The Hightower Report

Verichip Implants, Tumors, and Cash; and USDA: A Brothel for Agribusiness

VERICHIP IMPLANTS, TUMORS, AND CASH

Have you been chipped?

In another cabal of corporate and governmental officials, there's been a steady push during the past few years to authorize and market microchip devices to be implanted into humans. An outfit named VeriChip Corporation is the chief pusher, asserting that implanting one of its radio-frequency ID chips into your upper arm can be a medical boon to you. These electronic capsules transmit a unique code, says VeriChip, and if something happens to you, hospital staff can run a scanner over your chip, get your code, and activate a database containing your medical history.

VeriChip envisions a market of at least 45 million Americans sporting its very own radio-frequency identification codes. But – oops – one bit of info the corporation never mentioned to customers or federal regulators is that several studies have found that these implants have induced malignant tumors in lab mice and rats. As one eminent cancer expert said after reviewing these studies, "There's no way in the world that I would have one of those chips implanted in my skin or in one of my family members."

Where were our so-called regulatory watchdogs? Too busy cheering on the chippers to ask tough questions about side effects. Tommy Thompson, the Bush appointee who oversaw the agency that approved VeriChip for use in humans, has been a vigorous promoter of such electronic medical technologies. Five months after Thompson resigned his cabinet position in 2005, guess where he went? Right on to the board of directors of both VeriChip and its parent corporation, where he was paid $40,000 a year and given about a million dollars' worth of stock.

Interestingly, while Thompson once told an interviewer that he would "absolutely" be willing to have a VeriChip implanted in his own arm; he never did. Maybe he felt an injection of VeriChip cash would be better for his health.


USDA: A BROTHEL FOR AGRIBUSINESS

Our federal regulatory agencies – designed to protect consumers, workers, and the environment from corporate profiteers – instead have become brothels on wheels, going to any length to accommodate profiteers.

One of the rolling accommodators is the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has been especially servile to Monsanto and other biotech giants involved in messing with the very DNA of our foods and feed crops. Monsanto makes a weed-killer called Roundup, but in addition to killing weeds, this toxic stuff also tends to kill the very crops the weeds are crowding out.

Take alfalfa. Monsanto's white-smock lab techs have genetically altered alfalfa seeds to produce plants that – guess what? – absorb heavy doses of Roundup without dying. This means more sales of Monsanto's herbicide while also creating a market for its Roundup-ready alfalfa seeds. Our ag department gave this Frankenseed its blessing two years ago without even doing an environmental impact assessment! The agency simply assumed the enviro and economic impacts were not significant, essentially taking the word of the profiteer, Monsanto.

A watchdog group called the Center for Food Safety, however, was not so easy. It sued the USDA for abrogating its regulatory responsibility – and a federal judge now has agreed. He said the USDA was "cavalier" in its quick OK, that it had not adequately considered the fact that the altered seed would contaminate organic alfalfa fields, and that the increased use of the herbicide would create superweeds. In a telling comment, the judge wrote, "One would expect that some federal agency is considering whether there is some risk to [genetically] engineering all of America's crops."

Yeah ... one would expect. But our government has become an accommodator, not a regulator. To learn more, call the Center for Food Safety at 202/547-9359.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Verichip implants, VeriChip Corporation, RFID codes, malignant tumors, Tommy Thompson, U.S. Agriculture Department, Monsanto, Roundup, Center for Food Safety, Center for Food Safety

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