Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How To Feed Pets -- As Taught by Hill's Pet Nutrition

To understand why veterinarians recommend and sell cooked, processed starches as "food" for meat-eating cats and dogs, one must delve into relationships between veterinary medicine and pet-food corporations.  Hill's Pet Nutrition (Science Diet and prescription products) were the pioneers in corrupting veterinary medicine.

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.

University Teaching Program

Have a look at the Hired Guns the Mark Morris Institute sends (free of charge) to veterinary schools to teach pet nutrition.  I highlighted their pet-food positions, but please note their positions in leading veterinary schools and professional associations.:
The individuals providing this professional education program are the equivalent of an academic faculty of clinical nutrition. MMI faculty are involved in veterinary nutrition health studies, clinical service, publication, education, and continuing education.
Debbie Davenport DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Davenport received her DVM from Auburn University in 1981. She completed an internship at Louisiana State University and a medical residency and master’s degree at The Ohio State University.
Dr. Davenport was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine where she was the recipient of the University Teaching Award for instructional excellence. She is currently the Director of Professional Education at Hill’s Pet Nutrition and the Executive Director of the Mark Morris Institute. In addition, she holds an adjunct professorship at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and serves as a Trustee and Scientific Liaison for the Morris Animal Foundation.
Dr. Davenport is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Her major professional interests are gastroenterology, oncology and clinical nutrition.
S. Dru Forrester DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Forrester received her DVM from Auburn University in 1985. She completed an internship and residency in internal medicine, and received a Master of Science degree at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Forrester was a faculty member in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine for 13 years and a professor at the Western University College of Veterinary Medicine in southern California for 2 years. She has received many awards in recognition of teaching excellence, including the national Carl Norden/Pfizer Distinguished Teacher Award in 2004.
Dr. Forrester's professional interests include urology and nephrology. She joined Hill’s Pet Nutrition in 2005 in the Department of Scientific Affairs and is a Mark Morris Institute Fellow.
David Hammond DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Hammond received his DVM degree from Washington State University in 1980. After owning and operating a mixed-animal veterinary practice, he returned to academia where he completed a medicine residency at Mississippi State University.

Dr. Hammond was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania before joining Hill's Pet Nutrition as a Veterinary Affairs Manager. He is currently the owner of Horizon Veterinary Services, Inc.
Dr. Hammond is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. His major interests are endocrinology and clinical nutrition. He is an adjunct professor at Colorado State University, the University of Minnesota, and Washington State University as well as a Mark Morris Institute Fellow.
Michael S. Hand DVM, PhD, DACVN

Dr. Hand received his DVM from Colorado State University in 1968. After ten years of private practice in Wyoming, he returned to Colorado State University where he received a PhD in nutritional physiology.

Dr. Hand was a faculty member at the School of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University for three years before joining Mark Morris Institute in 1985. He was the Vice President of Research at Hill’s Pet Nutrition Center until his retirement in 2000.
Dr. Hand is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. He has authored over 60 research publications and book chapters and holds two patents. He is a co-author of the textbook, Small Animal Clinical Nutrition III and editor of Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, 4th Edition. He is an adjunct professor at North Carolina State and Kansas State Universities and Chair of the Board of Directors of Mark Morris Institute.
Claudia Kirk DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN
Dr. Kirk received her DVM degree from the University of California-Davis in 1986. She completed an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and medicine residency at University of California-Davis. She remained at the University of California-Davis as a Hill's Fellow in Clinical Nutrition where she also completed a Ph.D. in Nutrition.
Dr. Kirk joined Hill's Pet Nutrition as a Veterinary Clinical Nutritionist in 1994. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  Dr. Kirk is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Nutrition and acting Department Chair of Small Animal Clinical Sciences of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Kirk's major professional interest is small animal clinical nutrition, with special interests in feline nutrition, lower urinary tract disease, geriatrics, and endocrinology. She is a Mark Morris Institute Fellow. She has served as president of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. Dr. Kirk is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Nutrition and acting Department Chair of Small Animal Clinical Sciences of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
Ellen Logan DVM, PhD
Dr. Logan received her DVM degree from Kansas State University in 1988. She spent five years as the University Veterinarian for Kansas State University providing veterinary care to a wide range of animal species. She also instructed students, inspected university laboratory animal facilities, and provided consultation to university researchers. She completed a Ph.D. in oral pathology in 1994.
Dr. Logan joined Hill's Pet Nutrition as a Veterinary Scientist in 1994. She is currently the manager of the Veterinary Consultation Service.  Dr. Logan's major professional interests are pathology, dentistry, and clinical nutrition. She is an adjunct associate research professor at the University of Kansas, an adjunct assistant clinical professor at Kansas State University, and a Mark Morris Institute Fellow. She has served as president of the American Veterinary Dental Society and national spokesperson for Pet Dental Health Month.
Chris L. Ludlow DVM, MS, DACVIM
Dr. Ludlow earned his DVM from Kansas State University in 1986. He worked in general practice in southern California for five years. He then completed a combined internal medicine/small animal clinical nutrition residency and masters degree at Kansas State University.
Dr. Ludlow was a faculty member at Kansas State University for one and half years before joining Veterinary Information Network in internal medicine and nutrition.
Dr. Ludlow is a Diplomate of the American Veterinary College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. His professional interests include gastroenterology, endocrinology, cardiology, and clinical nutrition. He is a consultant for the Veterinary Information Network in internal medicine and nutrition, and a Fellow for Mark Morris Institute.
Richard C. Nap DVM, PhD, DECVS & DECVCN
Dr. Richard Nap received his DVM from Utrecht University (NL) in 1979. After graduation he worked in both small and large animal practice (2 yrs), at Utrecht University (13 yrs) and in a corporate environment (11 yrs). Since 2005, Dr. Nap has owned an independent private consulting firm, Uppertunity Consultants. He is also co-owner of Vetstart International Ltd. His special areas of interest are Clinical Nutrition, Orthopedic Medicine & Surgery, Practice Management, and international student programs.
Dr. Nap is a Diplomate of the European Colleges of Veterinary Surgery (ECVS) and of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition (ECVCN). As consultant he supports international companies around the world. Dr. Nap has a passion for supporting veterinary students around the world by providing support during the transition from student to practitioner.
Dr. Nap is the chairman of the international specialist group on hip dysplasia that advises the scientific committee of the FCI (international kennel club) on the hip dysplasia screening protocol. He is also a member of AO-Vet and ESVOT.
Phil Roudebush DVM, DACVIM
Dr. Roudebush received his DVM degree from Purdue University in 1975. After two years in a private small animal practice in Denver, he completed a medical residency at the University of Missouri.
Dr. Roudebush remained at the University of Missouri for two years as a faculty member before joining the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University. He was a faculty member at Mississippi State for eight years before joining Mark MMI in 1989. While at Mississippi State, he served as Chairman, Department of Clinical Sciences, for three years and received three college or university awards for teaching excellence. He is currently a Director of Scientific Affairs at Hills Pet Nutrition, Inc.
Dr. Roudebush is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. His major professional interests are clinical nutrition, veterinary education, cardiopulmonary disease, and dermatology. He is an adjunct professor at Kansas State University and a Mark Morris Institute Fellow.
Meri Stratton-Phelps DVM, MPVM, DACVIM (LA), DACVN
Dr. Stratton-Phelps graduated from the University of California, Davis with her DVM in 1996, and completed her MPVM degree in 1999. After working as an intern at San Luis Rey Equine Hospital, Dr. Stratton-Phelps returned to U.C. Davis for an equine emphasis large animal medicine residency. She proceeded to complete a nutrition residency and PhD at U.C. Davis. Her research interests include the dietary management of small ruminant urolithiasis, equine enteral nutrition, and the effect of dietary management on the microbial profile of the equine gastrointestinal tract.
Dr. Stratton-Phelps was a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Large Animal Medicine at the University of Georgia from 2005-2006, and remains an adjunct professor in the Department. In 2004 she started a clinical nutrition consulting business, and currently works full time as a multi-species clinical nutritionist. She is a Mark Morris Institute Fellow.
Dr. Phil Toll DVM, MS
Dr. Toll received his DVM degree from Kansas State University in 1986. He spent two years in private practice working with large animals and racing greyhounds.

