Sets record straight after misleading claims by HomeAgain and VeriChip implant manufacturers
A new paper titled “Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990–2006” has been released today by CASPIAN. The full, 48-page paper provides a definitive review of the academic literature showing a causal link between implanted radio-frequency (RFID) microchip transponders and cancer in laboratory rodents and dogs. In addition, a brief, four-page synopsis of the full report is being made available.
Eleven articles previously published in toxicology and pathology journals are evaluated in the report. In six of the articles, between 0.8% and 10.2% of laboratory mice and rats developed malignant tumors around or adjacent to the microchips, and several researchers suggested the actual tumor rate may have been higher. Two additional articles reported microchip-related cancer in dogs.
In almost all cases, the malignant tumors, typically sarcomas, arose at the site of the implants and grew to surround and fully encase the devices. In several cases the tumors also metastasized or spread to other parts of the animals.
Public revelation of a casual link between microchipping and cancer in animals has prompted widespread public concern over the safety of implantable microchips. The story was first broken to the public in September through an article written by Associated Press Reporter Todd Lewan. Prior to the AP story, the journal articles were completely unknown outside of small academic circles.
“The AP did a superb job informing the public of the existence of these journal articles,” said Dr. Katherine Albrecht, a leading privacy expert and long-time VeriChip opponent who authored the new paper. “Unfortunately,” Dr. Albrecht added, “a lot of misinformation about the cancer research has circulated since Mr. Lewan’s article was published. I wrote the report to set the record straight.”
The animal-microchip study findings were so compelling that one of Mr. Lewan’s sources, Dr. Robert Benezra, head of the Cancer Biology Genetics Program at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, was quoted as saying, “There’s no way in the world, having read this information, that I would have one of those chips implanted in my skin, or in one of my family members.”
Nevertheless, representatives of the chipping industry have made inaccurate public statements about the research findings in an effort to confuse the public.
Scott Silverman, CEO of the VeriChip Corporation which makes the controversial VeriChip human implant, recently provided inaccurate information to Time Magazine. Mr. Silverman is quoted as saying that none of the tumors found in mice in a 2006 French study were malignant. In fact, not only were the tumors malignant sarcomas, but most of the afflicted animals died prematurely as a result of the microchip-associated tumors.
In addition, Destron Fearing, makers of the HomeAgain pet implant, dismissed a finding of fibrosarcoma–a highly lethal cancer–as ‘benign’ in a recent report.
A fibrosarcoma is a type of sarcoma, a malignant tumor of soft tissue that connects, supports or surrounds other structures and organs of the body. Dr. Timothy Jennings, an expert on implant-induced cancers in humans, said he was “not aware of any nosology incorporating an entity of ‘benign fibrosarcoma'” and agreed that “any tumor classified as sarcoma should be viewed as malignant.”
“Either VeriChip and the makers of HomeAgain actually don’t understand the difference between a benign fibroma and a malignant fibrosarcoma,” noted Dr. Albrecht, “or they’re deliberately lying to the public. Either way, it’s clear they can’t be trusted. We hope our new report will set the record straight.”
The report includes a one- to three-page writeup on each of the original studies. In addition to a detailed review of the academic literature, the report contains recommendations for patients, pet owners, veterinarians, and policy makers, including the following: (1) Further microchipping of humans should be immediately discontinued; (2) Implanted patients should be informed in writing of the research findings and offered a procedure for microchip removal; and (3) Policy makers should reverse all animal microchipping mandates.
As part of its public awareness campaign, CASPIAN will be issuing copies of the new report to leading policy and decision makers.
The full 48-page report and four-page synopsis are also immediately available for public download at http://www.antichips.com/cancer/
CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) is a grass-roots consumer group fighting retail surveillance schemes since 1999 and irresponsible RFID use since 2002. With thousands of members in all 50 U.S. states and over 30 countries worldwide, CASPIAN seeks to educate consumers about marketing strategies that invade their privacy and encourage privacy-conscious shopping habits across the retail spectrum.
Dr. Katherine Albrecht
Founder and Director, CASPIAN Consumer Privacy
Host of “Uncovering the Truth”
We the People Radio Network, M-F 10AM-12PM EST
Listen live: http://www.wtprn.com
Co-author of “SPYCHIPS: How Major Corporations and Government
Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID”
Bio online at: http://www.spychips.com/media/katherine-albrecht.html
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2007