September 8, 2007

French Bulldog is Catalyst for Investigation of Microchip-Cancer Connection

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French Bulldog Léon
(Léon's photograph has been reproduced with the permission of the owner)

Could a microchip implant like the VeriChip cause cancer? A French Bulldog named Léon was the catalyst for new questions about the safety of RFID implants.

One year ago, Léon's owner contacted me with startling news. She believed that her dog's cancerous tumor and his untimely death might have been caused by a microchip implant.

This was not just idle talk by a grieving dog owner grasping at straws to figure out why she had been robbed of her constant companion. This was a gutsy lady who refused to allow the vet to simply cremate the evidence.

This lady prefers to be known only by her first name of "Jeanne," so the Associated Press couldn't credit her properly as the original source for some of the explosive information in its article "Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumors," but I have the leeway in this forum to share the behind-the-scenes story.

Jeanne spent a small fortune trying to cure her ailing French bulldog, Léon, after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. When medical interventions failed and Léon passed away, she decided to hunt for the reason the fatal tumor in his body was attached to the glass-encapsulated microchip that had been injected into his neck for identification purposes.

Jeanne located a team of researchers in Italy who agreed to test tissue samples from a biopsy of Léon's tumor to determine if the microchip was implicated in his aggressive cancer. They documented their findings in a 2006 paper entitled, “Fibrosarcoma with Typical Features of Postinjection Sarcoma at Site of Microchip Implant in a Dog: Histologic and Immunohistochemical Study.” The full text is available online at: http://www.vetpathology.org/cgi/content/full/43/4/545.

Since Léon's suspicious cancer was not enough evidence to prove microchip implants were a threat, Jeanne decided to search for other proof of a link. She unearthed scholarly animal studies documenting a possible chip-cancer link and posted several of these at the website that she formed as a tribute to Léon:

http://www.noble-leon.com/resourcesAdvanced

Jeanne informed us of this research and even faxed us copies of these studies as they were difficult to obtain. Fortunately, my Spychips co-author Dr. Katherine Albrecht had access to the Harvard library and was able to take Jeanne's work further, analyzing additional studies that seemed to support a cancer-microchip link in animals.

Sometime later, AP Reporter Todd Lewan entered the picture, eager for an exclusive. He used his press credentials to gain further information, tie up the story with a perfect, documented bow, and broadcast it to media outlets around the world. He and Katherine tirelessly pursued the truth that you can now find published in the explosive AP story.

I promised Jeanne that Katherine and I would share the whole story, and that Léon would be remembered for his contribution. Here's to you, Jeanne and Léon! I'm so sorry it took tragedy for this information to be brought to light. I applaud your tenacity, bravery, and amazing research skills.

- Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 2:08 PM | Comments (13)

February 20, 2007

RFID Gazette Names 25 Top Influencers in RFID Industry

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RFID Gazette lobs a stinging backhand to VeriChip Corporation in its new list of the 25 Top Influencers in the RFID Industry. The publication names VeriChip CEO Scott Silverman to its number one influencer spot, yet calls him "scary." The Gazette also strongly suggests investors do a double take before buying "CHIP" stock:

"Implanted with an RFID device (supposedly), Silverman has become the poster boy for RFID implantation (tagging) while trying to nudge top government officials into implanting his company's products into immigrants, babies, soldiers, and patients. Before you make contact with this company, you might glance through the nearly 20 pages of risk factors recently published in VeriChip's Form S-1 Registration Statement (CHIP), a requirement mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You'll discover why investors haven't jumped on this IPO or on the idea of tagging in general (52-week range over a three-month period to date = $5.67 - $6.99 per share, although VeriChip initially set the price at $6.50-$8.50 per share)."

DHS head Michael Chertoff takes spot two on the Gazette's Top 25 list, and CASPIAN's Dr. Katherine Albrecht and I are pegged at numbers 3 and 4.

See the whole story here: http://www.rfidgazette.org/2007/02/25_top_influenc.html

- Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 6:14 PM | Comments (2)

February 15, 2007

RFID Journal Calls VeriChip Implant "unnecessary and a little creepy"

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The RFID brethren have kicked into self preservation mode because VeriChip Corporation's embarassing IPO launch is making them look bad. Shares of the human ID implant company began trading as "CHIP" on the NASDAQ last Friday at the low end of the expected range and went downhill from there as investors examined the company's tenuous business model.

RFID Journal is doing its best to distance the RFID industry from the stock fiasco, even calling VeriChip's human implant "unnecessary and a little creepy."

In his commentary titled "VeriChip IPO Focuses Attention on Human Implants," RFID Journal Editor Mark Roberti distinguishes "mainstream" RFID companies from the tainted human chipper by drawing the line where RFID devices are inserted into flesh. He doesn't take VeriChip to task for identifying and monitoring people through RFID. Rather, he objects to the visceral nature of the implanted product and the waves of squeamishness it evokes.

"[N]ot everyone likes the idea of getting implanted. It's the stuff of TV dramas, and it scares people, " says Roberti. "My view is that a pendant with an RFID transponder in it could work just as well."

Once he makes the distinction (RFID neckware is cool, implanted chips aren't), Roberti laments, "VeriChip's initial public offering... has had a chilling effect on some people's attitude toward RFID."

He goes on to criticize the media for recent negative press that reflects badly on the spychip industry overall. Headlines like "Implantable RFID May Be Easy, But That Doesn't Mean It's Ethical," "'Spychip' Corporation Hides Implant Risks in Stock Offering," and "RFID Chips Getting Under Few People's Skin" obviously haven't been sitting well with the Journal's advertisers.