Dr. Toll returned to Kansas State University and completed an M.S. in physiology in 1990. He remained in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology for another year as a research associate before joining Hill's Pet Nutrition in 1991. He is currently an Associate Medical Director.
Dr. Toll's major professional interests are exercise physiology, metabolism, acid-base balance, and clinical nutrition. He is an adjunct assistant professor at Kansas State University, past president of the American Canine Sports Medicine Association, and a Mark Morris Institute Fellow.
Todd Towell DVM, MS, DACVIM
 Dr. Todd Towell received her veterinary degree in 1990 from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at North Carolina State University in 1991 and a residency in small animal medicine at the Virginia-Maryland in 1994. Dr. Towell also received a Masters degree in Veterinary Medical Science from Virginia Maryland in 1994.
Dr. Towell practiced as in internist in both referral specialty and general practices for 5 years. In 1999, Dr. Towell became a clinical trial coordinator for Heska Corporation. She joined Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. in 2002 as a Veterinary Affairs Manager and is currently a Scientific Spokesperson.
Dr. Towell is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. In 1996, she received the Jersey Shore Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinarian of the Year Award and received the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association’s Up and Coming Veterinarian Award in 2000. In 2005, Dr. Towell served as President of the CVMA.
Dr. Steve Zicker DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN
Dr. Zicker received his M.S. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982, his DVM degree from the University of California-Davis in 1986, and his Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of California-Davis in 1993.
Dr. Zicker also served an internship in medicine and surgery at Texas A&M University and a residency in medicine at the University of California-Davis.
Following his graduate education, Dr. Zicker spent one year as a lecturer and postgraduate researcher at the University of California-Davis and 18 months in private practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He joined Hill's Pet Nutrition in 1996. He is currently a Principal Nutrition Scientist in the Department of Advanced Research at the Hill's Pet Nutrition Center. In 2007, Dr Zicker received a Fulbright award to teach Veterinary Medicine in Ethiopia.
Dr. Zicker is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. His major professional interests are protein and amino acid nutrition, neonatal nutrition, nutrition and behavior interactions, and general comparative nutrition. He is a Mark Morris Institute Fellow.
This who's-who list of credentialed, veterinary nutritional professionals are all paid to promote commercial pet foods, specifically Hill's Pet Nutrition.   The fact that so many are university faculty or consultants, that so many have Diplomate status in professional associations, that so many have held office in professional associations -- is breathtaking.

Surely, the close, financial relationships of university faculty with commercial interests deserves more public and legislative scrutiny.  Given the extent of interlocking university-professional-commercial entities, an outside investigation is essential. No veterinary group could begin to conduct an independent inquiry, because too many leading members are involved in the corruption.

Before doing this research, I would not have believed that veterinary medicine was so completely corrupted by pet-food interests.  Now, there can be no doubt.
 

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