Fermented Cod Liver Oil Rancid? Top 10 Reasons It’s Rancid

Is fermented cod liver oil rancid? That's the big question on everyone's mind. It's been the question plaguing me for months. What I've been saying from the beginning is I just don't see how it's NOT rancid…

fclo-rancid

Ever since Dr. Kaayla Daniel's whistleblower report on Fermented Cod Liver Oil came out almost 3 months ago, there have been a number of rebuttals and responses that defend the FCLO. Lots of five-dollar words and sciency mumbo jumbo. WAPF scientist, Chris Masterjohn's high wire act in obfuscation is a prime example. TBA and TBARS and TOTOX, oh my!

I don't know about you but I don't even remember high school chemistry. So we're gonna skip all that and cut to the chase — common sense. I wanted to write a very simple, easy-to-understand post that outlines some very basic reasons the FCLO has to be rancid. You do not need a PhD in lipid science to understand this stuff, people. It's right under our noses, as you will see…

Unless Green Pasture Products can address all of the following points below, I find it very hard to believe that the FCLO is not rancid. Unless of course, it's magic.

Before we get started, let's cover the basics. There are two fundamental things you need to know before you read this post:

1. Fish oils contain a high content of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids).
2. PUFAs go rancid, or oxidize, when exposed to heat, light and/or air.

Coconut oil, palm oil, and tallow are examples of highly saturated fats that can withstand more exposure to heat, light and air. That's why you can store a bucket of coconut oil in the cupboard for months on end and why you can deep fry with tallow. Fish oils are much more fragile and go rancid very quickly and easily. They must be handed with great care in the manufacturing process and should be properly stored by the consumer.

Fish oil, unlike many other oils, has a chemical structure that makes it highly susceptible to spoiling or oxidation. The oxidation process begins as soon as the fish is caught and continues as the oil is exposed to oxygen, heat or light. (Source: Omega 3 Innovations Website)

Fermented Cod Liver Oil Rancid? Top 10 Reasons It Has to Be

1. Exposure to Heat?

David Wetzel of Green Pasture Products has been very evasive about his production methods. We know almost nothing about how the cod (or pollock) livers are shipped from wherever they come from to Nebraska. We know almost nothing about his retrofitted “greenhouse” in Nebraska where he manufacturers the FCLO. There is no information available that I have been able to find about whether or not the greenhouse is climate-controlled.

In fact, it is not clear whether or not he does manufacture the FCLO in the “greenhouse”… according to a statement on GPP's website from ABS Corporation, they not only package all the Green Pasture products but they also manufacture the products:

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So I guess we need to get information about whether or not the FCLO is exposed to heat not only from Dave but also from ABS Corporation. I have not called or emailed them yet to request an interview but I think that should be next on my agenda.

Needless to say, lots of questions. No information is available to ensure that the ingredients and products are not exposed to heat throughout the shipping and manufacturing process.

pony-factory

2. Exposure to Light?

There has also been confusion about whether or not Wetzel exposes the oil to light. Most (if not all other) cod liver oil manufacturers keep their production plant very dark with low lighting to prevent exposure to bright light.

1. “Solar Activation” or Exposure to Sunlight

Prior to Kaayla Daniel's whistleblower report, the Green Pasture FAQ page said that they exposed their cod liver oil to sunlight.

Quote:

Do you solar activate your oils as Dr. Price did early in the 20th century?

We solar activate all our products as Dr Weston A Price did. Solar activation is simply exposing the product to the sun. Our Plant is a solar plant and we ensure that all our oils are exposed the the sun, moon and stars.

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Source: Green Pasture Products FAQ Page from August 9, 2015 (viewable via the Wayback Machine, or archive.org)

Some time after the report was published (published on Aug. 23, 2015), the Green Pasture FAQ page was changed to say that they do NOT expose their oil to sunlight.

Do you solar activate your oils as Dr. Price did early in the 20th century?

