For months I have seen many emotional articles about pets being reunited with their owners thanks, say the articles, to that beautiful piece of technology called the RFID microchip. I call these kinds of articles “primers” because they get you ready to accept things like, Santa Cruz County, California‘s proposal to require all dogs and cats in the county to be microchipped.
So it’s no mistake when Melanie Sobel, General Manager of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, says that “the microchip is an ‘invaluable tool’ in reuniting lost pets with their owners.” It’s meant to tug at your heart strings and keep you from doing research on RFID technology and discovering that microchipping is potentially unhealthy for humans and animals, and that mandatory microchipping in particular is a violation of Constitutitonal freedoms.
RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. An RFID tag is a tiny microchip no bigger than a grain of rice implanted somewhere in an animal or human’s body that can hold information, like addresses and phone numbers, as well as relay information, like your whereabouts, to anyone with a scanner.
We’ve seen ordinances requiring so-called “dangerous breeds” to be microchipped, and we’ve seen dangerous dog ordinances that require dogs deemed dangerous to be microchipped, ostensibly so authorities, and anyone else with a scanner, can know where these dogs, and quite possibly their owners, are at all times.
And in usual stepping-stone fashion, from pets it has gone to agricultural livestock with an attempt to require RFID chipping of dairy herds, etc., under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). NAIS failed, so the Department of Agriculture has since repackaged NAIS and is now calling it animal traceability, but it’s still NAIS.
From there RFID microchipping will go to people. It already has. A Time magazine article from 2007 noted that “Human ‘tagging’ was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004 to facilitate retrieval of private medical records” but to no surprise “the procedure has had few takers.” Gee, I wonder why?
So because there have been “few takers,” I guess “they,” whoever “they” are, decided to forcibly microchip people against their will. As the Time article mentions, there has already been a pilot program to RFID chip residents at the Alzheimer’s Community Care agency in West Palm Beach, Florida.
And what’s the problem with forcibly microchipping people who have Alzheimer’s? That it is done without their consent, of course. After all, they really can’t consent can they? Forget medical proxies, there are some things a person must be able to decide for themselves and if they can’t, then they should be left alone. Indeed, RFID chipping the elderly who have Alzheimer’s or some other kinds of dementia very well could be against their will, which means it’s wholly unconstitutional and a violation of the liberty we true Americans and our Constitution hold dear.
And speaking of things that are against people’s wills, the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) failed in part because it would’ve required the Amish to tag their livestock with RFID chips. The Amish, who shun technology including even electricity as part of their faith, were staunchly opposed to NAIS. When the state of Michigan could not force Amish dairy farmers to tag their cattle with RFID chips, they put the chipping program on hold and moved on to something called the premise ID* law which required all farms with animals to register with the state and acquire a farm ID number.
The Amish were opposed to mandatory RFID microchipping and the premise ID law because they believe tracking numbers and RFID tags to be the Mark of the Beast prophesied in the Bible. In fact, in registering their opposition to Michigan’s premise ID law,
. . . a number of Amish producers cited specific Bible passages (Revelations chapter 13, verse 7 and chapter 19, verse 20) that refer to buying and selling of animals that are numbered and consider it the “mark of the beast.” And for some producers it comes down to some strongly held beliefs versus continuing with their livelihood (Source: Vernon Broadcaster*).
The Michigan Department of Agriculture knew that the Amish dairy farmers were opposed to the premise ID law based on their religious beliefs, but regardless “some of the local Amish producers were given a premise ID number without their knowledge.” In other words, the state of Michigan deliberately violated the Amish dairy farmers’ wishes and their 1st amendment freedom of religion rights.
Yet, astoundingly, Kevin Kirk, who coordinated the program for the Michigan state agriculture department, had the audacity to say,
“I know it’s hard sometimes to trust the government, but that’s what we’re asking is trust us” (WSBT*).
I guess the Amish should’ve just forgotten that whole thing about how their state government gave their farms a premise ID against their will, without their knowledge, and in stark contrast to the freedoms guaranteed by the 1st amendment, and just held the hand that was holding them down!
And yes, I understand that this post may seem like it is full of digressions, but it’s really not. There is a backstory to RFID microchipping that you need to know; it’s not as benign as they would have you believe when they tell you it’s no more than a method to electronically license or identify your dog or cat or your livestock.
In fact, microchipping can literally cause malignancies (meaning harmful and deadly cancer). A few years ago, Katherine Albrecht, who co-wrote Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move, issued a press release/commentary on research that has proven microchips can cause deadly tumors:
. . . microchip implants have induced cancer in laboratory animals and dogs, says privacy expert and long-time VeriChip opponent Dr. Katherine Albrecht.
As the AP will report, a series of research articles spanning more than a decade found that mice and rats injected with glass-encapsulated RFID transponders developed malignant, fast-growing, lethal cancers in up to 1% to 10% of cases. The tumors originated in the tissue surrounding the microchips and often grew to completely surround the devices, the researchers said.
Albrecht first became aware of the microchip-cancer link when she and her “Spychips” co-author, Liz McIntyre, were contacted by a pet owner whose dog had died from a chip-induced tumor. Albrecht then found medical studies showing a causal link between microchip implants and cancer in other animals. Before she brought the research to the AP’s attention, the studies had somehow escaped public notice (Intel Daily*).
So there it is: RFID microchips can cause deadly cancer. Still I have yet to see one article about a city or county proposing a mandatory microchipping law that mentions that microchips can cause malignant tumors.
In Santa Cruz County, which now proposes to make RFID microchipping mandatory, resident Brenda Cruden is worried about the potential health effects of implanting a chip in her dog, saying,
“I want to know what [microchipping is] going to do in the long term to the animal. What is the material made of? Is it stationary? . . . No vet can tell me. I haven’t had any satisfying answers yet.”
Cruden went on to say that she’s “against the county’s proposed mandate due to lack of information about the chips and their impacts.” So not only are state and municipal governments not forthcoming about the possible harmful health effects of RFID microchipping, they may very well be keeping that information from their residents!
Indeed, for Santa Cruz County, I have not read one article that mentions that RFID chips can cause cancer or that for some, RFID technology may offend their religious sensibilities, including Catholics who populate approximately 31% of California’s 38 million residents (with Evangelical Protestants populating 18%, and Mainline Protestants populating 14%, for a whopping 63% of Californians who are Christian and may oppose RFID microchipping). I’m fairly certain some of those millions of people populate Santa Cruz County.
Yet Melanie Sobel, General Manager of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, says mandatory microchipping of Santa Cruz County dogs and cats “is a no-brainer . . . It’s beneficial in every single way.” No it’s clearly not beneficial, and yes Santa Cruz County residents, it appears that they don’t want you to use your brain in research or opposition. It looks like they may even be purposely keeping information from you.
*For links with an asterisk by them, the article is no longer available online. I will be posting excerpts of each article in the comments section below.