Elon Musk, the world's richest man, is now facing federal charges. This is not for his Twitter shenanigans; but for his other company, Neuralink, a medical device company, which is accused of animal-welfare violations.
Why? The federal investigation comes after Elon Musk's employees from Neuralink (who he hasn't fired, unlike at Twitter) claimed there were animal-welfare violations in his company.
At least 20 former and current employees have launched this complaint and according to them, as reported by Reuters, animal testing is being rushed by Musk, causing needless suffering and deaths of animals.
First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2021
The device is implanted flush with skull & charges wirelessly, so you look & feel totally normal— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2021
However, we need to remember this, that Musk's company is not the only company that kills animals for experiments. There are several companies that kill animals to analyse their post-mortem reports.
So, what is the problem? According to Musk's employees, the problem is when he pressures his employees to work extremely fast, in order to increase the productivity of the company, Reuters reported. (Also, US laws don't state anything about the number of animals you can kill while developing a medical product.)
However, the number of animals killed during such experiments in other companies is extremely low.
This pressure cooker environment that Musk has created for his employees at Neuralink (in all his companies actually), causes two things:
On one occasion a few years ago, Musk told employees he would trigger a "market failure" at Neuralink unless they made more progress, according to a former employee.
But what does Neuralink do?
But, above all to start human trials, Neuralink needs FDA approval, which it hasn't received yet, even though the paperwork was completed six months ago.
Dive deeper: To understand Neuralink's condition, let's compare it with its rival Synchron, which was also launched in 2016 and aims to help paralysed people text and type by thinking.
Synchron has already received human-trial approval from the FDA, has proved successful on two people, and has killed 80 sheep as a part of its experiment.
Bottomline: The company that Musk trusts so much that he is ready to get a chip implanted into his own head (he said this during one of Neuralink's events) hasn't even received FDA approval and is now facing federal investigation. What the future holds for Neuralink can be only said once the federal investigation is completed.