Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic
Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic
On 31 December 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China, reported a cluster of 27 pneumonia cases (including seven severe cases) of unknown aetiology, with a common reported link to Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a wholesale fish and live animal market. On 23 January 2020, Wuhan City was locked down – with all travel in and out of Wuhan prohibited –and movement inside the city was restricted.
By March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, with more than 150 countries worldwide being affected. Many countries, including the UK; imposed stringent public health measures that included the closure of businesses & strict social distancing guidelines.
Due to the enforced lockdown, many within the UK workforce had to make alternative working arrangements, with working from home becoming the new norm. With the closure of businesses and the hospitality sector including bars and restaurants, it meant people seeking alternative means to purchase and consume alcohol.
Before the pandemic, alcohol was attributed to being a financial burden to the UK health system and wider economy. The British Medical Journal estimated that alcohol costs the NHS more than £3.5 billion and the wider economy at least £21bn each year.
The organisation Alcohol Change UK commissioned new research to look at whether people’s drinking habits changed during the COVID-19 lockdown. Over 2,000 people completed the survey, with results weighted to ensure they were representative of the UK population.
The key takeaway from the report is people are consuming alcohol differently because of the lockdown. Around one in five drinkers (21%) told us that they have been drinking more frequently since the lockdown. This suggests that around 8.6 million UK adults are drinking more frequently under lockdown.
Furthermore, while almost half of drinkers said they were drinking about the same amount on a typical drinking day, 15% said they have been drinking more per session since lockdown.
The Global Drug Survey produced a special report for COVID-19 with more than 80,000 participants. The report stated that 44% of those who participated said the frequency of alcohol use increased. Reasons for this included ‘having more time to drink and feeling bored more often.’ However, 25.5% reported having decreased their use of alcohol during COVID-19.
As restrictions begin to ease and more people return to work, it is important to highlight the impact of COVI-19 on the workforce. People’s way of life has changed dramatically, with this change comes different ways of consuming alcohol. It is important to note that the figures above are a proportionate representation based on those who took part, but valuable insights can be gained when looking at alcohol use. For employers who have staff returning to work, their safety is of paramount importance. This will include effectively managing substance misuse, should it be an issue in the workplace.
Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol’s impact on your body starts from the moment you take your first sip. While an occasional glass of wine or beer isn’t a cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking wine, beer, or spirits can take its toll.
Consumption of alcohol can impact various parts of the body. Effects can range from weakening of the immune and digestive system, to inflammation and sugar level issues.
Our ‘Effects Of’ Series provides educational posters that can be displayed in workplaces to highlight the dangers of alcohol. Click here for more information.
About Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services are a specialist in the workplace drug & alcohol testing sector. We provide a wide range of testing for companies who want to reduce the impact of substance misuse in the workplace. With a range of service options and expert staff on hand to provide help and training, our services will help to eradicate the impact of drugs and alcohol.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, RTS have continued to provide drug & alcohol testing services. At all times, we have ensured our staff are equipped to provide sensible advice and flexible solutions to drug & alcohol testing.
We have provided each Collection Officer with full PPE to ensure they meet requirements for personal and professional safety. Full social distancing guidelines are followed at all times when possible whilst conducting testing. We will continue to advise and navigate companies through this period as more businesses return and testing is required.
If you have any questions regarding drug & alcohol testing, contact us today.
Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011
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Randox Testing Services are delighted to announce that we will be attending the Northern Ireland Construction Expo. Titanic Exhibition Centre will be the venue for the event, taking place on 13th February.
The NI Construction Expo brings together over 2000 construction companies, developers, policy makers, project owners and a plethora of other organisations, to provide an environment of debate, further knowledge in the design, construction and management of Northern Ireland’s buildings, infrastructure and industrial projects.
Attending the event will be our Senior Business Development Executive David O’Regan and our Business Development Executive Jim Windsor. Both have many years’ experience in workplace drug and alcohol testing and they will be more than happy to answer any questions you have regarding implementing a workplace testing policy.
