Healthy Living on September 26, 2011 by

A Messsage from Bob and Charlee Moore Regarding the OHSU Nutrition and Wellness Institute

Dear Friends,

As many of you may be aware, my wife Charlee and I recently made a commitment to make a donation to Oregon Health & Science University. We have dedicated our lives to improving health throughout the world and our intent in helping OHSU establish a nutrition and wellness institute was to focus on childhood obesity, chronic disease, much of which begins at a very early age — even at conception and in the womb. Our monies are dedicated to support research toward better nutrition, with a particular focus on development in the womb, as well as related education and community outreach. It has come to our attention that some people may be concerned about how our donation is to be used at OHSU and whether any of it will go toward animal research.

I assure you that no part of our donation will be used to fund animal research. It was never our intent that any of our gift be used in that way. We have discussed these concerns with OHSU and reaffirmed their commitment that our donation will only be used to improve nutrition and wellness in a manner consistent with our intent. Here is a link to a statement from Dr. Mark Richardson, who is the Dean of the OHSU School of Medicine (, which confirms OHSU’s commitment to use our donation only as we intended.

We are confident that in working together with OHSU we can have a profound impact on health and wellness for many generations to come, and we thank you for your kind messages.

To your good health,

Bob and Charlee Moore
Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods

We welcome your feedback and will publish your comments, we only ask you to please keep it civil. We are unable to post any comments that are abusive. 


Thank you for listening to all the comments and responding to them. I hope OHSU stays true to their word.

Callie says:

I almost cried reading this. I am so happy and I hope that everyone stays true to their word. But in the instance where OHSU does not stay true, I will not blame Bob’s Red Mill.

josh hooten says:

Hi Bob, this is great news. Thank you for having an open heart and open mind. We love your products and will proudly continue to support your company.

Just Me says:

Still have mixed feelings. I don’t believe the words of OHSU. Far as I know, there’s nothing stopping them from using the funds however they see fit. Is anyone going to stick around to account for what funds are spent and where? It would be nice to believe what OHSU promises, but all in all, they are still a disgusting school with more than disgusting practices and shouldn’t be supported (in my view) for any sort of research till they stop the animal experimentation. I hate to be so negative, but lets be real….they are vivisectors.

We have already appointed Lori Sobelson to watch over how the funds are used on behalf of Bob and Charlee Moore. Lori is committed to seeing their wishes fulfilled.

Amber K says:

Thank you so much for your generosity and kindness. More of us need to learn about nutrition and wellness so we can live our best lives.

Tiffany says:

Thank you for ensuring that your legacy of generosity and commitment to nutrition will not result in the unnecessary suffering of animals.

Jerilee Auclair says:

Thank you so much. I love your products and glad I can continue purchasing them. I much appreciate your listening and making sure your extremely generous donation will not ever go to animal testing of any sort. For me the confusion arose when the gentleman from OHSU stated there was no decision – it was either going to research nutrition or to the primate house. Your letter is well-received here.


Annette Frey says:

I think they’ll have to follow your wishes. There are a lot of eyes on them. Thank you for listening to the real concerns.

Jay says:

Your thoughtful consideration of these issues is heartening. Thank you.

taiganaut says:

Thanks for this clarification. It’s great that the money will be earmarked to avoid animal testing.

Given the circumstances and the fact that you turned the company over to employees before the donation, and continuation of a pointless wild-eyed boycott would be a shameful display of divisive and destructive anti-activism that will serve only to damage an Oregon company that provides a lot of good jobs and buys a lot of product from organic farmers in the region.

George hoselton says:

Missionaries to china observed the natives over a hundred years ago had no type ii diabetes. And they and their family members saw their diabetes disappear. They ate very little meat fish or dairy. They consumed a tiny fraction of the fat Americans even then ate. Avery low fat diet prevents/cures type ii very quickly. It reverses clogged arteries very slowly. Dr Neal Barnard has been studying this for years and has a long term federally sponsored study. Why are we spending $60 billion per year on an easily cured disease? He strongly recommends whole grains. The medical community hates and mocks anyone who claims they cured their diabetes because big pharma knows it is true. Dr Barnard should have a position in your work at least as a visiting professor or lecturer.

kathy says:

Hi Bob,
It is certainly a worthy cause and your end goal for research is admirable. However, I think what most loyal Bob’s customers/Animal lovers (like myself) are wondering is why you didn’t choose an organization that as a whole, firmly stands against all animal testing in its practices? Thanks.

