Neuralink Corporation, Elon Musk’s brain chip implant development company, is reportedly being investigated following several complaints from staff members over the company’s testing procedures.
According to reports, animal testing is being done for chip implants. This testing has allegedly been rushed, leading to suffering and death among the animals.
Reports have surfaced claiming that around 1,500 animal deaths have occurred dating back to 2018. The animals being tested on include pigs, monkeys, and sheep.
While legal, animal trials are strictly regulated under federal law in order to prevent unnecessary suffering and pain to the animals. Animals who come under harm are often euthanized. Employees wrote about several instances where the deaths of animals at Neuralink were allegedly due to “hack jobs” and rushed work.
When tests have failed in the past, employees have allegedly been instructed to repeat them, often on the same animal. Employees have claimed that this direction stems from Musk’s rush to get testing and approval on track.
Back in February, Musk said of Neuralink, “In general, we are simply not moving fast enough. It is driving me nuts!”
Last week, Musk took to Twitter and stated that he is “confident the Neuralink device is ready for humans, so timing is a function of working through the approval process”.
But government officials have refused to indicate what they think of Neuralink’s animal testing. Any such investigation would be conducted by the Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General. Amy Lowenthal, assistant counsel to the inspector general, told the Washington Post that the agency “neither confirms nor denies the existence of any such investigation.”