The Biden administration is reportedly investigating a company owned by Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
According to a lengthy article Monday night by Reuters news agency, the medical-device firm Neuralink is under investigation by the Agriculture Department for animal-welfare violations.
Citing “documents reviewed by Reuters and sources familiar with the investigation and company operations,” the British news agency reported that the accusations include rushing the animal-testing process and inflicting unnecessary death and suffering on test animals.
The USDA inspector general is looking into violations of the Animal Welfare Act, which covers experimental animals.
Neuralink is working on brain injuries, including paralysis preventing someone from walking, by trying to develop a brain implant.
Mr. Musk has been increasingly in the Biden administration’s crosshairs in recent weeks, since he purchased Twitter vowing to tilt it more towards free expression than censorship. He embarrassed the Biden administration over the weekend by releasing to reporter Matt Taibbi internal Twitter communications showing how the social-media giant, with the support of federal officials, acted to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 election season.
According to the Reuters report, citing “dozens of Neuralink documents and interviews with more than 20 current and former employees,” some of the charges blame Mr. Musk himself.
Mr. Musk has pressured researchers for faster development, Reuters reported, leading to more testing failures and repetitions and the resultant animal deaths.
“The company documents include previously unreported messages, audio recordings, emails, presentations and reports,” Reuters wrote.
No Neuralink executives, including Mr. Musk, responded to requests for comment from Reuters.
However, Reuters noted, filings with government regulators “show that Neuralink has passed all USDA inspections of its facilities.”
A spokesman for the USDA inspector-general’s office declined to comment to Reuters.