Monday, September 10, 2007

Are Microchips really safe for your pet?

Today I read an Associated Press article stating studies dating back to the 1990's showed that microchip implants cause malignant tumors, in animals and lab rats, but neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this.

The article states: Although the government approved the use of microchips in humans in 2005, the Associated Press reports that studies dating back to the mid-1990s showed they "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats. But neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this. The transponders were the cause of the tumors," said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining in a phone interview the findings of a 1996 study he led at the Dow Chemical Co. In Midland, Mich. Leading cancer specialists reviewed the research for The Associated Press and, while cautioning that animal test results do not necessarily apply to humans, said the findings troubled them. Some said they would not allow family members to receive implants, and all urged further research before the glass-encased transponders are widely implanted in people.

The article goes on to state that to date, about 2,000 of the so-called radio frequency identification, or RFID, devices have been implanted in humans and thousands more implanted in pets and animals. The FDA declined repeated AP requests to specify what studies it reviewed.The FDA is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, which, at the time of VeriChip's approval, was headed by Tommy Thompson. 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.Thompson, until recently a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, says he had no personal relationship with the company as the VeriChip was being evaluated, nor did he play any role in FDA's approval process of the RFID tag."I didn't even know VeriChip before I stepped down from the Department of Health and Human Services," he said in a telephone interview.

Also making no mention of the findings on animal tumors was a June report by the ethics committee of the American Medical Association, which touted the benefits of implantable RFID devices.Had committee members reviewed the literature on cancer in chipped animals? No, said Dr. Steven Stack, an AMA board member with knowledge of the committee's review.

I know hundreds of breeders have microchips implanted in their AKC animals. I have never had microchips put in any of my dogs. Quite frankly I just couldn't subject my dogs to it and made that decision after I saw a puppy receive an implant. Everyone has their own opinion and I am sure this is a subject that will bring upon heated debates as to the the pros and cons. To me, first and foremost is the dogs safety, health and well-being. That goes without saying. I have to wonder why the implants were approved or continued to receive FDA and AMA approval even after the finding of the malignant tumors. Kind of scary don't you think?

If you are considering having one of your pets microchipped, please read the full Associated Press Article, (I have included the link.) Your pet put's it faith in you and you owe it to your pet to be educated and well informed when it comes to making decisions that could impact your pets health.

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