Our Sales Executive Jim Windsor will be speaking at the event, providing those in attendance how drug & alcohol testing in the construction industry can have a positive impact on a business in this safety-critical environment.
If you would like to arrange a meeting with our team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be exhibiting at stand B11B, make sure you stop by and have a chat to our team for any drug & alcohol testing related queries you may have.
Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services is part of the Randox Laboratories group, a global market leader in the diagnostics industry with over 35 years’ experience. Founded in 1982 by current Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE FREng, Randox is dedicated to accurate and sensitive sample testing. The ethos within Randox is to produce quality products, supported by continual investment in research and development.
Randox Testing Services is a specialist in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Our expertise is relied upon by a range of leading safety-critical companies across the UK, Ireland and internationally, as well as the medico-legal sector.
Visit our website today for more information:
Medico-legal Testing: https://www.randoxtestingservices.com/medico-legal-testing/
Private Individuals: https://www.randoxtestingservices.com/private-individuals/
Phone: +44 (0) 161 741 2760
It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Randox today as colleagues donned their favourite festive knit in aid of Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day.
Staff members across Randox UK got involved in the winter fundraiser – from Crumlin to London and Liverpool to Holywood.
If you’d like to donate to Save the Children, please text TEAM RANDOX to 70050 and a £2 donation will go to Save the Children plus your standard message rate.
At Randox Testing Services we provide reliable and cost-effective employee testing for a wide range of industries including aviation, maritime, manufacturing and many more. We cater to all business needs and offer workplace drug and alcohol testing across a variety of testing types.
We understand the needs of different industries can vary from one extremity to the other so our expertise allows us to craft customised packages to meet the needs of any workplace.
Implementation of an effective substance misuse policy establishes employer rights to conduct workplace drug and alcohol testing if required. In addition, it ensures adherence to the duty of care of an employer to protect their workforce and keep employees safe.
Types of Testing
- Pre-Employment Testing
This is used as an indicator of candidate suitability, it forms an essential part of a company’s recruitment process, and helps maintain the safety of the firm’s current workforce.
- Random Testing
With knowledge that a test could be conducted with anyone at any time, random testing is the most effective deterrent of drug or alcohol misuse among employees. It ensures integrity of staff across all levels and can be conducted with employees at any level from temporary staff to directors.
- With-Cause Testing
This is conducted when there is suspected drug or alcohol abuse in the workplace, whether allegations are made, suspicion arises, if drugs and alcohol have been found in work or following an accident.
- Post-Incident Testing
Post-Incident testing occurs after an accident or incident in work to determine if drugs or alcohol may have contributed to the cause.
- Abstinence Testing
The process of this testing is conducted in circumstances where an employee, having tested positive for a previous drug or alcohol test is monitored to ensure they remain abstinent from drug or alcohol misuse.
Randox Testing Services utilises discreet and non-invasive methods of drug testing for patient comfort and fast sample collection. Offering a choice of a urine test, hair drug test, saliva drug test or a combination. Our drug testing methods ensure the possibility for short-term and long-term drug abuse profiling. With different drug testing methods having different windows of drug detection, we can provide advice on which methods to utilise depending upon your organisation’s drug testing requirements. This ensures the best method or combination of methods is chosen to ensure all needs of the business are met. Click the link to find out more about each sample type and their detection windows. https://bit.ly/2DePPD4
To enable reliable results, our drug and alcohol screening procedure is coherent with a strict chain of custody procedures to ensure sample integrity and traceability from point of collection to result reporting.
The process of testing;
- Initial Consultation with Randox Testing Services
We begin with a free consultation with one of our experienced business development executives. During this we will discuss your testing requirements and put together a package tailored to meet the needs of your business.
- Create a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy
Providing you with the correct tools and information, we ensure you have an effective policy in place to allow you the right, an employer, to carry out employee testing. We also ensure the rights of the employee are protected by ensuring a policy which is clear and concise. During this process, we will discuss the types of workplace testing you wish to carry out ensuring your policy suits the business needs.
