New allegations add to earlier claims of animal cruelty and “sloppy” monkey experiments at Neuralink, putting Elon Musk’s brain implant company under further scrutiny.
The Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine (PCRM), an animal-welfare group, said it had obtained records suggesting unsafe packaging and movement of implants removed from monkey brains, according to a report by Reuters.
PCRM has outlined its findings in a letter to the US Department of Transportation, urging a probe into the potentially illegal movement of hazardous pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus and herpes B virus.
Health issues these pathogens could cause include bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and severe brain damage, it said in the letter shared with Reuters, adding that Neuralink’s actions “may pose serious and ongoing public health risk.”
PCRM alleged hazardous pathogens were carried on removed implants that were not properly sanitized and sealed for transportation but did not say whether any damage was caused as a result, according to Reuters.
Cybernews has reached out to Neuralink for comment. PCRM’s latest claims build on the group’s earlier allegations of “grisly” and “sloppy” monkey experiments in Neuralink’s labs at the University of California, Davis.
Neuralink used UC Davis facilities from 2017 to 2020, when the partnership was severed. Documents obtained through public information requests from UC Davis showed potential breaches of hazardous material transportation regulations taking place in 2019, according to PCRM.
Animal advocates also say that other documents they have obtained reveal university employees expressing contamination concerns and urging immediate biohazard training for Neuralink staff.
As a private company, Neuralink is not subject to public information requests. Last year, it admitted that some monkeys died during its experiments but denied mistreating them.
In December, a federal investigation was started against the company over possible animal welfare violations – shortly after Musk announced Neuralink’s brain implants were ready for humans.
Neuralink says its brain chips could eventually help paralyzed people walk and cure other neurological conditions.
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