RFID: Is there a chip in YOUR future?

Your Medical Records Soon to be Held Hostage?


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

 Product Labeling

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an item-tagging technology with profound societal implications. Used improperly, RFID has the potential to jeopardize consumer privacy, reduce or eliminate purchasing anonymity, and threaten civil liberties.

As organizations and individuals committed to the protection of privacy and civil liberties, we have come together to issue this statement on the deployment of RFID in the consumer environment. In the following pages, we describe the technology and its uses, define the risks, and discuss potential public policy approaches to mitigate the problems we raise.

RFID tags are tiny computer chips connected to miniature antennae that can be affixed to physical objects. In the most commonly touted applications of RFID, the microchip contains an Electronic Product Code (EPC) with sufficient capacity to provide unique identifiers for all items produced worldwide. When an RFID reader emits a radio signal, tags in the vicinity respond by transmitting their stored data to the reader. With passive (battery-less) RFID tags, read-range can vary from less than an inch to 20-30 feet, while active (self-powered) tags can have a much longer read range. Typically, the data is sent to a distributed computing system involved in, perhaps, supply chain management or inventory control.


While there are beneficial uses of RFID, some attributes of the technology could be deployed in ways that threaten privacy and civil liberties:

Hidden placement of tags. RFID tags can be embedded into/onto objects and documents without the knowledge of the individual who obtains those items. As radio waves travel easily and silently through fabric, plastic, and other materials, it is possible to read RFID tags sewn into clothing or affixed to objects contained in purses, shopping bags, suitcases, and more.

Unique identifiers for all objects worldwide. The Electronic Product Code potentially enables every object on earth to have its own unique ID. The use of unique ID numbers could lead to the creation of a global item registration system in which every physical object is identified and linked to its purchaser or owner at the point of sale or transfer.

Massive data aggregation. RFID deployment requires the creation of massive databases containing unique tag data. These records could be linked with personal identifying data, especially as computer memory and processing capacities expand.

Hidden readers. Tags can be read from a distance, not restricted to line of sight, by readers that can be incorporated invisibly into nearly any environment where human beings or items congregate. RFID readers have already been experimentally embedded into floor tiles, woven into carpeting and floor mats, hidden in doorways, and seamlessly incorporated into retail shelving and counters, making it virtually impossible for a consumer to know when or if he or she was being "scanned."

Individual tracking and profiling. If personal identity were linked with unique RFID tag numbers, individuals could be profiled and tracked without their knowledge or consent. For example, a tag embedded in a shoe could serve as a de facto identifier for the person wearing it. Even if item-level information remains generic, identifying items people wear or carry could associate them with, for example, particular events like political rallies.


Foreshadowing things to come, RFID has already been abused by the corporations most active in promoting its use.

Last year Gillette and Wal-Mart were implicated in a scheme to take close-up photographs of consumers' faces as they picked up RFID-tagged Gillette razor packages in a U.S. Wal-Mart store. Gillette has hinted at the continued use of these "smart shelves" elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad, but has refused to directly answer consumer queries on the subject.

In a similar case, RFID tags were hidden in Procter & Gamble Lipfinity lipstick on shelves in an Oklahoma Wal-Mart store last year. Customers interacted with the lipsticks, not knowing that Procter & Gamble executives had trained a webcam on the display to observe them from their offices 750 miles away.

Another scandal involved the RFID industry's flagship "future store" in Rheinberg, Germany. Over 10,000 of the store's customers (referred to as "guinea pigs"in an IBM press release) were given frequent shopper cards laced with RFID tracking devices ? without their knowledge or consent. Once the tags were discovered, customers protested outside the store, forcing it to recall the tracking cards. Despite this incident, companies like Texas Instruments, Matrics, NCR and others continue openly promoting such cards.

Another scandal involved the RFID industry's flagship "future store" in Rheinberg, Germany. Over 10,000 of the store's customers (referred to as "guinea pigs"in an IBM press release) were given frequent shopper cards laced with RFID tracking devices ? without their knowledge or consent. Once the tags were discovered, customers protested outside the store, forcing it to recall the tracking cards. Despite this incident, companies like Texas Instruments, Matrics, NCR and others continue openly promoting such cards.