- Implement Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing
We provide comprehensive training and education to help you communicate the new policy to your employees and management staff.
- Sample Collection
Once consent from employees is given our network of trained and experienced sample collection officers collect samples using your chosen method of testing at a time and location that suits. We also offer training and education to your own staff to collect samples from employees. Throughout sample collection, sample integrity is maintained following strict chain of custody criteria.
- Sample Analysis
Employee samples are transported to our state-of-the-art laboratory. Upon arrival, they are assessed to ensure sample integrity has been maintained, they are then screened using our innovative Biochip Array Technology to ensure accurate and reliable results. Upon analysis of employee samples, required actions will differ depending on the result:
- Presumptive Positive (Indicates presence of a particular substance. Further analysis required).
- Confirmatory Testing (Carried out on presumptive positive samples to confirm drug class and concentration).
- Positive (Received after confirmatory testing, a report detailing drugs present and at what concentration will be written).
- Results Reporting
Results are reported confidentially via our secure web portal. Alternatively, another method can be chosen to suit your needs.
Drugs We Test For
We test for a wide range of drugs of abuse. Our different panels highlight the vast range of substances we are capable of testing for, across both instant testing kits and back to lab panels. Click on the link to see the range of drugs we test via instant or back to lab based on sample type. https://bit.ly/2PMcMVL
Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services is a specialist in the drug and alcohol testing industry. We aim to educate and inform companies and customers about the dangers of drugs and alcohol in the workplace.
Contact us today at email@example.com or call 0 161 741 2760 to speak to one of our experts.
At Randox Testing Services we utilise discreet and non-invasive methods of drug & alcohol testing for comfort and fast sample collection. Offering a choice of a urine test, hair drug test, saliva drug test or a combination of tests, our drug testing methods ensure the possibility for short-term and long-term drug abuse profiling. With different drug testing methods having different windows of detection, we offer advice on which methods to utilise depending upon your company’s drug testing requirements, ensuring the best method or combination of methods is chosen to ensure all your testing needs are fulfilled.
Below we will provide a breakdown of each sample type and accompanying detection windows for the presence of illicit substances.
Urine – Drug & Alcohol Testing
Urine is the most common sample type for drug & alcohol testing. Simple and practical to obtain, it offers short-term drug abuse profiling. It is considered non-intrusive and sample collection is not observed.
Drugs: 4 hours – 8 days (30 days for regular cannabis users)
Alcohol: <12 hours
Oral Fluid – Drug Testing
Oral fluid testing analyses a saliva sample for parent drugs and their metabolites. Providing analysis of short-term drug abuse, an oral fluid test is used for with-cause testing and post-incident testing, with results detectable 30-60 minutes after ingestion.
Drugs: 24 hours – 48 hours after consumption (drug dependent)
Breath – Alcohol Testing
Breath can be tested for alcohol using handheld devices which provide immediate results. These devices are specific to alcohol and can gauge blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring deep lung air. This type of testing can accurately determine whether a person has recently consumed alcohol or is currently over the legal or pre-determined limit.
Hair – Drug Testing
A hair drugs test offers a longer window of detection than alternative testing and provides a detailed month-on-month view of overall picture of drug use. This can highlight trends of drug use, suggest abstinence or show evidence of use depending on the length of the hair sample. Our hair testing services are tailored to meet the specific needs of our customers.
Typically, up to 90 days using a 3cm sample (1cm of head hair = 1-month detection).
Body hair can be used to provide extended window of up to 1 year
Randox Testing Services
At Randox Testing Services we are committed to improving the safety of workplaces who may be affected by drug & alcohol consumption. We offer a wide range of quality products designed to test for illegal substances quickly and efficiently, ensuring minimal disruption in your workplace.
To find out more about sample types and how they are utilised in workplace testing programs, click this link: http://bit.ly/RTS-samp
For more information on the different drugs we currently test for, click: http://bit.ly/RTS-drugstest
If you would like to find out more about our drug & alcohol testing programs, contact us today to speak to one of our experience business development executives.
Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011
Randox Testing Services offers high quality drug testing with use of our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology specifically optimised for drugs of abuse testing. This technology allows multiplex back-to-lab testing of different drugs from one sample and offers test consolidation for comprehensive testing at an affordable price.
With a comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu we are able to test for a range of different drugs. Drug testing packages can be customised to include multiple different drugs to test per sample.
Our drug testing methods ensure fast and simple sample collection. We have a variety of non-invasive methods for patient comfort including use of a urine sample, hair strand or oral fluid sample to test for specified drugs. Utilisation of different testing methods also ensures flexibility of drug abuse profiling with the ability to offer short-term drug abuse profiling via oral fluid and urine testing, long-term drug abuse profiling via hair testing or a combination of both.
Oral Fluid Testing
An oral fluid test can detect drugs for up to 48 hours after consumption. Providing analysis of short-term drug abuse, an oral fluid drug test is used by employers conducting for-cause and post-incident testing, as well as medico-legal solicitors who may require testing for abstinence of drugs.
An oral fluid test consists of obtaining a saliva sample from between the cheek and gums to analyse traces of drugs. This sample method is reliable due to the high concentrations of drug components which remain in the oral cavity for a period of time after drug consumption. Sample collection is taken quickly, easily and is non-invasive. The sample collection is also observed which ensures samples are not tampered with.
A urine test offers short-term detection of substance abuse. Alcohol is detectable in urine for less than 12 hours, and a urine drug test can detect traces of drugs from between 4 hours and up to 8 days (this may be extended for regular cannabis users to around 30 days). It is often used in a combination with hair testing to provide an enhanced time-line for drug and alcohol detection; therefore allowing analysis of chronic substance abuse.
As a simple and practical method it is used as the most common sample type for workplace drug and alcohol testing. It is also utilised when conducting family law testing to ensure no alcohol intake by someone who has been forbidden to consume alcohol by a court of law or someone who is on a drugs or alcohol rehabilitation program.
A urine test consists of gaining a urine sample from the individual securely. Due to the nature of the urine sample being deposited privately by the sample donor, measures need to be taken to ensure the sample is not tampered with. At Randox Testing Services samples are collected under strict chain of custody protocols to guarantee sample integrity for legally defensible testing. We also increase accuracy of results by testing for creatinine which is a simple method of testing the authenticity of the sample given and reduces false-negative results giving you confidence in these testing methods.
Hair testing is a long-term substance abuse profiling with a detection window of 90+ days. It is commonly used by recruiters and employers conducting pre-employment screening and is the most common sample type used for substance abuse assessment in child protection and medico-legal cases.
Hair testing involves taking a hair stand sample from an individual to detect if and approximately when someone has consumed drugs or alcohol. A 3cm sample is generally used to obtain a longer analysis of substance abuse.
When a drug is taken it is absorbed into the blood stream and circulated around the body. As a result it is incorporated into the hair follicle meaning that as the hair grows, drugs are transferred into the hair strand. It can take up to 2 weeks for drug components to enter the hair and therefore analysis of a 3cm sample is recommended.
Analysis of the hair strand allows traces of drugs to be detected to provide an overall picture of drug abuse or a month by month analysis. Segmentation of the hair sample to provide a detailed month-on-month view is advantageous as it can highlight trends of drug use and identify periods of abstinence or high level use. Body hair can be used in special circumstances however segmentation into a month by month analysis is not possible.
Randox Testing Services
Through utilising innovative multiplex drug and alcohol screening methods as well as LC/GC mass spectrometry confirmatory analysis our complete service guarantees reliable and accurate results.
For more information on our back-to-lab testing services contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with one of our experts.