Our plant is exposed the sun but this does not equate to solar activation as Dr. Price discusses. Dr. Price had a specific protocol and definition for the term solar activation and it does not occur unless uv rays are directly exposed to the products. In our plant the products are not exposed to solar uv.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 8.23.32 AM

Source: Green Pasture Products FAQ Page Today

I find this very suspicious. Why change the FAQ? Is the oil exposed to sunlight or not? As Dr. Rudi explains in the video interview, (paraphrase) “if the oil is exposed to sunlight, it is definitely rancid”.

We need David Wetzel to shed some light (pardon the pun) on this and show us how his oil is produced. Is the oil exposed to the “sun, moon and stars” as he has said on his website for nearly a decade, or is it not?

solar-activated

3. Exposure to Air?

We do not know how the fish livers are transported to Nebraska. Are they protected from exposure to air during transport? We don't even know what kind of fish livers they are (FCLO label says cod, DNA test said pollock) or where they come from…

We were led to believe the livers came from Arctic regions but now, according to Kaayla's report, it looks like they come from Alaska, which makes sense since Wetzel's old company was named Bering Sea, LLC.

Here's the old label:

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It's hard to see but if you look very closely, it says the company is based in Seldovia, Alaska.

Green Pasture Products, Inc. is the name listed on the website… but owners David and Barbara Wetzel founded another company called Bering Sea, LLC in 2006. That company was then transferred to Blue Fish, LLC in 2007.

Why the name change?

bluefishseuss
certificate
bluefish

The label was also changed to reflect the “Nordic” theme with talk about “Arctic cod” and flavors like “Oslo Orange”:

oslo-orange-label

The new label also shows that the company is based in Nebraska. It says nothing about Alaska. Why? Was this an attempt to disguise the fact that Green Pasture Products used fish from Alaska? (Also, another sidebar, but notice that the new label says you should store it in the fridge… remember that when we get down to # 6 below…)

Sorry, I'm supposed to be talking about exposure to light here… but I think what you'll find if you start trying to research David Wetzel and Green Pasture Products is there are lots of strange rabbit holes you find yourself going down… from changes to labels and FAQs and company names. Again… lots of questions…

The point is, we have no idea where the fish livers come from, how they are transported, and whether or not they are protected from exposure to oxygen during this process from the boat to Nebraska where the oil is manufactured.

We don't know if the “10,000 gallon fermentation vats” Wetzel allegedly uses in his “greenhouse” are air-tight. We do not know if Wetzel uses nitrogen or argon gas to protect the livers or the oil in the vats.

And we don't know at which point and how the livers are transported to ABS Corporation for further “manufacturing” and packaging. How are they protected from oxygen there? Is nitrogen added to the bottles during packaging?

Oh and I should add one more thing… competitor cod liver oil companies report that they process the fish within hours of catching and manufacture within days. Check out the Nordic Naturals and Rosita's FAQs.

In fact, Rosita says in their literature that their cod liver oil goes from “fish to bottle within 48 hours”.

evclo-process-final-2000x1294

Here's a video from Nordic Naturals showing how they catch the fish and and manufacture the oil. I highly recommend watching this video to understand how the cod liver oil is made (if you're in a hurry, skip to 6:00 in the video).

4. Six Months in a Vat?

PUFAs oxidize over time. This is really my biggest question… how can a PUFA sit in a vat for 6 months and not oxidize? All of the above (#1-3) factors would need to be accounted for. And we just don't have enough information on the manufacturing process of GPP. What we do know is sketchy at best.

Wetzel says he is doing things the “traditional way”… According to Dave Wetzel on the WAPF website:

South Sea Islanders put great store in shark liver oil—enduring considerable danger to procure the sharks even though other, less dangerous-to-catch seafood was plentiful. To prepare the oil, they put the livers inside the leathery stomachs of the shark and hung them in the trees for several months. As it ferments, the oil gradually comes out of the livers and fills the hanging stomachs! (Source: Weston A. Price Foundation website)

Here's the key difference between shark liver oil and cod liver oil. Shark livers are naturally rich in antioxidants like vitamin E and squalene (Source). So perhaps the reason the South Sea Islanders could store shark livers for months outdoors is due to the natural antioxidants.