[…] the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) donation controversy.  The message can be found here.  The Moores state that their donation will not be used to fund animal research or testing, and […]

Thank you for sharing your response.

I applaud your generous commitment to nutrition and to the healthy lives of children and adults. I will be sure to link to your statement on my blog, as I did bring up my concerns there.

Thank you for your transparency!

Rowan says:

Thank you for all that you have done, and continue to do. It is wonderful to have influential people making a difference in this world.

What me and the readers of want to know is…. WHY not go to the source and support a healthy school lunch program with all that money??? Why support pointless testing when we already know the answer. The kids are obese because they cant afford healthy foods. Give them the food directly instead of some major university so some under nutritionally educated doctors can spray things into test tubes. Follow the model of the hunts point alliance or ny healthy school food programs where monies are given to the KIDS via their actual good. Feed them, not a university’s pockets.

Emily Marcroft says:

Good job responding in a timely, concise, and non-apologetic manner (there are times for apologies, but this wasn’t one, and it’s a stronger position to be in to reiterate your good intentions than to apologize needlessly). Lots of companies could learn from how this was addressed and communicated.

Karen N says:

I am deeply disappointed. Its simple hypocrisy to me.

Rachel B says:

Still not buying it, literally. Not good enough! Why in the world would you give money to people who torture and imprison defenseless animals for human greed? Diabetes and obesity are caused by ourselves! It costs too much to eat healthy and I guess apples just aren’t a good enough treat to eat while watching reality TV. Mentioned above was a comment about giving food directly to schools to feed the kids…how far would those millions go in actual food and education? Pretty far is my guess.

Thank you so much for your response and for clarifying that your gift will be used only for the good.

Lara says:

While I like the sentiment that this money won’t go toward animal testing, OHSU will be able to put more of their own money toward animal testing since they are getting help from Bob’s Red Mill. I like your products Bob and Charlee, but I will not purchase them due to this.

Victoria says:

I appreciate this sentiment very much. I am still concerned, however. OHSU has lied repeatedly for years. Is there a firm contract? What serious consequences are there if OHSU uses this funding, whether directly or indirectly, for animal research? There are so many programs, that directly impact bringing nutritious food to those who need it most, that are suffering for funds. I’m having a hard time understanding why such an unscrupulous organization as OHSU is the recipient of so much money. I feel so strongly that I have told my friends & family for 14yrs now not to ever take me to OHSU, I would rather die than give them a single penny. I’m not sure I can continue to support Bob’s Red Mill if this donation goes through. That makes me sad. I have been shopping there every Saturday for years. It breaks my heart that money I spent could be going to OHSU.

Laura says:

I still don’t like it. $25 mil. for research at a vivisection school where thousands of animals are captive and being used and killed, and for things we already know?
Most “research” is continual-grant-seeking hype that never produces anything but “hope,” to keep it highly funded decade after decade. And it’s a vivisection institution! Why should it be rewarded?
Animal sanctuaries desperately need funding instead. Bob’s needs to do more than stipulate no funds for animal research; they need to use their influence to get all the animals out of the labs at OHSU, and give another $25 mil. to sanctuaries caring for rescued “lab animals.”
Until then I plan to buy my flaxseed meal and all the other grain/meal products from anywhere else even if it’s a lot of trouble.
Sad and disappointed, but hoping for better news.

Enrique says:

I noticed that a few people are wondering if OHSU will stay true to their word. From a legal standpoint I believe they are required to use donated funds in the way indicated by the donor (at least that is how it works for other non-profits).

KateBristow says:

I don’t understand why the money wouldn’t have been given to an institute or agency wherein there would be NO question as to how it would be spent. There are a multitude of resources working toward good health without compromising animals lives.

This is disappointing and you should be ashamed of yourselves for supporting an institute that destroys lives and causes much suffering.

I used to think highly of you, that is no longer the case.

