In sum, pet-food dollars buy biased instruction in veterinary schools, favorable treatment in professional associations, and toothless pet-food regulations. The scope of pet-food corruption in veterinary medicine is breath-taking. Pet-food companies completely control those aspects of veterinary medicine that concern them -- pet nutrition, internal medicine, and research on diseases associated with bad diets.
Pet-food money is not seen as tainted, of course, because veterinary authorities are on the take. Pet-food endowed chairs in university departments seem legitimate, until one looks at the control pet-food companies retain over the selection and activities of the chair-holder. Endowed buildings and research programs look legitimate until one sees that the scope of activities is defined by pet-food donors. There's no free lunch in pet-food/veterinary relations -- although pet-food companies do often sponsor "free" luncheons and dinners for their hired hands.
Veterinary schools and professional associations thank their pet-food donors for their generous support, which sums to tens of millions of dollars per year. Pet-food companies reap billions of dollars in profits from the veterinary endorsements they purchased for about ten-cents-on-the-dollar.
Why is there no outrage about pet-food companies' control of pet nutrition and associated health issues in veterinary medicine? In recent correspondence, Australian Tom Lonsdale, DVM likened corruption in veterinary medicine to crooked police:
Currently there's a TV program on here about the Wood Royal Commission. Basically all the cops
were corrupt and engaged in massive scams, rape, murder and etc. The Commissioners got a corrupt detective to roll over and film his colleagues in corrupt activity.
It would be good if we found either a champion or reformed crook in the system who would help this along.
Imagine if the only "vegetable" served in school lunch programs was ketchup. (Ronald Regan once agreed that ketchup could be considered a vegetable in school lunches.) Suppose that Heinz and Del Monte, the largest ketchup manufacturers, funded instruction for school nutrition programs, endowed chairs and buildings in human nutrition programs, and hired a cadre of nutritionists to promote ketchup as the only vegetable children need for a complete and balanced diet (sound familiar?).
If ketchup companies spread enough dollars and bought enough expertise, they probably could have ketchup enshrined as the only vegetable in school lunch programs. Anyone who suggested kids need green and yellow vegetables and unprocessed tomatoes would be confronted by research showing ketchup has sufficient nutrients (ah, the key word) to replace all other vegetables. Ketchup would flow through the nation's school lunch rooms, while ketchup dollars bought all the professional support they need. All it takes is money.