The surreptitious tagging of consumer goods appears to be continuing unabated. At an industry conference this September, the authors discovered a cache of Calvin Klein, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Champion clothing labels with RFID tags concealed inside.
1 The fabric labels, designed to be sewn directly into clothing, were displayed by anti-theft company Checkpoint, which specializes in incorporating "invisible" tracking devices into consumer products at the point of manufacture.

Checkpoint plans to upgrade its reader devices -- the anti-theft doorway portals currently installed in tens of thousands of retail locations -- to serve as RFID tag readers. Obviously, having RFID readers at building entrances capable of reading the serial numbers in people's clothing could create a fairly direct route to the surveillance scenarios outlined above.

While the RFID industry has assured lawmakers and consumer groups that they are interested only in "supply side" inventory tracking on crates and pallets, the efforts of Checkpoint and other major industry players make it clear that consumer products are in their sights.

Members of the public have an absolute right to know when they are interacting with technology that could adversely affect their privacy and impact their health. Selling a pair of shoes that doubles as a tracking device without telling consumers about the RFID tag it contains is essentially a form of fraud. When a shopper buys a pair of shoes, she has a reasonable expectation that she is getting shoes, not something else.


Microchips everywhere: A future vision

By TODD LEWAN, AP National Writer Sat Jan 26, 12:16 PM ET

Here's a vision of the not-so-distant future:

AP Photo: A radio-frequency identification chip, known as RFID that can be used in many applications, such...

Microchips with antennas will be embedded in virtually everything you buy, wear, drive and read, allowing retailers and law enforcement to track consumer items ? and, by extension, consumers ? wherever they go, from a distance.

_A seamless, global network of electronic "sniffers" will scan radio tags in myriad public settings, identifying people and their tastes instantly so that customized ads, "live spam," may be beamed at them.

_In "Smart Homes," sensors built into walls, floors and appliances will inventory possessions, record eating habits, monitor medicine cabinets ? all the while, silently reporting data to marketers eager for a peek into the occupants' private lives.

Science fiction?

In truth, much of the radio frequency identification technology that enables objects and people to be tagged and tracked wirelessly already exists ? and new and potentially intrusive uses of it are being patented, perfected and deployed.

Some of the world's largest corporations are vested in the success of RFID technology, which couples highly miniaturized computers with radio antennas to broadcast information about sales and buyers to company databases.

Already, microchips are turning up in some computer printers, car keys and tires, on shampoo bottles and department store clothing tags. They're also in library books and "contactless" payment cards (such as American Express' "Blue" and ExxonMobil's "Speedpass.")



RFID: The Big Brother Bar Code
By Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre
CASPIAN Consumer Privacy

"The privacy impact of letting manufacturers and stores put RFID chips in the clothes, groceries, and everything else you buy is enormous."

- California State Senator Debra Bowen
  Statement issued February 2004

"?the RFID train is beginning to leave the station, and now is the right time to begin a national discussion about where, if at all, any lines will be drawn to protect privacy rights."

- Senator Patrick Leahy, Speech at Georgetown University Law Center
March 23, 2004



part2.05070509.00020202@tneagleforumThe VeriChip is a glass-encapsulated RFID microchip designed for implantation in the human body. It is sold and marketed by VeriChip Corporation of Delray Beach, Florida.

? Microchipping people as if they were dogs or laboratory animals is dehumanizing. It violates their physical integrity and their dignity.

? Chipping is an invasive procedure that carries significant health risks. The FDA has identified numerous health risks associated with the VeriChip implant.

? It is unethical to use Alzheimer's patients as research subjects for this type of invasive medical research.

? Chipping should never be done without the full, informed consent of a cognitively intact adult patient.