Bnice says:

I think everyone missing how much good OHSU does not just here, but globally. Thousands of children with cancer, ten’s of thousands of men and women with rare chronic diseases. 19 years ago, OHSU took my wife in for emergency treatment, she had an unknown infection. At the time we had no health insurance. She spent 2 1/2 weeks in intensive care, attended to by two world re known top infectious disease doctors. They saved her life. In the end, they allowed me to pay only about 2% of a the $40K+ medical bill. I’d prefer it if people would recognize the area’s of concern with a single department of OHSU, but focus on the positives of Bob and Charlee’s donation.

kristin says:

I second what Chloe said. If you really care about nutrition, help local schools where kids are often totally dependent on getting their food from. With $25 MILLION you could build SEVERAL food banks that would give out healthy food to underserved populations and offer lots of nutrition and cooking classes. We don’t need research, we need a wide and fast distribution of fresh organic vegetables, fruits, and heirloom grains and we need to give people the tools they need to know how to use them and make smart decisions on their own. People are suffering NOW. How long before this research is completed? How long before there is a benefit to those who are desperate?

Sal Ruibal says:

Another example of “no good deed goes unpunished.”

John says:

Some will bitch no matter what you guys do. They complained about animal testing so you made sure it won’t go to that so now they want you to not give it to that university at all. You’ll find with veg fundamentalsts types it’s never good enough as they have no ability to meet anyone half way. I know as I’m vegan but don’t tell anyone for fear of being lumped in with those ones. You have done a lot of good including giving your company over to your workers rather than selling to a huge corporation that sells meat and tests on animals like many other natural foods companies have done. xo

cherrycobbler says:

I was seriously disappointed when I found out the money was going to OHSU but I am grateful you have clarified what indeed is happening. I’ve worked in research lab at a University where other labs were testing on animals, and I wouldn’t have felt fair if the legitimate and humane human-subjects-based grant money had been jeopardized just because others were making poor choices. I also know that if a donor earmarks money, it really needs to go where it is supposed to. People should learn this lesson from this situation, any donation to a school should come with a stipulation of where you want the money to go.

People are still frustrated because it is very hard to find a way to stop these research institutions and their needless and cruel animal “testing”/abuse. It’s hard to boycott them, because students need a place to go to school. They don’t produce products that we buy on a daily basis. We can educate others and make them aware of what goes on, yet the sadistic scientists still continue. Legislation needs to be implemented so animals are protected by the law and they are not allowed to be tortured in this way. And that is not up to you, Bob, but this is an opportunity for people to be educated about this topic and perhaps for the university to rethink some of their practices.

Thank you for your time, I will continue to buy my favorite brand of gluten-free flours.

Laura says:

You don’t compromise with evil, period, you don’t “meet it halfway” as some nasty elitist above said, not if you’re ethical and have real empathy for animals, or for anyone for that matter. As long as this university has animals in their labs, that $25 million will be dispersed among vivisectors too…think about it. As long as OHSU is a vivisection facility I will not be buying any more Bob’s Red Mill products and am sorry I’ve bought them regularly for many years. I as a vegan don’t want to be lumped in with those compromisers who sell animals down the river at any opportunity. Animals should not be in labs, no excuses, no exceptions.

Laura says:

The only ones attacking others in here are the ones criticizing vegans for being strongly opposed to animal testing. Take a look at all the comments here. Those opposed to OHSU for being a vivisection mill are just stating their case politely and not raging and insulting anyone. As would be expected the 2 people who condone animal use in labs are the ones resorting to foul stuff. It all speaks for itself.

Stephen says:

For those who support vivisection (at OHSU)…I think I can safely say the real animal advocacy movement wants you OUT…you do not speak for us or for animals. To fund OHSU is to pour money into animal vivisection. The truth about OHSU from an MD who graduated from there:
We’re boycotting Bob’s Red Mill until all animals are out of OHSU. I’m sure some of the $25,000,000 can go towards giving sanctuary to those animals.

Nestor Tkchenko says:

I don’t like giving my hard earned dollars to copmanies that donate millions of dollars to known animal abusers. Even if not a single dollar you donated is spent on animal tests, you are *still* helping them out financially and they are *still* thriving.

