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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Implanted RFID chips could cause cancer

That's the suggestion of a new investigation by .

And not only could the chips be linked to cancer in animals, but the FDA apparently did not consider any of the numerous studies that established that link when officials made the decision to approve the implants in humans on January 10, 2005.

And even further, the AP reports there's a whiff of something fishy in the air:

The FDA is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, which, at the time of VeriChip's approval, was headed by Tommy Thompson. Two weeks after the device's approval took effect on Jan. 10, 2005, Thompson left his Cabinet post, and within five months was a board member of VeriChip Corp. and Applied Digital Solutions. He was compensated in cash and stock options.

Thompson, until recently a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, says he had no personal relationship with the company as the VeriChip was being evaluated, nor did he play any role in FDA's approval process of the RFID tag.

"I didn't even know VeriChip before I stepped down from the Department of Health and Human Services," he said in a telephone interview.
And, further still, the American Medical Association didn't acknowledge any of the animal-cancer studies in their "June report by the ethics committee [...] which touted the benefits of implantable RFID devices."
Had committee members reviewed the literature on cancer in chipped animals?

No, said Dr. Steven Stack, an AMA board member with knowledge of the committee's review.

Was the AMA aware of the studies?

No, he said.
The AP article goes on to detail the studies that link RFID implantation to cancer, at length.

The end of the AP story is priceless:
In a TV interview while still on the board, Thompson was explaining the benefits — and the ease — of being chipped when an interviewer interrupted:

"I'm sorry, sir. Did you just say you would get one implanted in your arm?"

"Absolutely," Thompson replied. "Without a doubt."

"No concerns at all?"


But to date, Thompson has yet to be chipped himself.
This news about a potential RFID-cancer link piqued my interest, so I sent an email to Amal Graafstra. I interviewed Amal earlier this year about his two RFID implants (one in each hand) for . (The photos to the right are of his hands.)

Amal pointed me to about the AP's work, that he published on . It's a fascinating examination of the cancer claim:
I really just don’t see the glass or the operation of the implant to be the cause. I feel it’s more than likely that it’s the anti-migration coating on the pet and human implants that are causing the cancerous cells surrounding the implant site. The implants I’ve got and other DIY people that have followed in my footsteps have do not have this coating. I purposely did not get implants with this coating because I wanted to be sure I could remove/replace mine should the need arise. Now I’m just that much more satisfied I chose not to get an “FDA approved human” or pet implant which have this coating.
To read the transcript of my interview with another body modification enthusiast, Quinn Norton, who has reported on body mods for Wired magazine and had a magnet inserted into her finger for a time, see .

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