I was interviewed by the Toronto Star about the recent questions surrounding the methodology used by Motherisk in forensic investigations. This has become a significant issue for those of us who practice in child protection because Motherisk has always been the “go-to” lab for hair drug analysis in Toronto. Frequently, Motherisk is asked to determine whether a particular person or a child has used drugs over the previous months. From my experience, this occurs in almost all cases where there is even suspected drug use. A questionable technique in the performance of the analysis is therefore a significant issue for everyone who does this work.
Given the stakes in child protection (potential loss of one’s children), Motherisk should be providing the public and the legal community with more details about its work. Their silence up to this point is disturbing, and makes me wonder whether we are facing another situation that is similar to that investigated by the Goudge inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario. When will Motherisk provide us with the necessary answers to our questions?