When I contacted you a few weeks ago, this is not the outcome I was hoping to achieve. It sounds like you are just trying to comfort our poor, weary heads.

I expect more from a company that I pay top-dollar to support.

Unless you are able to abandon these plans, I will continue to boycott this company and encourage others to do the same.

I put a lot of effort into funding ethical and environmentally friendly businesses. Bob’s Red Mill just got removed from that list as far as I’m concerned.

John says:

I guess Laura is responding on here with her fair trade computer made with plastics not tested on animals?! Hope you spend as much time complaining to the makers of everything you sit on, wear, and use daily for what they do to aniamls and the planet as you do picking on an elderly couple (Bob and Charlee) who grew up before factory farms and mass vivisection exsisted! Some of you vegans are clueless to the reality to the many small ways you too add to suffering but of course that couldn’t be as you’re PERFECT…better get off your chair and computer than as both are contaminated with animal testing/products! What? but your chair is wood? Where was it made…what is the wood treated with…EXACTLY!

Give Bob a Break says:

I am conflicted about animal research too, but I suggest it’s time to move the dialog from this site. While we are ranting all over their blog, Bob’s Red Mill is quietly leading a revolution, making it much, much easier, more accessible and even fun for regular Americans to make big changes in their diet away from processed foods — and possibly away from meat. More animals can be saved in the long run through that positive process than by burning Bob or OHSU in metaphorical effigy. Bob and Charlee are on your side, they are good and decent people, and their informed decision deserve your tolerance, if not respect. Exercise your passion they way they have, through education and outreach, and you will get much, much farther — in your life and in the cause you’ve chosen as its focus.

Bethany says:

yay! I was really hoping for a response like this :). I knew that Bob couldn’t be involved w/ donating to animal testing. Thanks again, Bob & Charlee!

Stephen says:

Can’t be perfectly vegan, so may as well not mind $25,000,000 going to a vivisection institute…that’s what this John character is saying. Way to go, genius. How’s it feel to be so much wiser than anyone who disagrees with you on how wrong vivisection is?
Bob & Charlee, please use this opportunity and your influence at OHSU to get the animals out of those labs. No one on my side has said anything hateful or rude to you, just imploring you to help remedy this situation. While John and taiganaut are full of venom and hurling all sorts of rotten stuff at others for merely stating a position. Please help, Bob and Charlee. Do the right thing.

Stephen says:

Sorry, moderator, I made a mistake in my email address before so my 2 comments are still awaiting moderation. I forgot the “2” so here my correct email is attached to this message. Thanks.

Stephen says:

Bob’s Red Mill’s $25mil gift to OHSU will support vivisection unless the school goes non-animal; see what an MD who graduated from there says: Since that article many more med schools stopped using animals, leaving only 7 in the US & Canada who still do.
Please do the right thing Bob & Charlee, and use your influence to end vivisection at OHSU.
Perfect veganism may not be possible in this world as humans have set it up, yet, but that’s no reason to support vivisection, as John seems to have a problem understanding. All his rudeness to others for stating their position is quite revealing about those who condone animal research.

Laura says:

Looks like John cannot understand that you don’t have to be a “perfect vegan” in order to not want to fund vivisection. Till OHSU removes all animal labs, we are no longer buying Bob’s products. This is a perfect opportunity to get great changes made here, and John and his buddies only want to coddle vivisectors. Time to stop the lies and the cruelty. Please designate some of that huge donation for rescuing and caring for those animals in a sanctuary. Hopefully,

Laura says:

See what an MD who graduated from OHSU says:
Since that article many more med schools stopped using animals, leaving only a few who still do. Let’s get together and stop the insults and get one more med. school to go animal-free like nearly all of them are now.
Quit spitting venom, John and taiganaut…makes it look like you want animals in labs. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

john says:

I’m vegan myself and don’t support animal testing and my point is Bob and Charlee aren’t giving the money for testing on animals but you guys STILL complain! So complain to the University not BRM. These guys saw to our request (which they didn’t have to)and made sure their donation won’t go to abusing animals. They can’t withdraw the donation entirely as that would mean spending millions defending a damn lawsuit from backing out so this was a solution…go complain to the school about their policies on vivsection as BRM has done all it can!