“Family Law defines the legal attributes of the status, for example, the mutual rights and obligations of the married couple and provides remedies for regulating the relationship of the parties. Family Law determines the status of a child and provides mechanisms for regulating the exercise of parental responsibility.” – James Munby
James Munby spoke on the social justice for children and families and outlined the aims of the family justice system. He concluded with the ultimate aim stressing that the system must be about ‘securing social justice for children and their families.’
In specific circumstances in family law cases testing for drugs and alcohol may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. In cases regarding divorce and children, a dispute may arise during the process of discussions involving the custody of children. In these cases drug and alcohol testing may be sought if there has been a substance abuse claim against a parent fighting for custody or visitation.
Family law drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve. In addition it is also important to enable parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment. Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained.
Randox Testing Services – Medical Review
The comprehensive medical review service from Randox Testing Services offers independent and expert examination of positive results under medical confidentiality. As a cause for concern, positive results are recognised as a serious trade issue in all areas of drug and alcohol testing be it employee testing, testing carried out for family law issues or forensic toxicology.
A medical review report provides a detailed analysis of results to determine if there is a legitimate medical reason for positive results. Performed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) the assessment involves a donor’s medical background to determine if, for example, a donor is taking or has taken in the recent past any prescriptive medication that may have affected results.
Our medical review service ensures confidence in results by eradicating any wrongful conclusions being made while helping to protect the rights of the person being tested and the person requiring the testing.
Family Law solicitors involved in care proceedings must take seriously the consequences of a parent or guardian testing positively for drugs or alcohol. The wrongful conclusion of a positive test result could lead to child parent separation for those involved in a custody battle or child protection case and cause unnecessary stress and anguish. A medical review protects the rights of all involved and ensures trust in the legal sector is maintained by determining legitimate reasons for a positive result while eradicating false conclusions from being made.
Randox Testing Services – Expert Witness Report
An expert witness report is a document providing a detailed outline of the drug and alcohol testing procedure followed and an interpretation of the results found. It is used as objective evidence in court and provides a detailed explanation of whether or not substances tested for were detected as well as information regarding chain of custody compliance.
Family law solicitors or social services may require an expert witness report for use in care proceedings relating to a dispute over the custody of children, or an issue concerning child protection. An expert witness report ensures non-biased and factual evidence for use in family court and guarantees confidence in results by ensuring sample integrity has been maintained throughout the testing process. In addition strict chain of custody procedures guarantees donor confidentiality which is vital in family court care proceedings.
Contact us today at email@example.com or call 0 161 741 2760 to speak to one of our experts.
CBD Oil, Cannabis Oil and Hemp Oil are naturally produced from the plant Cannabis Sativa. This article will aim to distinguish between the different variations, and highlights differences in their use, abuse and legal standing.
Cannabis is the name given to the common drug of abuse, made from various parts of the Cannabis Sativa plant that contain a high level of a chemical called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the chemical responsible for most of cannabis’s psychological effects. It stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine and interferes with how information is processed in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for forming new memories. Strains of Cannabis Sativa are specifically bred for their high THC content in resinous glands on their flowers and some leaves.
Cannabis Oil contains a high level of THC and if administered can result in psychoactive effects. There is a growing movement to legalise THC in the form of oils or capsules for medicinal use (pain relief), however, like cannabis itself, it is currently illegal to possess, or supply cannabis oil in the UK.
CBD (or cannabidiol), like THC, is another chemical component extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive and does not produce a ‘high’. CBD is derived from a specific hemp strain that is high in CBD and low in THC and is extracted from the whole plant (and not just the seed like hemp seed oil). The use of CBD oil is becoming widespread for its reported health-giving benefits. It is perfectly legal to use (because it contains negligible amounts of THC) and can be purchased from health food shops and on-line.
However, it is also sometimes (mistakenly) referred to as ‘cannabis oil’ which causes confusion.
Hemp is a fast-growing strain of Cannabis Sativa specifically bred for its fibre (for textile use), oils (including CBD oil) and nutritional benefits among its ever-expanding range of uses. However, hemp is bred to be low in THC. Hemp seed oil is acquired by pressing the hemp seeds only and contains neither THC nor CBD. Hemp oil is perfectly legal and you may find it in some health food products or even beauty products.
