A new report came out last week which links RFID implants to cancer. ARS Technica writes studies have shown that these implants may foster cancer by causing tissue inflammation.
The ethical questions focus on the initial approval of these devices, which occurred while Tommy Thompson was in charge of Health and Human Services, a parent department of the FDA. The AP reports that five months after Thompson left government service, he joined the board of the company that produces the RFID devices. That position came with a substantial number of shares in the company. Attempts to obtain the safety information on the device that went into the approval process produced no documents.
Does relevant information exist? Absolutely; in fact, a company that produces similar devices intended to track research animals provides a list of references (scroll to the bottom) that includes a number of studies that link the use of implants to the development of cancers at the site of the implant. Although the development and progression of cancer in mice has some differences compared to humans, mice still remain the primary model system for understanding cancer. The rates seen in these studies (typically only a percent or two) should certainly have been relevant to the approval of human RFID implants.