Chip implants: Linked to animal tumor

Back on May 21st, I wrote a post called Chip Implants: Ethical or not? It talked about the use of an implantable chip in the arm of Alzheimer's patients. This chip would have all the medical information necessary for an emergency room physician or other health care professional who needed it. This post generated a great discussion on this topic.

This morning, the AP has an article which states that chips like this have been associated with tumor production in animal studies. What's interesting is that the companies involved knew this information when they went before the FDA for approval. The FDA approved the use of the chips in 1995.

"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.

Leading cancer specialists reviewed the research for The Associated Press and, while cautioning that animal test results do not necessarily apply to humans, said the findings troubled them. Some said they would not allow family members to receive implants, and all urged further research before the glass-encased transponders are widely implanted in people.

This definitely adds fuel to the fire of the debate of use of this chip in humans. Despite this AP article, I continue to hold the position that these chips should be used. As stated above, animal studies do not necessarily translate into human studies. Keep a close eye on this story. I imagine that there will be more coming from both sides of this debate.