Elon Musk's Neuralink destroyed monkeys' brains before killing them
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed a complaint against Elon Musk's Neuralink, saying the research caused "extreme suffering" on the monkeys.
Elon Musk's Neuralink, a neurotechnology corporation, has been defending itself against animal rights activists' claims that the researchers abused the monkeys they were testing the brain chips on.
Neuralink, created by the tech billionaire, is a project with an aim of enabling people to control devices with their brains, according to a statement released Monday, which asserts that the animals in question were "respected and honored by our team."
Claims that the animals were tortured and left to die were widespread, as the monkeys underwent horrendous experiments which go against ethical standards.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed a complaint against the research, saying it caused "extreme suffering" on the monkeys, as they “had their brains mutilated in shoddy experiments and were left to suffer and die”.
The complaint addresses both Neuralink and the University of California who partnered in this experiment between 2017 and 2020. In the experiment, researchers implanted small devices into the skulls of macaque monkeys.
The PCRM, through obtaining health records and necropsy reports, said the documents reveal that the monkeys have been suffering "extreme psychological distress" as a result of the crude surgeries.
Neuralink used something called "BioGlue" which destroyed regions of the monkeys' brains, causing devastating psychological effects, including anxiety, vomiting, poor appetite, hair loss and self-mutilating behavior. Some even removed their own fingers.
In response, Neuralink called the complaint "misleading", saying in a blog post that the company “did and continues to meet federally mandated standards."
Addressing the deaths of the monkeys, Neuralink attributed the deaths to "terminal procedures" where the monkeys were euthanized after surgery.
In 2021, Neuralink released a video showing a monkey controlling a computer with its mind - this created controversy and prompted the scientific community to subject the video and study to peer review for more oversight and accountability.