John says:

In other words why not go right to those doing it and stop fixating on these two who are small potatoes in a much larger picture? They have fixed it best they can and we could be flooding the university with mail instead.

Laura says:

Small potatoes don’t donate $25 mil to anyone. Bob’s is in a position of potential great power right now to get that school animal-free and to help with the financing to get those animals to sanctuary. Bob’s has a great opportunity here to change things. Of course the university should be pressured…all of them are being persuaded mostly by to go animal-free and get out of the Dark Ages mentality of cutting up animals to learn about people, and I support PCRM and do all their actions. The school is much more likely to listen to Bob’s as well as PCRM and their supporters, and I’ve written to PCRM about this here. Anyone can write them at

Margaret says:

Exciting and inspiring things will surely come from this incredible gift! Bob and Charlee – you are amazing.

Laura says:

Please take a look at Lori Smart’s comment on the BRM FB page under “see all 28 comments” where she applauds the use of animals at OHSU to find the “cure” for obesity and so on:
Whose side are you on…the side of real human health and freedom for “lab animals,” or the side of ugly, selfish human ignorance and ill-health that waits for answers to their problems from keeping animals in cages and experimenting on & killing them for results that are inconclusive? Only human studies are conclusive for people, and nevertheless animal testing would be wrong even if it worked, as this is no way for human beings to behave.
Time for changing things at this school is NOW, Bob and Charlee Moore…please help accomplish this. Earmark a good portion of that donation to get the animals out of there and change OHSU’s practices for good.

John says:

How can Bob make them take animals out? He can’t tell them to use the money to move animals off campus! And if it’s me trying to start stuff (as you and another sais before)why are you trying to send people over to this Lori on another page? If you have a prob with her comment go talk to her over there rather than rounding people up over here where she can’t see to swarm her with comments? How odd…guess the drama here died down so you need to try to start some more up?

Matt Rossell says:

I worked for two years undercover in OHSU’s primate labs, where more than 2500 monkeys were held captive. I witnessed assembly-line style research, common mistakes, routine violations of the animal welfare act and more than 1000 monkeys, living a miserable life deprived of the ability to interact socially as nature intended. Intelligent, sensitive primates, with similar social and emotional needs to humans, truly suffering. It was overwhelmingly sad. And all for very questionable research that is doing little if anything to advance human health.

I tried to change the system from within, advocating for the animals. and since then, for the last decade, I have been closely watching the changes they have made. Unfortunately, most of the significant ones have been moving in the wrong direction, with a massive increase in primate research–now they have more than 4000 monkeys–and a very apparent increase in public relations efforts. I have been inside and seen directly how OHSU spins the truth to keep support and distract the public from thinking about the harm and waste of resources caused by their primate labs.

I understand that Bob and Charlee feel comfortable with this gift and what OHSU has assured them. And I am not suggesting that OHSU isn’t going to do what they say with the money. I can just think of other charities more deserving and my heart still aches for those animals locked away in their labs. Some of them likely still stuck in the exact tiny cage they were in when I left in 2000.

If anyone wishes to contact me feel free to at

Brennan Browne says:

The corrupting influence of $25 million donated to a single institution cannot be overstated. While promises [of no vivisection/animal studies] may be made to the Moores, the reality could be much different once the money is in OHSU’s hands.

Setting up a simple Revocable Trust with the Moores as Trustees, able to dole the money out to several organizations they feel worthy, and retaining the power to revoke said monetary gift if breach of faith occurs, seems not only more prudent but the more avenues left open to multiple solutions, the quicker the goal of “better nutrition, with a particular focus on development in the womb, as well as related education and community outreach.”

There are vegan organizations which would be thrilled to receive grants toward studies of veganism during pregnancy and its effects on the unborn. Many vegan organizations would welcome financial infusions for their continued outreach and education programs, as well. I think turning to the vegan community to find advanced nutritional information would put the Moores light years ahead of the stale, allopathic, traditional route taken by institutions like OHSU. Many vegans far surpass even trained nutritionists in their understanding of the components needed for a superior diet. I would hope that the Moores would reconsider their decision and partner with the vegan community to help achieve their goals. An excellent place to start: PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE

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