Cod liver oil does not contain antioxidants. So we are talking apples and oranges here, folks.

Which is why almost all (all?) other cod liver oil manufacturers add antioxidants to slow oxidization.

5. No Antioxidants Added

If you search online, other cod liver oil manufacturers add antioxidants in order to slow oxidation.

Carlson's adds antioxidants to their cod liver oil:

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 12.28.16 PM

So does Nordic Naturals:

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And check out what Rosita Real Foods says about their EVCLO and why they add antioxidants.

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Does Dave Wetzel add antioxidants to FCLO to slow the oxidization? As Grumpy Cat says, Nope.

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Wetzel says he couldn't see any change in the test results whether he added an antioxidant or not. What this says to me is, probably because it's already gone rancid. Once an oil goes rancid, you can't add an antioxidant to reverse the process.

fclo-nope

6. “We Don't Think It Can Go Bad”

PUFAs begin to oxidize during the manufacturing process, but they also oxidize over time in storage. Remember, you can't stop oxidation — you can only slow it.

For this reason, it is important to store PUFAs in a cold, dark place (refrigerator). This is also why fish oils are bottled in dark (not clear) bottles. You should only buy small amounts of fish oil, for example, a small bottle… and keep it in the fridge.

Here's a video with Dr. Mercola talking about how to store fish oils… he says they should be refrigerated and goes into detail about how fragile they are and how they will go rancid if not stored properly:

Other cod liver oil companies recommend that you store the cod liver oil in the fridge and use it within a short period of time. Rosita, for example, recommends that you store their EVCLO in the fridge and once the bottle is opened, you should consume it within 30-80 days.

David Wetzel, on the other hand, tells his customers that they can store the FCLO in the cupboard or the fridge. He told me that I could keep my FCLO in the cupboard for “6 months to a year”. He has a number of posts on his website saying that you can store FCLO in the cupboard for extended period…

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So he says traditionally FCLO has not been refrigerated. It should be noted, however, that the FCLO produced was traditionally produced in Norway, an arctic climate. So although the Vikings may have left their FLCO out in a barrel, for most of the year, the climate was very cold to freezing.

In this response to a customer's comment, Wetzel says: “The enzymatic activity goes on to digest the product.”

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What does that mean exactly? What I think he's saying there, and comment below if you think I'm wrong… I think he's saying there is some kind of further “fermentation” (or “enzymatic activity” whatever that means) going on that somehow protects the product from spoiling.

fclo-enzymatic activity

I think we have plenty of evidence here that Dave Wetzel's advice on the storage of FCLO is fishy to the point of rancidity, but wait folks, there's more…

One of my readers left a comment with an email she got from Wetzel stating the they mark the sell-by-date as two years. He said, “I'm not sure if it can go bad?”

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On the one hand, Wetzel is always saying that FCLO shouldn't need labels because it's a “food”. But if it's a food, how can it not go bad? Does anyone know of a food that never goes bad? Besides those ancient McDonald's hamburgers we've all seen online?

“While monounsaturates (like olive or peanut oil) also can go rancid after about a year, they are still 10 times more stable than polyunsaturates,” according to lipid specialist and University of Massachusetts professor Eric Decker. (Source)

If olive oil is stable on the shelf for one year, how can we store a PUFA which is 10x less stable, on the shelf for 2 years, or, as Wetzel says, indefinitely?

fclo-lie

7. Foul Taste, Strong Smell, Burning Throat

Multiple people have reported that they cannot take FCLO because they find it repulsive, disgusting, and/or it burns their throat. This was allegedly due to the “high enzyme content”. Again, not sure what this “enzymatic activity” is Wetzel talks about.

Common sense tells you that rancid foods smell bad, but many of us have lost the ability to smell and taste rancidity.

