Reuters Exclusive: Musk’s Neuralink faces federal probe, employee backlash over animal tests

Exclusive: Musk’s Neuralink faces federal probe, employee backlash over animal tests

Dec 5 (Reuters) - Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a medical device company, is under federal investigation for potential animal-welfare violations amid internal staff complaints that its animal testing is being rushed, causing needless suffering and deaths, according to documents reviewed by Reuters and sources familiar with the investigation and company operations.

From the article:
“Five people who’ve worked on Neuralink’s animal experiments told Reuters they had raised concerns internally. They said they had advocated for a more traditional testing approach, in which researchers would test one element at a time in an animal study and draw relevant conclusions before moving on to more animal tests. Instead, these people said, Neuralink launches tests in quick succession before fixing issues in earlier tests or drawing complete conclusions. The result: More animals overall are tested and killed, in part because the approach leads to repeated tests.”

First, I don’t want to see animals being in pain… but this paragraph has a potential issue. It says that some folks want to test one element at a time in a “more traditional testing approach”. I’ve taken courses on how to design experiments and it’s often more efficient to test multiple elements per test because more info can be extracted in fewer tests that way. Don’t ask me to explain the theory, it’s complicated and I would just botch it.

But the bottom line is that the complaining researchers may be wrong and the company may just be using more advanced testing techniques that will not only give results faster but will also require fewer animals to be involved.

The whole animal pain thing is disturbing though. I hope that part is cleared up quickly.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.


PETA is making a good bit of noise about this in tweets on Twitter.

PETA’s solution, we’re told, includes urging the USDA’s inspector general to get to the bottom of why animal protection laws were allegedly violated – as cited in a Reuters report, which detailed in-house workers’ concerns with the growing number of animal tests and deaths. Reuters says at least 1,500 animals have been killed at Neuralink since 2018, in the advancement of research, and to meet Musk’s alleged timetable for the chip.

Now, PETA’s looking to put the pressure on Elon by using his new $44 billion toy against him – it’s calling on Twitter users to flood the app with protest tweets tagging @elonmusk and his company @neuralink.