? Alzheimer's patients are not able to provide informed consent due to the nature of their illness and thus should not be chipped

? Injecting an implant into another person's flesh without that person's full consent is as violent and invasive as rape.

? For millions of people around the globe, receiving a numbered mark is associated with one of the most serious religious violations a person can commit.

? VeriChip implants are unnecessary. The MedicAlert bracelet, with over 50 years of proven use, is an inexpensive, non-invasive, and widely accepted way to identify Alzheimer's patients and their medical conditions, with none of the problems associated with a risky and societally irresponsible implant. MedicAlert and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America offer a bracelet specifically designed for Alzheimer's patients. For details, see: http://www.medicalert.com/AFA/



If you do not believe the threat of involuntary microchipping is real, please take a moment to read over the following disquieting developments. Taken together, they reveal a focused effort to promote human microchipping. The time to nip this trend in the bud is now.

? In 2005, VeriChip tried to chip the residents of Orange Grove Center, a facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that cares for the developmentally disabled. VeriChip offered to inject the devices for free to promote its product, but was ultimately rebuffed when the public questioned whether it was ethical to chip people who could not give informed consent. [1]

? Also in 2005, Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services and 2008 presidential candidate, joined the board of directors for the VeriChip Corporation. He has used his Bush administration connections to promote the device, and has appeared on national television suggesting that every American should receive a VeriChip implant to link to their electronic medical records. Thompson also suggested using the VeriChip to replace dog tags in our armed forces. [2]

? The VeriChip Corporation claims to have been in talks with the Pentagon about implanting RFID tags into military personnel. [4]

? VeriChip CEO Scott Silverman publicly suggested that the U.S. government adopt the VeriChip implant to tag and track legal immigrants and guest workers. [Note: It is unclear to us how chipping documented immigrants will solve the problem of illegal immigration.] [5]

? The Congressional Record shows that Colombian President ?lvaro Uribe told Senator Arlen Specter that he would consider chipping guest workers before allowing them to leave Colombia for the United States. [6]

? During the September 2005 Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice John Roberts, Senator Joseph Biden commented, "Can a microscopic tag be implanted in a person's body to track his every movement? There's actual discussion about that. You will rule on that ? mark my words ? before your tenure is over." [7]

? In 2004, employees of the Mexican Attorney General's office were asked to receive a chip implant to access a secure document room. Eighteen were actually chipped, and those who refused were reportedly reassigned. [8]

? In 2006, two employees of CityWatcher, a Cincinnati, Ohio, video surveillance company were implanted with VeriChips to access a secure room. While the company reportedly did not require the workers to get chipped, the incident worried employees around the country. Could employers make taking a chip a condition for employment? [9]

? New Jersey's oldest and largest insurer, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is currently working with the Hackensack Regional Medical Center and VeriChip to develop a business case for the chipping of people. Privacy and civil liberties advocates caution that insurers could one day require customers to get chipped, or they could offer significant premium penalties for those who refuse. [10]

? IBM holds a major stake in the VeriChip Corporation. IBM has sworn public documents on file at the United States Patent and Trademark office detailing how marketers and government agents can track humans with RFID technology. [12][13]

? IBM and VeriChip have set up a test laboratory in Austin, Texas, to explore the case for human chipping. [14]

? Since the VeriChip Corporation recently took its stock public, it's under increasing pressure from its shareholders to generate revenues. VeriChip has announced plans to devote $8 to $10 million of its IPO proceeds to promote the chipping of people. [15] At a recent Florida Marlins baseball game, VeriChip purchased a prominent billboard reading "Microchip Implants Save Live." Hundreds of thousands of people were exposed to this message and likely believed it, despite the fact that no one's life has been saved by an implanted microchip. No mention was made of the serious potential health downsides of the implant. [16]

? Other companies that offer implant technology to identify and track lab rats, cattle, and pets could follow the pattern of the VeriChip Corporation and begin promoting human identification and tracking. One such company, Somark, has developed "chipless" RFID that can be injected into skin like a tattoo to track animals from a distance through radio waves. The company has suggested its product would be ideal for tracking members of the military. [17]


About this document: A version of this document was first submitted as testimony to the Oklahoma Senate Committee on Health & Human Services in support of Oklahoma Senate Bill 47, "Prohibiting the Forced Implantation of a Microchip." The authors are Liz McIntyre and Dr. Katherine Albrecht, CASPIAN Consumer Advocates and Co-authors of the "Spychips" series of books on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). All rights reserved.


