by Katherine Albrecht
ABOUT THE REPORT
CASPIAN's new report, "Microchip Implants: Answers to
Frequently Asked Questions," is a comprehensive
reference guide to implantable microchips in animals and
humans. It provides thoroughly-researched, footnoted
answers to 85 of the most commonly asked questions about
the implantable microchip, including religious, privacy,
social, and health questions. The report concludes with
a list of recommendations for patients, pet owners, and
policy makers affected by the device.
The new report is available for free download on the
While on the website, readers are encouraged to download
Dr. Albrecht's comprehensive 52-page overview of the
studies, "Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents
and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990-2006," and to
review scanned copies of the original documents.
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
Opponents of the VeriChip implant
are launching a new offensive against the controversial human
microchip this week, amid reports that VeriChip plans to put its
chipping division on the auction block.
A new report titled
"Microchip Implants: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions" released
today by CASPIAN Consumer Privacy reveals dirty laundry the
company would probably rather keep hidden as it seeks a buyer for
its beleaguered product.
The 42-page report was authored by CASPIAN director Dr. Katherine
Albrecht, a Harvard-educated privacy expert and long-time critic
of the VeriChip. The highlight of the report is an eleven-page
section titled "Cancer Cover-up" that describes a systematic pattern
of lies and deception engaged by VeriChip executives in an effort to
downplay the fact that implantable microchips cause cancer in
The report reveals how news outlets like Time Magazine,
Business Week, and the RFID Journal were used as
unwitting pawns in a VeriChip scheme to spread misinformation about
the cancer studies.
Since research linking the product to
cancer first surfaced last year, each of these publications has
repeated misstatements from VeriChip company executives, in many
cases printing the inaccurate statements verbatim and unchallenged.
"These were not subjective issues,
they were plainly verifiable issues of fact," Albrecht said. "We
were saddened to see the misstatements fall through the
fact-checking cracks of these respected publications. Now that
VeriChip is back in the headlines, we felt it was time to set
the record straight."
VeriChip's media efforts have done
little to salvage the company's public image or its financial
performance, both of which plummeted after research linking the
implantable microchip to cancer was widely revealed by the
Associated Press in September 2007.
The same company that once
predicted revenues in the "billions" earned just $3,000 from its
microchip implant operations in the first quarter of 2008, as
patients shun the device that many are now calling the "cancer
Investors have also distanced themselves from the failing company,
with VeriChip's stock plummeting from a high of $10.62 last year to
just over $2.00 today.
VeriChip's VP of business development, Jay McKeage,
acknowledged the implant division suffers from "a substantial cash
burn" and is "not sustainable on its own." As a result, he says,
VeriChip plans to "shop the VeriMed/Health Link [human
implantable chip] business around widely" in hopes that another
company will take the unpopular product off its hands.
However, with recent blog headlines like "VeriChip Death Watch"
making the rounds, Albrecht has a hard time imagining who, if
anyone, will want to buy the business.
"This is a company that has engaged
in a consistent pattern of making false and misleading
statements," she said. "It has lied to the public, to the media,
to its shareholders, and to regulatory agencies," she said,
citing additional evidence from the report indicating that
VeriChip hid cancer evidence from the FDA when the agency
reviewed the implant's safety in 2004.
"We laid out all the evidence in our report," she added. "We
want to make sure no one else gets burned by VeriChip."