Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oh no Bob's Red Mill's, NO!

"Bob’s Red Mill’s standing as a conscious and compassionate company is about to take a serious hit. The grain seller is donating $25 million to the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), an institution responsible for extensive animal testing." - From The Informed Vegan

Total sad face. That money could have supported so many other causes. The testing is for "nutrition education" and "research on obesity and other diseases." I'm sorry, but I think animal testing in reference to obesity is the absolute worst. Obesity is something we can control - yes, some people have emotional disorders that lead them down that path - but ultimately, it's a hole you dig yourself and it's a hole you should have to climb out of without using products and research tested on animals. Gah!

So I'm officially not buying any Bob's Red Mill's products anymore, that includes my baking business. I'm really disappointed that they didn't think this one through.


  1. Hey now, here's a question. How do you know that the obesity research will involve animal testing? I can't imagine that animal testing will be done for the nutrition outreach. Also most research institutions like that are going to have some animal testing going on - it's how we learn about diseases and medicines. Do you boycott medicine in general because the manufacturers test animals? I don't like animal testing, and I don't know whether or not I believe that it's a necessary evil, but it happens, and there are standards that you have to pass to market pharmaceuticals, and we have to test them on animals before humans, according to US law. Like it or not, that's the way it works, and what if that work is totally separate from what Bob's is giving money to? Lots of horrible companies do good things on the side of their horribleness, and I don't think we should discourage the good stuff. That's just me, though. But what would you think if you found out, for sure, that what Bob's is funding will not involve any animal testing, and it's research that they otherwise wouldn't be doing? (I did try and check this out at The Informed Vegan but the website wouldn't cooperate)

  2. Thanks for your comment, Liz!

    Unfortunately, both Bob's Red Mills and OHSU have confirmed that the donated funds will support research that involves the use of animal testing. According to the Informed Vegan:

    "OHSU is one of the most notorious animal testing schools in the world. According to whistleblowers, OHSU hires unqualified low-paid workers to conduct sloppy and unscientific experiments. Animals, like baby monkeys, are kept in cramped cages in standing water and bodily fluids where disease and sickness are rampant. All the experiments, including the most absurd ones, are done in the name of “health research.” A few years ago, OHSU famously spent close to $1 million terrorizing baby monkeys with Mr. Potato Head dolls as part of an obesity study."

    In general, I struggle with medical research. I'm on a medication that I will be on for life and I haven't yet researched it's contents and if the pharmaceutical company tests on animals. This is something I would like to research. It's a medication I cannot stop taking, and os if animals are involved in its production, I will have to make a difficult choice - find alternatives, feel sick all the time, or continue taking it.

    In terms of your comment about horrible companies doing good things...I struggle with that as well because their only motivation is to hush the whistleblowers and detract from the real harm they are doing. Don't get me wrong, I'd like for them to dump more money into good things (which is the opposite of what Bob's did - they were a good company that donated to a bad organization), but I'd rather they clean up their act and stop contributing to the problem.