RFID chips in animals could cause cancer

Posted by David Gomez

People put RFID tracking chips in their pets because they care about their well-being. However, that could change soon thanks to a lawsuit against Merck & Co., Inc. which claims the HomeAgain pet microchip may cause cancer cells to develop in cats and dogs.

In an article by Ethan A. Huff it is explained that the website www.ChipMeNot.org was started raise awareness about the dangers of putting tracking chips in animals. The lawsuit is featured on the site through a press release and it accuses the HomeAgain pet microchip of causing cancerous tumors in pets.

It says in the suit that the defendant’s cat obtained cancer after getting implanted with a pet chip. Reports are showing that other animals have developed cancer after getting chips too.

In the Huff story Dr. Katherine Albrecht, who is a consumer advocate and expert on side effects associated with implantable microchips said "Based on the alarming number of microchip-induced cancers we're discovering, I predict this lawsuit will be just the tip of the iceberg." Albrecht also warned "Merck and organizations that advocate pet chipping should take this lawsuit seriously and start warning pet owners of the risk of microchip-induced cancer."

Albrecht is strongly opposed to RFID being used to track consumers and animals. She presented a peer reviewed paper on the subject of animal chipping called "Microchip-Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature 1990-2006" at a June conference for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Her research presentation documented the growing number of animals being harmed by tracking chips. Right now, there is no collection of data on detrimental events linked to microchips in the U.S. Albrecht is using her organization, ChipMeNot.org, to fill that in that hole by gathering related information and making it available to the public.

It also says in the Huff story that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say that the potential health risks related to implantable microchips include "adverse tissue reaction.” Data from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association expands on this information and goes on to say that the chips can cause "swelling", "infection", "abscesses", and "tumors".

It is going to be tough for an advocacy group like ChipMeNot.org to go up against a megacorporation like Merck & Co., Inc. If any of this is true, which I suspect it is, it should be damn hard for Merck & Co., Inc. to put a positive spin on this situation.

The truth about RFID will make its way out to the public and I think that it will cause people to reconsider how they care for their pets. My hope is that people will see that RFID is not good for animals, and that there is no way it is good for humans either.