1. Emily Berry, "Chips Spark Ethics Concerns," Chattanooga Free Press, 4 November 2005, available at available at http://www.cephas-library.com/nwo/nwo_chips_spark_ethics _concerns.html , accessed 6 February 2007.

2. Katherine Albrecht, "Transcript of Interview with Tommy Thompson Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services," 11 July 2005, available at http://www.spychips.com/devices/tommythompsonverichip.html .

3. Katherine Skiba, "Bid for president called a long shot, Thompson launches PAC, considers run for White House," JSOnline, 14 October 2006, available at http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=519075 , accessed 6 February 2007.

4. David Francis and Bill Myers, "Company Trying to Get Under Soldiers' Skin," Examiner.com, 21 August 2006, available at http://www.examiner.com/a-232630~Company_trying_to_get _under_soldiers__skin.html?setEdition=Miami , accessed 6 February 2007.

5. Fox News, "Transcript of the Fox & Friends interview with Scott Silverman, Chairman of the Board of VeriChip Corporation," 16 May 2006, available at http://www.spychips.com/press-releases/silverman-foxnews.html , accessed 6 February 2007.

6. Associated press, "Report: Colombian President Would Consider Immigrant Tracking With Microchips," FoxNews.com, 4 May 2006, available at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,194337,00.html , accessed 6 February 2007.

7. WashingtonPost.com, "Transcript: Day One of the Roberts Hearings," 13 September 2005, available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09 /13 /AR2005091300693.html, accessed 6 February 2006.

8. Will Weissert, "Microchips Implanted in Mexican Officials," MSNBC, 14 July 2004, available at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5439055/, accessed 6 February 2007.

9. Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre, "Two U.S. Employees Injected with RFID Microchips at Company Request," Spychips.com, 9 February 2006, available at http://www.spychips.com/press-releases/us-employees-verichipped .html , accessed 6 February 2007.

10. M.L. Baker, "Insurers Study Implanting RFID Chips in Patients," eWeek.com, 19 July 2006, available at http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1991150,00.asp , accessed 7 February 2007.

12. John R. Hind et al, "Identification and Tracking of Persons Using RFID-tagged Items," US Patent Application # 20020165758, assigned to IBM. Filed 3 May 2001.

13. Hind et al, "Identification and Tracking of Persons Using RFID-tagged Items in Store Environments," US Patent # 7,076,441, assigned to IBM, filed on 3 May 2001, granted 11 July 2004.

14. Health Data Management, "VeriChip, IBM Demonstrate RFID Tech," 12 September 2005, available at http://www.healthdatamanagement.com/portals/article.cfm?type =mobile_tech&articleId=12531 , accessed 6 February 2007.

15. VeriChip Corporation, "Amendment No. 6 to FORM S-1 REGISTRATION STATEMENT under The Securities Act of 1933," 22 January 2007, available at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1347022/000119312507 009620/ds1a.htm , accessed 6 February 2007.

16. To view the television coverage of the Marlins game, including the advertisement banner, see: http://www.truthcastnetwork.com/marlins.htm

17. David E. Gumpert, "Privacy Controversy Dogs RFID Startup, How can a company that makes radio frequency identification ink for use on animals and humans head off bloggers' criticism?," BusinessWeek.com, 25 January 2007, available at http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jan2007/sb20070125_543288.htm?

18. Introduced by Wisconsin Representative Marvin D. Schneider, "2005 Assembly Bill 290 enacted as 2005 Wisconsin Act 482," enacted 30 May 2006, available at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2005/data/acts/05Act482.pdf .


