VeriChip Corporation Sets the Record Straight in Response to Unbalanced Press Reports
Studies Show Implantable Microchips Do Not Cause Malignant Tumors in Laboratory Animals or Humans
DELRAY BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VeriChip Corporation (NASDAQ:CHIP), a provider of RFID systems for healthcare and patient-related needs, responded today in an effort to set the record straight in response to unbalanced press reports relating malignant tumors to the Company's implantable microchips. VeriChip strongly believes and is offering a number of studies that refute any potential link between the Company's implantable microchip and malignant tumors in humans and animals. With this information and its FDA clearance, VeriChip continues to stand behind the safety of its implantable microchip.
Supporting its case, the Company cites the following studies:
Chronic Evaluation in Rodents to a Microchip Implant Used for Animal Identification (D.J. Ball, R.L. Robison, R.E. Stoll and G.E. Visscher, Sandoz Research Institute): "These data show that the implant device produced no adverse side-effects in rodents. No tissue masses or evidence of tumorigenicity was found at any microchip site at any time." This study occurred over a 52-week period and examined 250 mice and rats.
Tissue Reaction to an Implantable Identification Device in Mice (Ghanta N. Rao and Jennifer Edmondson): "The implantable micro-identification device did not cause neo-plastic changes at the site of implantation in the subcutaneous tissue or in the perirenal tissue, indicating that the glass used for sealing the device and polypropylene cap of the device are not carcinogenic in the mouse tissue for at least 24 months." This study occurred over a 24-month period and examined 140 mice.
Furthermore, the Company has just posted the following updated statement on its website in response to the news organization story.
1. VeriChip is safe and has been cleared by the FDA as a Class II Medical Device.
The VeriMed Patient Identification System has been cleared by the FDA and, as stated in the Associated Press article, the FDA stands by its approval. The article and the alleged research cited make no link whatsoever to malignant tumor formation from microchips in humans. As the article states, research protocol guidelines clearly indicate that making such a link from mice to humans is a very big leap.
Since learning of the article, we have discovered two studies from our manufacturer Chronic Evaluation in Rodents to a Microchip Implant Used for Animal Identification (D.J. Ball, R.L. Robinson, R.E. Stoll and G.E. Visscher, Sandoz Research Institute, East Hanover, NJ) and Tissue Reaction to an Implantable Identification Device in Mice (Ghanta N. Rao and Jennifer Edmondson) that examine microchip implants in laboratory mice and rats and conclude that microchip implants DO NOT cause malignant tumors.
2. Millions of dogs and cats have safely received a similar microchip over the past 15 years.
The article and the alleged research cited make no link whatsoever to malignant tumor formation in dogs and cats but for one unsubstantiated report. It is important to note this report was not a controlled, scientific study, rather it was a report of a single dog that presented with a tumor, and therefore it should not be inferred that the microchip caused the tumor without further study.
Over the last 15 years, millions of dogs and cats have safely received an implantable microchip with limited or no reports of adverse health reactions from this life-saving product, which was recently endorsed by the USDA. These chips are a well-accepted and well-respected means of global identification for pets in the veterinary community. Veterinarians would not continue to prescribe pet microchips if they believed they presented significant risk of malignant tumors in dogs and cats.
3. Laboratory mice and rats have a high probability of tumors at any injection site, regardless of the type of injection.
The article and the alleged research cited appear to be completely focused on laboratory mice/rats. It is important to note that the incidence of tumor formation in mice/rats from simple injections of any type (including vaccinations) is much higher than in any other type of laboratory animals.
Upon learning some of these lab mice/rat characteristics, the Company asked a prominent veterinary pathologist researcher, Dr. Lawrence McGill, a 30-year industry veteran, former Chair of the Council of Communications of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and former president of the Utah Veterinary Medical Association, to discuss these characteristics (and more) on an independent basis with the reporter. It is our understanding that the reporter interviewed Dr. McGill but failed to include his review or comments in the article. The Company now intends to retain Dr. McGill as an expert to assist in the review process of this article and the studies referenced therein.
Dr. McGill, said, "In my experience in the veterinary diagnostic laboratory, I have seen thousands of injection site sarcomas in cats and a few in dogs. I have done extensive research with dogs and cats and am familiar with much of the research in rats and mice. As I review the reports in the literature, the sites that have sarcomas attributed to microchips are also sites where injections are given. The epidemiologic data from several different authors some of which I am a coauthor, do not show any association of these sarcomas with microchips."