Monday, 26 September 2011 00:19

Official Statement from Bob's Red Mill Regarding OHSU Donation & Animal Testing

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I was deeply saddened when the blogosphere and social media world released information about Bob's Red Mill donating money to OHSU, a facility that is known to do animal testing. I recently interviewed Bob Moore and had posted the video just days before this happened. However, I was unsure how to react and felt that there must be more to the story - it didn't seem like Bob would knowingly give money to a place that did this kind of testing. Along with many other bloggers, Tweeters, and Facebook users I communicated my feelings to the company and even touched base with one of their team members via email, who seemed very disturbed by the situation. Well, the waiting paid off - Bob published a letter tonight on the company website explaining his decision and the Dean of OHSU responded as well. Here are the highlights:

Bob and his wife made the donation, not the company

  • He claims that they are passionate about improving health (evident in the products they sell)
  • They intend to help OHSU establish a nutrition and wellness institute to focus on childhood obesity and chronic disease
  • Their money is being directed towards nutrition studies, specifically womb development
  • "I assure you that no part of our donation will be used to fund animal research"
  • They discussed the public reaction with OHSU to make sure that this is the case
I suppose some animal advocates would rather no money go to OHSU, even if it doesn't go towards animal testing, simply because the school gets other funding to continue to do animal testing. I commented on the Dean's letter by saying, "Thank you for addressing this. I hope the response from so many concerned animal lovers will inspire you to find new ways to do research without involving living creatures." I'm actually glad that Bob donated the money and that people reacted so strongly, because it brings awareness to animal testing to those who know little about it, and it may encourage OHSU to stop it all together. 
I truly believe that it is best to tackle these issues with love and trust. I stayed firm to my belief that Bob's would do the right thing, so I did not turn my back against them. Instead, I communicate my feelings as kindly as possible in a supportive way. It reminds me of what happened with VegNews - many people shunned this company without knowing all the details, yet the team ultimately apologized, cleared up the the misinformation and took action to repair the damage done. We can do so much more good with love than we can with hatred. I recommend you voice your feelings and concerns kindly and clearly in the comment section of both letters, no matter how you feel - we now know they are listening and care what we have to say.

Some facts about animal testing (pulled from Thanking the Monkey by Karen Dawn):
  • animal testing is done on many other creatures aside from mice, including monkeys, rabbits, pigs, sheep and even dogs
  • "there are no federal legal requirements for any care to be taken to minimize pain caused to animals used in experiments"
  • "no drug is allowed on the market until it has been put through a battery of animal tests"
  • experiments on animals doesn't always assure that the same results will occur in human bodies
  • there are many "copy cat" drugs on the marker that companies release to make money - an unnecessary tactic at the expense of animals
  • if animals are not killed in the process, they are permanently damaged physiologically 
  • "the federal government grants millions of taxpayer dollars every year to animal research on obesity" (even more reason to switch to a whole foods plant-based diet!)
  • "any method of killing people will first be tested on animals, who have no rights, and who, to the government, don't matter"
  • animal testing is not required for cosmetics, and yet many companies do it anyways; "to test skin care cosmetics in the United States, immobilized animals are shaved and doused with products to see how much it takes to make their skin burn and blister"
  • rats and mice are exempt from the Animal Welfare Act, which lays down basic cage requirements
  • "animals are enough like us for experiments on their bodies to be truly useful, but so unlike us that we needn't worry about the plight of animals being used"
  • "it is accepted that tests on humans would be more accurate than tests on other animals. But we don't test of humans because society feels it would be ethically unacceptable"
  • Solutions: reduce the number of animals used, refine experiments to minimize suffering, and replace animals with alternatives when possible
Read 17257 times Last modified on Sunday, 14 April 2013 21:43