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The Government Chemist Laboratory is the “Legal Referral Laboratory”. It is a quasi independent unit: an Executive Agency - a semi-autonomous commercially oriented Agency. As an Executive Agency, the Laboratory better meets the requirements of its customers and the public in general.
It was established in 1895 under the Ministry of Health during the Germany Colonial era as a centre of research for tropical diseases, particularly malaria and tuberculosis. In 1986 the Government Chemist Laboratory became one of the Departments of Ministry of Health. Prior to that time it was reporting to the Directorate of Hospital Services in the Ministry of Health.
The first Chief Government Chemist was Mr. Gustav Giemsa, a German, who developed a stain for identification of malaria parasites in the blood smear. This made it possible to perform malaria test
GCLA is located along Luthuli / Ocean Road, near Ocean Road Cancer Research Institute, Dar es Salaam.
The GCLA also oversees the implementation of the Industrial and Consumer (Management and control) Act no 3 of 2003.