KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Get That Chip Off (or Out of) Your Shoulder

RFID chip (AP photo by Steve Mitchell)People with diabetes and others with dementia have had radio frequency identification (RFID) chips implanted because their physicians told them that the chips could save their lives by letting physicians scan the chips to have instant access to their medical records. And lots of animal shelters won't let you adopt a dog or cat with getting the animal chipped, so that if the animal is lost or stolen, it can be traced.

But guess what? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved their use in 2005 even though there were studies as far back as 1996 showing that the tiny chips cause cancer.

Why? Because the pervasive Bushco corruption was in play. The studies with frightening findings supposedly weren't presented to the FDA. This story implicates Tommy Thompson, former secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) when the FDA, which is overseen by HHS, approved the use of the VeriChip microchip:
Two weeks after the device's approval took effect on Jan. 10, 2005, Thompson left his Cabinet post, and within five months was a board member of VeriChip Corp. and Applied Digital Solutions. He was compensated in cash and stock options.

Because I'm a medical copyeditor, I've always thought that implantation of any foreign body into humans or animals should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, so I've never wanted to have my cats chipped. On its web site, VeriChip even touts "infant protection" as a good reason for having your babies chipped. Yikes!

Unfortunately, my in-laws have had their dog chipped. They won't be happy to find out about this newly exposed research when they get back from vacation in about a week.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, without a microchip we'd never have been able to bring Bailey over here (in which case we would not have come). It was due to that technology that Britain relaxed its quarentine laws a few years ago.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Bailey wouldn't have been allowed to be quarantined for a while?

andi said...

Katharine you might be more credible if didn't lead with your politics. The AP piece doesn't even cite any of these so-called studies, it is irresponsible reporting.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Andi, the piece does discuss the studies involved. Did you read to the end of the article? If not, here is the pertinent portion:

Published in veterinary and toxicology journals between 1996 and 2006, the studies found that lab mice and rats injected with microchips sometimes developed subcutaneous "sarcomas"—malignant tumors, most of them encasing the implants.

_ A 1998 study in Ridgefield, Conn., of 177 mice reported cancer incidence to be slightly higher than 10 percent—a result the researchers described as "surprising."

_ A 2006 study in France detected tumors in 4.1 percent of 1,260 microchipped mice. This was one of six studies in which the scientists did not set out to find microchip-induced cancer but noticed the growths incidentally. They were testing compounds on behalf of chemical and pharmaceutical companies; but they ruled out the compounds as the tumors' cause. Because researchers only noted the most obvious tumors, the French study said, "These incidences may therefore slightly underestimate the true occurrence" of cancer.

_ In 1997, a study in Germany found cancers in 1 percent of 4,279 chipped mice. The tumors "are clearly due to the implanted microchips," the authors wrote.

andi said...

Discussing a "study" and mentioning a city or country is not a citation. The context is dubious and the article seems agenda driven. Your own agenda Katherine is obvious.

But worse yet they link to the crackpot group antichips.com. No credibility.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

As a medical copyeditor, I am fully aware of the difference between citations and discussions; that is why I did not use the word citations in my earlier response.

I do not claim, on this blog, to have no agendas. My blog is not a newspaper with journalistic reporting; it is a venue for discussing topics of interest.

My agenda, regarding implanted microchips, is getting people to think before they okay the implantation of chips in themselves or family members or in animals.

Stephanie E. said...

All of our tendency-to-run-off animals are chipped--and all the dogs had already been chipped by their respective rescues when we got them--but I must admit that this post does give me pause. I'll have to read up on this when I have more time. Thanks for raising the subject!

The number of health studies that are withheld from the public and deceptions that are allowed to be held out as truths because of big-business interests is disturbing, so I don't dismiss this possibility. Again, I plan to read up on this later.

This reminds me of the U.S. government's policy of promoting, glorifying, and even covering up the health risks of animal agriculture and an animal-based diet, despite all the clear studies indicating how much Americans' health is at risk because of their heavy intake of meat & dairy and how disastrous animal agriculture is to the environment, or of their refusal to apply truth-in-advertising laws to the industry, such as with the California happy cows campaign--where the California court's explanation was that public and governmental entities aren't subject to false advertising suits because it would interfere with business and their ability to "promote [their] economy." Yikes. Disturbing reasoning.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

I agree, Stephanie, that the government covers up the health risks of an animal-based diet. Even health-care providers who know better are reluctant to advise people to become vegetarians or vegans. My nutritionist, when I first consulted her, didn't advise me to become a vegetarian or vegan; she said to switch to a "heavily plant-based diet" and to avoid most dairy foods. But I'm sure that she knows that a vegetarian/vegan diet is much healthier than the mainstream American diet.

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