Effects of Cannabis
Cannabis is the most commonly abused drug in the UK and can produce a range of side-effects including an increased risk of developing a psychotic illness. For an extensive list of the side-effects of regular cannabis use download our free educational resource: http://www.randoxtestingservices.com/download/Effects-of-Cannabis-Poster.pdf
About Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services is a market leader in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Our expertise is relied upon by a range of leading safety-critical companies across the world.
We pride ourselves on helping our customers improve the health and safety of their working environment through helping them implement a comprehensive substance misuse policy. As experts in our field we ensure that we are aware of current drug trends and issues that are affecting society.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 9445 1011 to speak with one of our experts.
Medico-legal testing for drugs and alcohol may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. In cases regarding divorce and children, a dispute may arise during the process of discussions involving the custody of children. In these cases drug and alcohol testing may be sought if there has been a substance abuse claim against a parent fighting for custody or visitation. In cases relating to child protection, social services may seek drug and alcohol testing if child welfare claims have been made regarding suspected substance misuse.
Normally in medico-legal cases a hair sample would be tested as it provides the longest detection window.
Why is Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-legal Cases Important?
Drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve. In addition it is also important to enable parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment.
Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained. Drug and alcohol testing assists in these efforts and in such cases abstinence monitoring testing may be required to assess a parent’s recovery e.g. if a visitation case is being reassessed.
At Randox Testing Services we provide drug and alcohol testing to all professionals within the family law and medico-legal sector. Our hair drug testing service utilises accredited testing methods and is made more cost-effective through utilising patented testing methods developed by Randox.
We understand the impact a positive result can have on a parent, child, and extended family and ensure results of the highest precision and accuracy. With over 35 years’ experience in the diagnostic industry we have gained reputation as a trusted provider.
Our drug and alcohol testing solutions are flexible and can be tailored to our customer needs with a choice of testing methods. We offer a comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu and our service also includes expert witness reporting where applicable.
To speak to one of our experts about hair drug testing contact email@example.com or call +44 (0) 161 741 2760. We work with companies within the medico-legal sector along with a wide range of workplaces and also private individuals.
For further information on RTS, or to arrange interviews, please contact the Randox PR team via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 9442 2413
RTS, the whistle-blower which exposed alleged data manipulation in the forensics industry, would like to highlight to our customers and clients that there is no connection between it and the now-defunct Trimega Laboratories.
Trimega went into administration in April 2014. The administrators were KPMG.
RTS purchased some laboratory equipment from KPMG and moved onto the vacant laboratory premises in Manchester. RTS did not take-over Trimega’s business or order book. In contrast to Trimega which was wholly engaged in testing for family law, RTS was significantly engaged in criminal law, only taking on a minimal number of family law cases.
A small number of former Trimega staff were employed by RTS. Two of these former Trimega workers were dismissed by RTS after the alleged data manipulation was uncovered and reported.
Since acting as whistle-blower, RTS has fully supported the police investigation. At the NPCC media briefing on November 21st 2017, the NPCC publicly acknowledged this support and said RTS was “reputable, professional and responsible.”
The authorities have concluded the prioritising of all RTS cases for re-testing, including forensic and family law, and the process is underway. RTS is managing this at appropriately accredited external laboratories and is covering the necessary costs. To date all priority one and two re-testing not resulted in any criminal case being overturned. All affected parties have been kept informed of the process.
On November 21st 2017, the UK Government revealed that an official investigation into alleged data manipulation at Trimega between 2010 – 2014 was underway.
RTS cannot comment on the scale or timetable for re-testing of family law results provided by Trimega. The government has requested that the public self-report if Trimega was involved in their case as poor record-keeping by the laboratory means the number of Trimega customers and identities may never be known.
RTS has no responsibility for any alleged data manipulation which occurred at Trimega.