Thursday, September 13, 2007


(That would be Radio Frequency ID To Be Announced Dead On Arrival for those of you acronymically challenged.)

The past week there has been a spat over the safety of RFID chip implants related to cancer. The debate typifies the current scientific and political climate, and I just thought I would give VeriChip the opportunity to respond before posting more.

It began last week with several reports that VeriChip's RFID implants have been linked to increased cases of cancer in rats. These implants are currently being tested in people with Alzheimer's as a way of digitally tagging them with vital information relevant to their treatment. As any former retirement home worker (like my sister, now a lawyer) would tell you, Alzheimer's patients tend to go a little bonkers at times and try to escape or run around naked (without their medical tag wristbands).

The interesting part, pointed out by Ammar, a member of the lab, and noted in a Wired report, is the link to Republican presidential candidate Tommy Thompson. Ammar wrote:

Implanted RFID chips made the news again this morning. The associated press is reporting links with cancer (old news). This hits the news as Tommy Thompson announced that he is running for president. Thompson had approved the device when he was secretary of health and human services. Tommy Thompson joined the board of VeriChip five month after he left DHHS.

Anyway the article has very good bibliography about implanted RFID and might be interesting to read for the development of future wireless brain implants.

Techdirt has an interesting write up on the ins and outs of the turbulent approval process, and is definitely worth a read.

The latest response from VeriChip is chilling. As a former pharma drone, simply restating that you passed FDA requirements is the equivalent of saying, "Crap. We're screwed. Let's give the lawyers more time to build a case, and us more time to sell off stock before the 'Big One' hits." If you get approval from an organization, and said organization is suspected of being corrupted (especially when it comes to YOUR COMPANY in particular), then restating that that corrupt organization approved you means NOTHING.

via many sources including the above, plus Gizmodo, Slashdot, and MedGadget.

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