Dear Dr. Fong:
I’m writing to request that Neuralink’s license (93-R-0586) to operate an animal research facility be revoked in light of multiple, egregious violations of adequate animal care revealed by current and former employees of the company.
They claim that Neuralink’s experiments to develop a brain-computer interface killed an excessive 1,500 animals since 2018, many as a result of botched experiments. They exposed a hostile work climate in which researchers felt rushed and threatened, and which led to numerous, preventable errors. Informers cite multiple incidents, including implants that were the wrong size or that were inserted into the wrong part of the body, resulting in extreme suffering and death. Such errors necessitated additional experiments and more animal deaths. The cause of these errors, they assert, is leadership’s continual demands to rush research and meet unrealistic deadlines.
This follows previous allegations earlier this year that botched procedures on monkeys by Neuralink led to extreme suffering and death. Neuralink has demonstrated repeatedly that it is incapable of following scientific and ethical standards and its license to operate an animal research facility must be revoked immediately.
Such an action is not unprecedented. In 2016, USDA revoked the license of Santa Cruz Biotechnology, along with a fine of $3.5 million, for excessive violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
The reports from employees of Neuralink indicate that the disregard for proper animal care was appalling and rampant. I understand that Neuralink is currently under investigation by the USDA Office of Inspector General. I urge you to take the strongest possible action against this offending institute by revoking its license permanently.