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Blogger Amal Gustfra shows off his first RFID implants.  (Source:
Numerous studies linking RFID implants to cancer in animals, are gaining significant attention

Last week, Dailytech reported that California's State senate had blocked employers from requiring their employees to get "chipped"--implanted with an RFID chip that would allow for radio identification and tracking.

Now in addition to the privacy concerns, a new report by the Associate Press has brought to light serious doubts on RFID implants' medical safety.

The report details how numerous studies on RFID implants in animal test subjects, starting in the mid-1990s, revealed that the implants led to a significant increase in malignant tumor growth.

Keith Johnson, a retired toxological pathologist who led one of these studies, in 1996 at Dow Chemical Co., when interviewed in the report stated that he had no doubts about whether RFID was to blame for the increased incidence of cancer.  He is quoted as clearly stating, "The transponders were the cause of the tumors."

The findings were reviewed by top cancer specialists, who found the results disturbing.  They cautioned people that these tests were performed on animals, so that they were not necessarily applicable in humans, however, most felt additional research was a necessity.  Some went as far to say that they would not allow family members to receive implants.

Currently about 2,000 people worldwide have received RFID chips implants, according to VeriChip, the leading manufacturer of FDA-approved RFID implants, including a couple who were ordered to do so by their employer.

Verichip commented that they were "not aware of any studies that have resulted in malignant tumors in laboratory rats, mice and certainly not dogs or cats."

The company also, sells RFID chips for animals.

A significant detail to these studies is that many of them were not intended to study the correlation between RFID chip implanting to cancer--rather, during research on a separate topic the increased cancer rates were high enough to catch the researchers' attention and allow them to draw a clear conclusion that the chip was causing the increased cancer rate.

The AP report goes on to discuss the suspect nature of the FDA's approval of VeriChip's human RFID implant.  The FDA is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Sciences, which at the time of the approval, was headed by Tommy Thompson.

Just two weeks after the Jan. 10, 2005 approval of the device, Tommy Thompson resigned his post with the department and within five months assumed a position at VeriChip.  He received stock options and cash compensation for his newly acquired position.

Thompson, until recently a candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, recently denied in an interview having any familiarity with VeriChip before his resignation.

The FDA refused to comment on which studies it reviewed when approving the device.

A recent AMA report which lauded RFID implants, claimed to be entirely unaware of the studies correlating the implant to cancer.  Dr. Steven Stack, an AMA board member, said he had never heard the studies ever mentioned before.

As Dr. Stack had knowledge of the Department of Health and Human Sciences committee's review of the implant, pending FDA approval, this statement would indicate that the Committee did not take these studies into account during its approval process.

More research needs to be done before final conclusions are drawn, but as its dirty laundry comes to light, the controversial practice of RFID implanting and its FDA approval has received another major setback.

Comments     Threshold

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RE: Just gather the data....
By Misty Dingos on 9/10/2007 2:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
I am seriously puzzled as to the vector for disease here. Just how does having a bit of glass somewhat larger than a couple grains of rice cause cancer? Glass is an inert substance in the body and the RF portion of the chip is only active when the reader is over it. Unless these things can reradiate other electrical fields they encounter. Which I seriously doubt. I just don't see how these gadgets can cause anything other than controversy and paranoia.

As far as the studies are concerned. From what I read few to none of the studies used control groups. This alone could invalidate most of these studies.

RE: Just gather the data....
By masher2 on 9/10/2007 2:15:45 PM , Rating: 1
There have been at least two controlled studies done which demonstrated NO link between microchip implantation and tumors in rodents.

Part of the problem in doing a cancer study on mice is they have an incredibly high tumor rate anyway, especially at the site of any injection or surgery.

RE: Just gather the data....
By eyebeeemmpawn on 9/12/2007 11:17:44 AM , Rating: 2
links? data? proof? no? sounds like opinion to me till I see data...

RE: Just gather the data....
By fshy94 on 9/10/2007 2:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
I can attest to the reason it MAY be harmful. Glass is indeed completely inert, but it IS the RF section which could be causing problems. I know you mention that the chip is completely inactive without a reader, but that only applies to passive chips, and I'm afraid I don't know which type went into the tracked animals or the test subjects. The RF, obviously, can cause a mutation of the DNA, perhaps through a thymine dimer, or something I don't know very much about.

RE: Just gather the data....
By killerroach on 9/13/2007 9:43:28 AM , Rating: 2
The "vector" is the irritation and inflammation of tissues, same as with all implants.

And yes, identification implants in pets do cause an increased cancer risk as well, despite the anecdotal evidence to the contrary. What it does show, however, is that the associated increase in risk is minimal at best.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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