According to Kantha Shelke, a food scientist and spokeswoman for the Institute of Food Technologists, “Though some hope that our sense of smell and taste can help us avoid rancid foods, recent studies raise doubts.” She says that “new immigrants to America often think peanut butter — now often made with polyunsaturates — smells rancid while American natives think it just smells like peanut butter.”

So maybe all those folks who say FCLO doesn't taste rancid to them just have gotten used to it.

8. Many Reports of Trouble with Digesting FCLO

There are many, many reports from people who experienced stomach pains, cramping, diarrhea and nausea and vomiting after consuming FCLO. See the adverse health reports page here.

Again, this correlates with a rancid oil.

9. Vitamin Deficiencies Are Caused By Rancid Fats

A reader sent me this article: Health Effects of Rancid Fat.

Excerpt:

Rancid fat can destroy vitamins, which could lead to deficiency. (This would be an indirect health effect of eating rancid fat, since the thing that harms you is the deficiency, rather than the fat itself.) (Source: Pavcek PL, Shull GM. J Biol Chem 146(2):351-5, 1942.)

If you click on the source, it says:

In studies involving the feeding of diets containing cod liver oil and butter fat to rats, some of the animals developed typical symptoms of mild biotin deficiency, i.e. spectacle eye and spasticity of gait, after being maintained on the diet 12 to 16 weeks. It was soon evident that such a ration containing cod liver oil and butter fat was very prone to turn rancid and that this rancidity was responsible for rapid losses of vitamin A.

This would explain the huge number of reports we've gotten from FCLO customers who have low vitamin D. I have posted 44 reports so far, and more are coming in.

I have emails from patients of Dr. Thomas Cowan that say he recommended vitamin D3 in addition to FCLO.

Chris Kresser also reported being puzzled by the consistent reports of low vitamin D among his patients who were taking FCLO:

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 2.10.42 PM

If we are taking one of the best and most potent sources of vitamin D in the world (arguably the best), why would we need to supplement with more vitamin D?

10. Other Adverse Health Reactions Are Correlated with Consuming Rancid Fats

Finally, there are a number of adverse health reactions being reported that are caused by consumption of rancid fat. Inflammation is one of the most obvious ones…

Go the adverse health reactions page and go to the section on C-Reactive Protein Tests. We have gotten 5 reports so far.

If you know anything about C-Reactive Protein tests (you can Google it), it's frightening that people are saying their numbers were elevated when they were on FCLO — and when they stopped taking it, their C-RP numbers dropped.

crp-elevated-fclo

So… Is FCLO Rancid?

I don't know about you but I'd say there is far too much questionable evidence for any sane person to conclude that FCLO is not rancid.

It's common sense. Cod liver oil is high in PUFA. You would have to protect for ALL of the above (heat, light, air) and even if you did do all of that, it still doesn't explain how the oil can sit in fermentation vats for 6 months with no antioxidant added and not go rancid.

Too many questions. Not enough answers. How is the oil protected from rancidity? Is it that special “enzymatic action” Wetzel talked about that somehow magically protects the oil from rancidity? Or perhaps there are elves and unicorns that sprinkle fairy dust on the cod and pollock livers in the “solar activated greenhouse”?

Until Wetzel accounts for all of the above, best to AVOID this product. Just too many unknowns.

I am not a gambler. I used to live in Vegas, but I never gambled a single dollar of my hard earned money. Sure, I take risks in life. But they are calculated risks based on research.

Given everything we know about FCLO, the risks seem outweigh the potential benefits. And gambling with our health is not a game we ever want to play.

Additional Sources (not linked to above):

https://www.oilsfats.org.nz/documents/Oxidation%20101.pdf
https://www.omega3innovations.com/blog/is-your-fish-oil-rancid/

Please Share Your Thoughts Below

Please comment below with your thoughts about and experiences with FCLO.

