An AP article in the WA Post (and picked up by other outlets) today detailed concerns over cancerous cells found surrounding RFID implants in lab animals. I received an email about this months ago back in May from someone concerned about this very thing, and ended up posting about it on my RFID forum because I thought it was very interesting. In fact, I though it was so interesting, I sent the forum thread to several media outlets. I heard nothing… until now.
With the AP article out, some concerned people posted on my RFID forum about it, where I’ve had to reiterate my thoughts on the issue. 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.
The bottom line here is that the glass is, for the most part, chemically inert. That’s why chemistry equipment uses glass… it just does not react with anything. The only other issue would be electromagnetic effects on tissue… however the implant is totally inactive both electronically and magnetically for 99.999% of the time it’s in your body. The only time it’s doing anything is when it’s being read by a reader, and the gauss rating of electromagnetic field generated by the reader to interact with the implant isn’t even as intense as the field coming from your cell phone… and that’s up against your head for minutes at a time. Reading a tag takes less than a millisecond, and total exposure time is about a second or two.
A commenter on the Engadget post actually has a cool head on his shoulders and had something interesting to say about it on his blog. Ultimately, I’m glad to see this come out because I really want to see more real scientific research done on the subject… not just because I have two implants, but because I want to see if I’m right about the cause.
So now let’s take a look at a quote from the AP article:
“The transponders were the cause of the tumors,” said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining in a phone interview the findings of a 1996 study he led at the Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich.
That is a very “out of context” statement to make and to report… did this guy test the anti-migration coating alone? Did he test any transponders without this coating? I’ve not seen any studies that specified anything but “an implantable transponder”, but every glass-encased transponder I’ve ever seen that was rated for implantation DID have this coating… so I’d assume it’s safe to say that all the transponders this guy tested had this coating, and he most likely did not bother to remove this coating or test it separately BECAUSE every implant has this coating… aka no reason to test a non-coated transponder if no implantable transponders are sold without it. My point here is, the study conducted were to test implantable transponders, which were viewed as a single closed unit, when in fact it is a package of several separate things: transponder chip, antenna, glass encasement, and anti-migration coating.
Of course, the AP article doesn’t cite or provide a link to ANY of the studies referenced. The only links or references listed are for the FDA home page, the VeriChip corp home page, and an anti-chip site called (fittingly) antichips.com.
Hmm… I don’t want to be an SOB here, but I just checked out the anti-chip site and it’s got a “Cancer!” link… and after reading it, it references Katherine Albrecht and how her partner Liz McIntyre talk about being contacted by a dog owner who’s dog died from cancer. I wonder if they just caught wind of my post, or they were actually contacted by someone. I really think it’s too bad that overall, their important, rational, and intelligent work in raising awareness over RFID technology abuse has spiraled downward into absolute nut-job religious rhetoric over how “all implants are evil”. Their increasing religious slant toward irrationality has bothered me for a while, and with this latest cancer issue I felt it was time to say something about it. Who is now going to take up the task of rational, levelheaded whistle blowing of RFID tech abuse? Hopefully it won’t be someone with books to sell and a financial interest in fear mongering and whipping up FUD.