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Exclusive: Federal investigation into Musk’s Neuralink, staff anger over animal testing

On May 2, 2022, Elon Musk makes an appearance at the Met Gala with the theme In America: An Anthology of Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, USA.

On May 2, 2022, Elon Musk makes an appearance at the Met Gala with the theme In America: An Anthology of Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, USA. December 5 – According to documents viewed and sources familiar with the investigation and company operations, Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a medical device company, is under federal investigation for possible animal-welfare violations as a result of internal staff complaints that its animal testing is being rushed, leading to needless suffering and deaths.

Neuralink Corp is working on a brain implant that it hopes will restore movement to paraplegic individuals and treat other neurological conditions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General recently launched the federal investigation, which was previously unreported.

Elon Musk attends the Met Gala on May 2, 2022, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, USA, with the subject In America: An Anthology of Fashion. Reuters’ Andrew Kelly
5 December, Reuters The medical device company Neuralink, owned by Elon Musk, is reportedly under federal investigation for possible animal-welfare violations as a result of internal staff complaints that its animal testing is being rushed, resulting in needless suffering and deaths, according to documents seen by Reuters and sources familiar with the investigation and company operations.

The brain implant being developed by Neuralink Corp. is intended to heal various neurological diseases as well as provide paraplegic people the ability to walk again. The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently established the federal

December 5 – Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a medical device business, is under federal investigation, which was previously unknown, according to documents seen by Reuters and persons familiar with the investigation and company operations. according to two persons with knowledge of the investigation, a federal prosecutor’s request. One of the individuals claimed that the investigation focused on infractions of the Animal Welfare Act, which controls how some animals are used in research and testing.

Exclusive: Federal investigation into Musk’s Neuralink, staff anger over animal testing

New York City arrivals for the Met Gala
Elon Musk enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Gala, which has a theme of “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” December 5 – According to documents viewed by Reuters and sources familiar with the investigation and company operations, Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a medical device company, is under federal investigation for possible animal-welfare violations as a result of internal staff complaints that its animal testing is being rushed, leading to needless suffering and deaths.

Neuralink Corp is working on a brain implant that it hopes will restore movement to paraplegic individuals and treat other neurological conditions. According to two sources with knowledge of the investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Inspector General recently opened the federal investigation, which had not previously been reported, at the request of a federal prosecutor. According to one of the sources, focuses on transgressions of the Animal Welfare Act, which controls how some animals are used in research and testing.

According to a Reuters review of dozens of Neuralink documents and interviews with more than 20 current and former employees, the investigation has been launched at a time of rising employee discontent regarding Neuralink’s animal testing, including complaints that pressure from CEO Musk to accelerate development has led to botched experiments. The employees claim that because such unsuccessful experiments had to be redone, more animals were used in testing and died as a result. The company’s records include emails, reports, presentations, audio recordings, communications, and previously undisclosed messages.
The extent of the federal investigation and whether it focused on the same alleged issues with animal testing that staff members identified were both unknown to Reuters.

According to records seen by Reuters and sources with firsthand knowledge of the organization’s animal-testing procedures, since 2018, the company has killed over 1,500 animals, including more than 280 sheep, pigs, and monkeys. The company does not keep exact records on the number of animals tested and killed, according to the sources, who described the number as an approximate estimate. Neuralink has also used mice and rats in their research.

The overall number of animals killed does not necessarily mean that Neuralink is doing its study in violation of laws or best practices. Numerous businesses routinely employ animals in research to better human health care, and they are under financial pressure to launch treatments as soon as possible. When experiments are finished, the animals are usually put to death, frequently so they can be investigated after death for research.

However, present and former Neuralink staff claim that because of Musk’s demands for accelerated research, more animals are dying than is necessary. Employee interviews and business talks spanning years helped Reuters identify four research involving 86 pigs and two monkeys that were tainted by mistakes in recent years. Three current and former employees claimed that the errors reduced the research value of the tests and necessitated their repetition, which killed additional animals. The three individuals blamed the errors on a testing team’s lack of planning while operating in a pressure-cooker environment.

early this year, I sent a memo to my coworkers about the need to revamp how the business handles animal surgeries to stop “hack jobs.” The employee said that the tight timetable caused under-prepared and agitated staff members to scramble to meet deadlines and make last-minute adjustments before surgery, increasing dangers to the animals.

According to current and former employees, Musk has exerted significant pressure to quicken Neuralink’s development, which is highly dependent on animal research. The CEO sent staff members a news piece earlier this year about Swiss researchers who created an electronic device that allowed a disabled man to walk once more. He wrote to staff at 6:37 a.m. Pacific Time on February 8 that “We could help people use their hands and walk again in daily life!” He followed after ten minutes.

Generally speaking, we just aren’t going quickly enough. It is making me crazy!

According to three sources who have often overheard Musk making the remark, Musk has instructed staff members to picture having a bomb strapped to their heads in an effort to push them to work more quickly. According to a former employee who heard Musk’s comment, on one occasion a few years ago, he threatened to cause a “market failure” at Neuralink unless they made more advancements. This comment was interpreted by some employees as a threat to shut down operations.

Concerns had been voiced internally, five people who worked on Neuralink’s animal experimentation told Reuters. They claimed to have pushed for a more conventional testing strategy in which scientists would conduct one element at a time of an animal study, make pertinent results, and then proceed to another animal investigation. They said that Neuralink conducts tests in rapid succession rather than addressing flaws in earlier experiments or reaching a final judgment. The end result: More animals are tested and killed overall, in part because the method calls for more testing.

According to a former employee, a senior executive told him it wasn’t possible given Musk’s demands for speed when the individual requested management for more methodical testing some years ago. Concerns about animal studies led two employees to leave the organization, according to Reuters.

Internally, the quality of the generated data has been questioned due to issues with Neuralink’s testing, according to three current or former workers said. Such issues might prevent the business from attempting to begin human trials, something Musk has stated the business hopes to undertake within the next six months. They also add to Musk’s expanding list of troubles as he deals with criticism over how he runs Twitter, which he recently paid $44 billion for. Additionally, Musk continues to oversee SpaceX and the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc.

The company’s petitions for approval of its medical device and related trials are evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, the USDA’s Animal Welfare Act regulates how the corporation handles animals used in research. The FDA didn’t respond right away.

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