Mark Morris founded Hill's Pet Nutrition in his garage in 1948. Morris was a veterinarian, whose son also trained as a veterinarian. Mark Morris's son carried on the family business. Their products, Science Diet and Hill's prescription diets, expanded into factories and ultimately were sold to Colgate-Palmolive for several billions of dollars in 2003.
From the outset, Mark Morris believed that convincing veterinarians to believe in Science Diet and Hill's prescription products was the key to the company's success. He was absolutely right. Hill's Pet Nutrition invested heavily in veterinary education, pet nutrition research, and helping new graduates to set up small animal practices with Hill's products on the shelves.
Hill's representatives infiltrated veterinary schools, aiding students with donated pet foods, teaching pet nutrition courses, giving research grants supporting commercial pet foods, providing funds for student activities, summer interneships, and many other initiatives. Morris enjoyed a three-decade lead over other pet food companies in corrupting the veterinary profession.
By contrast to other pet-food companies, such as Mars and Nelstle-Purina, Hill's Pet Nutrition spends a pittance on advertising to pet owners and focuses their funds on veterinarians. Once purchased by Colgate-Palmolive, however, advertising of Hill's pet products accelerated, but their focus is still on controlling veterinary medicine. Hill's investment in controlling pet nutrition teaching, research,and practice has paid off very handsomely for the company, which is now a high-profit unit of global Colgate-Palmolive.
Rich from the sale of the family business to Colgate-Palmolive, Morris's son endowed the Mark Morris Institute in his father's honor. What does the Institute support? Teaching small animal nutrition in veterinary schools, of course!
- They write the textbook (Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 5th Edition) that is used in nearly every pet nutrition course in every veterinary school.
- They teach the pet nutrition course.
- The Mark Morris Institute pays a dozen veterinarians, whom they send, free of charge, to veterinary schools to teach pet nutrition and to consult with veterinary students about setting up successful pet practices.
- Most Mark Morris Institute Fellows are current and/or former employees of Hills Pet Nutrition and the Morris Animal Foundation. They speak about nutrients, not food, and teach vet students to believe that commercial formulations are the best nutrition Father Manufacture can concoct. Mother Nature is nowhere to be found.
Mark Morris Sr. and Jr., with hundreds of millions of Hill's dollars behind them, also founded an interlocking set of self-congratulatory professional associations in veterinary nutrition and internal medicine. By controlling memberships, they bestow Diplomate status and honors on each other and exclude those who do not pledge allegiance to commercial pet foods.
The Mark Morris Institute, Morris Animal Foundation, and Hill's Pet Nutrition have interlocking directorates. One can easily see the lines of communication and conspiracy in the faculty biographies below. Even more alarming is the extensive penetration of these pet-food entities into leading veterinary schools.
Although lengthy, the evidence is worth reviewing in detail. Here is what the Mark Morris Institute says about its University Teaching Program and the faculty who carry their message.