Neuralink, the controversial brain implant company founded by Elon Muskhas just received the green light to begin installing its chips in humans, while the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, has reported the magnate to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the agonizing death of twelve primates due to these implants.
Neuralink’s goal was for people with tetraplegia due to spinal cord injuries, or ALS patients, to be able to control devices with their minds. However, in December of last year, Reuters reported that the company was under federal investigation for alleged animal welfare violations. Specifically, of some 1,500 sheep, pigs and monkeysafter around twenty workers and former workers accused Neuralink of accelerating investigations, producing “unnecessary suffering and deaths.”
All this would have happened while Neuralink published in April 2021 a video of Pager, a macaque who had had the implant for six months, and who played two video games using his mind, one of putting a ping pong ball in a glass, and another of tennis.
Elon Musk did not respond to these accusations until December 10. “No monkeys have died as a result of a Neuralink implant.” And he also said that they were experimenting on monkeys that were already “on the brink of death.” However, according to public documents obtained by the Physicians Committee, Twelve perfectly healthy macaques were euthanized after suffering various complications from the implant, including “bloody diarrhea, partial paralysis and cerebral edema.” The macaques used, Rhesus type, usually live about 25 years in captivity, some up to 40, but sacrificed by Neuralink They barely exceeded seven years on average.
“Given that the invasiveness of the Neuralink device poses serious risks to the health of patients“Musk is misleading investors about the safety and marketability of the device,” the Physicians Committee denounces. The company has already raised more than $280 million from outside investors.