? Adverse Tissue Reaction

? Migration of Implanted Transponder

? Compromised Information Security

? Failure of Implanted Transponder

? Failure of Inserter

? Failure of Electronic Scanner

? Electromagnetic Interference

? Electrical Hazards

? Magnetic Resonance (MRI) Imaging Incompatibility

? Needle Stick

(actual screen capture from VeriChip reseller website)


Think it's completely safe to inject an RFID transponder into the flesh of an elderly loved one?

Think again.

Although the FDA approved the VeriChip implant as a medical device in October of 2004, their approval does not mean the device is completely safe. We have obtained an FDA letter that outlines a number of potential health risks associated with the device.

Among the potential problems the FDA identifies are: "adverse tissue reaction," "migration of the implanted transponder," "failure of implanted transponder," "electrical hazards" and "magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] incompatibilty." Not to mention the nasty needle stick from the "inserter" used to inject it. (The FDA lists "failure of inserter" -- a bloody possiblity we'd rather not contemplate -- among the risks.)

To read the FDA's letter for yourself, download the PDF and refer to Page 3, Paragraph 2.


Of the numerous risks listed, MRI incompatibility is perhaps the most serious. An MRI machine uses powerful magnetic fields coupled with pulsed radio frequency (RF) fields. According to the FDA's Primer on Medical Device Interactions with Magnetic Resonance Imaging Systems, "electrical currents may be induced in conductive metal implants" that can cause "potentially severe patient burns."

Presumably, VeriChip-MRI incompatibility means that doctors will be unable to order this potentially life-saving diagnostic procedure for patients with VeriChip implants, unless the patient undergoes a surgical procedure to remove the VeriChip first.

The VeriChip's problems don't stop there, says RFID experts Dr. Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre. McIntyre, who is also a former bank examiner and financial writer, has carefully analyzed the company's SEC registration statement and associated chipping information and discovered serious flaws. It turns out the company's own literature indicates that chipped patients cannot undergo an MRI if they're unconscious. What's more, the company admits that critical medical information linked to the chip could be unavailable in a real emergency.

The instructions provided to medical personnel warn that chipped patients should not undergo an MRI unless they are fully alert and able to communicate any "unusual sensations or problems," like movement or heating of the implant. This conflicts with the company's efforts to promote the device to people who cannot speak for themselves, such as Alzheimer's patients, those with dementia, the mentally disabled, and people who are concerned about entering an emergency room unconscious.

Ironically, chipped patients may have to wear a Medic Alert bracelet or bear some obvious marking so they aren't mistakenly put in an MRI machine.


Patients may also need a MedicAlert bracelet as a backup in case the VeriChip database containing their critical medical information is unavailable. The fine print on the back of the VeriChip Patient Registration Form warns implantees that "the Company does not warrant...that the website will be available at any particular time," and physicians are told the product might not function in places where there are ambient radio transmissions--like ambulances.

By signing the chipping agreement, the patient agrees not to hold VeriChip Corporation liable for any damages from any cause whatsoever, even if those damages stem from the company's breach of contract or negligence.

In addition, patients are required to waive any claims related to the product's "merchantability and fitness." The waiver paragraph as it appears on the form is reprinted below:

"Patient...is fully aware of any risks, complications, risks of loss, damage of any nature, and injury that may be associated with this registration. Patient waives all claims and releases any liability arising from this registration and acknowledges that no warranties of any kind have been made or will be made with respect to this registration. ALL WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, HOWEVER ARISING, WHETHER BY OPERATION OF LAW OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MECHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXCLUDED AND WAIVED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COMPANY BE LIABLE TO PATIENT FOR ANY INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST INCOME OR SAVINGS) ARISING FROM ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THEIR POSSIBILITY, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH DAMAGES ARE SOUGHT BASED ON BREACH OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY." [Emphasis in the original.]

That's quite a lot of potential harm for something supposedly designed to help patients.


