Sunday, September 09, 2007

Implantable Chips

Apparently studies have shown that implantable microchips caused cancer in lab rats (according to an AP article). This doesn't mean that they cause cancer in humans, but it is, as a scientist puts it in the article, troubling. The chips are part of a fairly common vision of future interactive convenience: your ID, credit card, medical history, etc. is just carried with you under the skin: wave your arm to access, tap the card reader to pay... This does go to show how much of our interactive surveillance society is (actually or potentially) pretty toxic, and not just to privacy, dignity, and human rights, but environmentally and physically as well (see my earlier post on High Tech Trash from last year).

The article's interesting in other respects: why the FDA didn't note these studies when it approved the devices for use in humans, whether the FDA was aware of this research, why the AMA didn't mention or know of the studies before publicly supporting the technology, and the curious coincidence of Tommy Thompson, who was head of Health and Human Services (which oversees the FDA) when the chips were approved, resigned two weeks after the approval, and within six months was on the Board of VeriChip Corp. which makes the devices (he denies having any role in the approval or knowledge of the company before his resignation and the FDA confirms that he had no role in the decision process).

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