"I don't know if VeriChip is a good or a bad investment. I don't know if getting a chip under your skin is a good or bad idea," Roberti expounds, wagging his pen in defense of his corporate sponsors. "But I do know that the undue media attention focused on this one company offering a niche application of RFID is having a negative impact on the public perception of RFID. That's unfortunate, because so few people, so far, have chosen to 'get chipped.'"

For more of Roberti's take on this IPO injustice, see:
http://www.rfidjournal.com/privacy/entry/3045

- Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 11:45 PM | Comments (1)

November 15, 2006

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Many thanks to Essex County College in Newark, NJ, for having me share information about the RFID threat with faculty, students, and the community at large in two presentations on Monday! Special thanks to Essex County College’s Student Life & Activities, Legal Assistant Studies & Criminal Justice programs, Dr. Linda McDonald Carter, Dr. Patrice Davis, Patt Slade and Shirley Rice for making the events possible.

Thanks also to Bob Pickett, attorney and host of Kiss FM's top-rated talk shows "Open Line" and "Week in Review" for making a special introduction at the evening program.

This college is an amazing oasis in the city of Newark, and it's full of dedicated faculty, staff and students. The campus is immaculate and the facilities are outstanding. This school brings in incredible programs and nationally recognized speakers like human rights activist Enrique Morones, and National Action Network Founder & President Rev. Al Sharpton, as well as state and local lawmakers and educators. Attendance is free! Newark is so fortunate to have this resource and access to important forums.

It was a joy and pleasure. Thanks to everyone!

- Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 3:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2006

Special Thanks to Cyber Line!

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Research Engineer Kris (back left), Jessie Hail Storm (back right), and "Video Bob" Byron (front) pose for a picture after the show

Special thanks to Mick Williams' Cyber Line for inviting me out to the Dallas studio Saturday night. Nothing like live, in-person radio!

Golden throated Mick Williams was on leave so Video Bob took me and the crew out on the "flying sub" for a 1.5 hour cruise to the world of spychips, with an extended port call in VeriChip land. There we spent time carefully examining the the glass encapsulated tags for human flesh and comparing the injector device to things like razor sharp cocktail straws. (VeriChips are much larger than a grain of rice, and the guys are prepared to take evasive action after seeing these menacing tools.)

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You can tune in to Mick Williams' Cyber Line from 9 PM to 12 AM Central Time Saturdays on the USA Radio Network or on line at http://www.cyber-line.com. We'll post a link to the October 14 show as soon as it hits the Cyber Line archives.

- Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 10:27 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2006

700 Club discusses human implants

I was interviewed for a CBN feature piece on the VeriChip human implant that aired this Monday on the 700 Club.

CBN's conclusion? "For most people, the time of human implants has not yet come."
We entirely agree.

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Here's a condensed transcript of the segment:
Human Implants: Are We Ready?

You can view the video here:
CBN MediaCenter (It's the fourth story on the right)

-Katherine Albrecht

Posted by Katherine Albrecht at 3:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 8, 2006

Robert Scott Bell interviews Congressional Candidate Michael Badnarik and Me about RFID

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Robert Scott Bell will be interviewing me and Congressional Candidate Michael Badnarik about RFID chips, national REAL ID, and NAIS Sunday, September 10, 2006 somewhere between 2 PM and 3 PM Eastern Time.

Each week Robert Scott Bell empowers his listeners with healing principles that can aid in physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, economic and, yes, even political healing! Robert Scott Bell tackles the tough issues and shows no fear when confronting government and corporate bullies who would stand in the way of health freedom.
The Robert Scott Bell Radio Show website: http://rsbell.com/radio/index.php

Michael Badnarik is the Libertarian candidate for Texas Congressional District 10 and author of "Good To Be King: The Foundation of Our Constitutional Freedom." In 2004 he won the nomination as the Libertarian presidential candidate and was on the ballot in 48 states and the District of Columbia. He received over 400,000 votes in the general election.
Michael Badnarik's website: http://www.badnarik.org/

The Robert Scott Bell Show is syndicated by the Talk Radio Network to over 90 radio stations across the country, and Bell's programs are archived at his website so members can listen on demand.

- Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 4:52 PM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2006

South Africa Talks "Spychips"

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I was thrilled to speak with Kate Turkington last night on Johannesburg's number 1 news and information station, Talk Radio 702. Ms. Turkington is one of South Africa's best-known travellers and travel writers. Her weekly Sunday night 3-hour live Radio702/Cape Talk talkshow, Believe It Or Not, is the longest-running radio talkshow in South Africa.

Some of her past guests include: the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Goldie Hawn, Dr. Andrew Weil, Gordon Smith (The Psychic Barber), Stephen Jay Gould, Professor Phillip Tobias, Desmond Morris, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Desmond Tutu, cabinet ministers, leading religious figures, Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene) Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God), Ela Gandhi (Daughter of Mahatma Gandhi) Nadine Gordimer, Arthur Blessitt (The Man Who Carried The Cross Around The World In Every Nation), Psychic and Prophet Aaron C. Donahue, leading literary figures such as John Sandford, Graham Hancock, Bruce Feiler and other authors too numerous to mention.

On the Sunday evening show, she interviewed me (Liz McIntyre) about the book Spychips, as well as Dr. Steven Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and author David Plotz of The Genius Factory.

Thanks to everyone who is helping us spread the word about the serious privacy and civil liberties implications of RFID around the world!

- Liz McIntyre

Posted by liz at 11:14 AM | Comments (1)