You have no doubt heard about Chain of Custody (COC) issues in the many forensic TV shows on our screens. The shows where faulty documentation destroys an otherwise carefully prepared case and the criminal goes free! So exactly what is a COC? It is the chronological ‘paper’ trail, showing the collection, transfer, receipt, analysis, storage, and disposal of a sample. At all stages, the sample is in someone’s custody—that person is responsible for it.
The COC is just as important in environmental and agricultural sciences -the integrity of the sampling, testing and reporting chain is very important