News Report Technology
November 23, 2023

US Lawmakers Demand SEC Inquiry on Neuralink Over Alleged Securities Fraud by Elon Musk

US Lawmakers Demand SEC Inquiry on Neuralink Over Alleged Securities Fraud by Elon Musk

In a recent letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), four U.S. lawmakers are urging an investigation into allegations of securities fraud against Elon Musk.

The lawmakers, including Democratic House Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Barbara Lee and Tony Cardenas of California submitted the letter on Tuesday, as reported by Reuters.

There are concerns that Elon Musk is misleading investors regarding the safety of a brain implant developed by his company, Neuralink, and thus calls for an enquiry. As Neuralink prepares to conduct its first human trials of the brain implant, scrutiny has intensified regarding the company’s safety protocols.

In May this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for Elon Musk’s brain implant company Neuralink, to proceed with its first-in-human clinical trial. At that time, the company emphasized that the FDA’s approval would help it to leverage technology for widespread societal benefit.

According to the report, the lawmakers’ letter references veterinary records obtained from Neuralink’s experiments on monkeys, revealing “debilitating health effects” such as paralysis, seizures and brain swelling. Shockingly, at least 12 monkeys were euthanized due to issues with the company’s implant, according to the letter.

However, downplaying these concerns, Neuralink’s CEO, Elon Musk, took to Twitter and said on September 10, “No monkey has died as a result of a Neuralink implant. First, our early implants, to minimize risk to healthy monkeys, we chose terminal monkeys (close to death already).”

Despite requests for comment on the SEC letter, Neuralink has remained silent.

As per reports, lawmakers argue that the evidence reviewed indicates a direct link between the deaths of animals in Neuralink experiments and the safety and marketability of the brain-computer interface. Consequently, Musk’s statement denying a connection may have violated SEC rules, according to the lawmakers.

The brain-interface tech company, Neuralink was co-founded by Musk in 2016. Fast forward to 2021, Neuralink released a video showcasing a monkey playing MindPong, skillfully maneuvering the game with the assistance of a Neuralink chip.

“We have Neuralink working well with monkeys. A lot of tests are being conducted to confirm that the chip is very safe and reliable. The Neuralink device can be removed safely,” said Musk while speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit last year.

As quoted by AfroTech, Musk said, “We hope to implant it on the first human who has severe spinal cord injuries like tetraplegics or quadriplegics. An FDA approval is awaited next year.”

In February 2022, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), an animal-rights group, filed a draft regulatory complaint with the US Department of Agriculture, alleging that they possess evidence demonstrating that monkeys are currently being subjected to extreme suffering at Neuralink.

As a result, the firm had euthanised or killed 15 out of 23 of its monkey test subjects, it alleged.

In August 2023, Neuralink has raised $280 million in a Series D round led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. Now, as the SEC evaluates this inquiry, the scrutiny of Neuralink’s practices intensifies, with potential implications for the company’s future endeavors.

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About The Author

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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Kumar Gandharv
Kumar Gandharv

Kumar is an experienced Tech Journalist with a specialization in the dynamic intersections of AI/ML, marketing technology, and emerging fields such as crypto, blockchain, and NFTs. With over 3 years of experience in the industry, Kumar has established a proven track record in crafting compelling narratives, conducting insightful interviews, and delivering comprehensive insights. Kumar's expertise lies in producing high-impact content, including articles, reports, and research publications for prominent industry platforms. With a unique skill set that combines technical knowledge and storytelling, Kumar excels at communicating complex technological concepts to diverse audiences in a clear and engaging manner.

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