope Councilman Lopez can ask that their be monitoring done on whatever appropriate time steps an environmental specialist in these matter would suggest.

    Thanks again! An excellent piece of work!

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