If you're looking for a secure, non-invasive way to alert medical professionals to the health history and identity of a loved one, we recommend the Medic Alert bracelet as a safe alternative to the VeriChip. Given MedicAlert's 50+ year track record, emergency health providers, as well as police and safety officials, know to look for it. It costs far less than the VeriChip and has none of the serious health risks associated with implanted microchips.

MedicAlert recently partnered with the Alzheimer's Foundation of America to offer a special MedicAlert program designed specifically for Alzheimer's patients. MedicAlert's website explains that:

MedicAlert and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) have formed a strategic alliance to assist individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in emergency situations, including promoting a MedicAlert identification bracelet with a color coded symbol.

part7.08020503.01090409@tneagleforumThe special teal-colored MedicAlert identification bracelet is the color of Alzheimer's disease and will denote that an individual has the brain disorder. In case of an emergency, the emblem alerts medical professionals or public safety officers to call the MedicAlert 24-hour Emergency Response Center to receive identification and further medical information of the individual.

A MedicAlert membership is critical for individuals with Alzheimer's disease since they may wander off and be unable to express who they are or where they live. MedicAlert will speak for them if they are unable to speak for themselves. -Source: MedicAlert website http://www.medicalert.com/AFA/

If you're looking for a secure, non-invasive way to alert medical professionals to your health history, we recommend the
MedicAlert bracelet as a safe alternative to the VeriChip. Given the MedicAlert's 50+ year track record, all emergency health providers know to look for it. It costs far less and has none of the serious health risks associated with an implanted computer chip.




By Liz McIntyre & Katherine Albrecht

March 10, 2007

The top brass at American Express, chagrined at the discovery of its people tracking plans, met with CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering) last week to discuss the issue. One outcome of the meeting was a promise by American Express to review its entire patent portfolio and ensure that any people-tracking plans be accompanied by language requiring consumer notice and consent.

The meeting was organized after CASPIAN called attention to one of the company's more troublesome patent applications. That patent application, titled "Method and System for Facilitating a Shopping Experience," describes a Minority Report style blueprint for monitoring consumers through RFID-enabled objects, like the American Express Blue Card.

According to the patent, RFID readers called "consumer trackers" would be placed in store shelving to pick up "consumer identification signals" emitted by RFID-embedded objects carried by shoppers. These would be used to identify people, track their movements, and observe their behavior.

The patent also suggested such people-tracking systems could "be located in a common area of a school, shopping center, bus station or other place of public accommodation."



Barcoding humans

Boston Globe Online / Health | Science / Barcoding humans

The era of implanting people with identity chips is up on us

By Angela Swafford, Globe Correspondent, 5/20/2003

The painless procedure barely lasted 15 minutes. In his South Florida office, Dr. Harvey Kleiner applied a local anesthetic above the tricep of my right arm, then he inserted a thick needle deep under the skin.

'First we locate a prime spot,' he said. 'The next thing is to release the button that triggers the injection mechanism, and that's it, the cargo's been delivered.'

The 'cargo' was a half-inch-long microchip inside a glass and silicone cylinder that carries my permanent identification number. For an instant, I remembered the famous scene in the movie 'Fantastic Voyage' in which a miniaturized Raquel Welch and her companions are inserted, submarine and all, into the vein of a patient. In my case, the tiny chip inside me can transmit personal information to anyone with a special handheld scanner.

Theoretically, this VeriChip will allow doctors to call up my medical records even if I'm too badly hurt to answer questions. It is also supposed to allow me to get money from an automatic teller machine by flashing my arm instead of punching in my PIN number. Or reassure airport security that I am a journalist, not a terrorist.

And, though the VeriChip strikes critics as Orwellian, its makers think the surgically implanted IDs could be the Social Security numbers of the future in a nervous world.

'I believe the day will come when most of us will have something similar to the VeriChip under our skin,' said Scott Silverman, president of Florida-based Applied Digital Solutions. 'People will regard that its benefits -- in terms of financial, security, and health care -- far outweigh the possibility of loss of privacy.'



November 19, 20007
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.
See: http://www.spychips.com