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

55 thoughts on “Fermented Cod Liver Oil Rancid? Top 10 Reasons It’s Rancid

  1. Annmarie….the amount of information you’ve put into this post is stunning. I had no idea Green Pastures was orginally started in Alaska. No wonder pollack was the fish of choice. I’m barely able to comment on all the other stuff I’m so spitting mad. I used the cod liver oil as my primary source of vit A and reading through the m
    aterial showing it actually wrecks vit A is unreal. It might explain why I developed two eye retina tears in the past 4 years. Stupid me….I upped my cod liver oil after the first one. These are minor and I can live with them….but what else has this poison done to people.

    1. Yeah as you know… I think that’s why I had to start wearing reading glasses a couple years after I started taking FCLO…

      I’m going to work with Dr. Ron Schmid — he’s going to talk to me at the P3 Conference (https://ffnw.org) next weekend about how to take large doses of vitamin A & D to reverse the damage that FCLO did.

      I’ll share with you if you are not there when he tells me at P3…

      Considering that Dr. Ron cured his irreversible fatal heart failure, I think he can help us!

      1. Oh, and I don’t know if I mentioned this… but Archie Welch told me when I saw him at the Bulletproof conference the other weekend that after 6 months of 1 tsp per day of the Rosita EVCLO, he stopped needing his reading glasses. Rosita has very high levels of vitamin A: 3000-5000 IU per teaspoon.

        https://www.rositarealfoods.com/rosita-evclo-faq/15-cod-liver-oil-articles/faq/6-rosita-real-foods-evclo-faq

    2. GPP was not originally started in Alaska. GPP started up early in the last decade. I think it was 2000, or 2002. This company appears to be started consistent with the timeline of when they stopped selling CLO and started making their own FCLO.

  2. So now it’s staring to appear pollack oil may have been fclo all along. Why else start a company in Alaska. This just gets worse and worse as more details come to light. So much for transparency.

      1. It would seem that if he’s buying Alaskan fish livers by the ton then having a company in the location where you buy them would make sense. If they’re coming from Norway or the Scandinavian countries why have a company in Alaska. And it took someone sleuthing around to find it….transparency once again missing.

        1. @Lynn If I ever need a private investigator, or help researching a story, I’m going to call you…

          I know pollock oil is what they make dog supplements out of… Also that’s the pollock they use for McDonald’s fish fillets I think…

  3. Thank you so much, Ann Marie for all the hours you put into this practical and common sense review of this whole debacle. I cringe when I think of all the times I recommended FCLO to my clients for mental health issues. Never again will I be influenced by outside trust of another person or organization! That stuff tastes FOULbecause it is, period. I know there are some fermented foods I’ve read about, such as in Asia, that taste foul, but they’re supposed to. Oil should NOT. I remember when I first tasted Rosita’s it tasted so crazy good: clean, fresh and yummy. You are so courageous, brave and daring greatly–bravo!

    1. @Heather

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      it’s hard putting yourself out there and speaking the truth when the status quo is strong and almost everyone else stays silent. Archie Welch, Kaayla Daniel, Dr. Ron, David Gumpert, Cathy Raymond, Nora Gedgaudas, Joan Grinzi, and Randy Hartnell were the heroes who bravely stepped up before I did. I’m very grateful to each and every one of them for standing up and facing ridicule. There were some bloggers who spoke out in the beginning, but then they all went silent in the face of peer pressure.

      I believe we have reached the tipping point. In time, as more people stand up and speak out, the people who stay silent will be forced to become accountable, or else they lose all credibility.

      The great gift in all of this is the gift of integrity. It’s much easier to go the way the wind blows, don’t “burn bridges”, stay out of the fray…

      But integrity is the only thing that matters in life. Kind of like if you don’t have your health, you have nothing (health is the 1 before all the 0s)

      If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing.

      And yes, the other gift we got was learning to always think critically and trust ourselves. I’m grateful we went through this as a community.

      Looking forward to see who steps up next…

  4. I really appreciate the series of articles you’ve put together on this subject. It has been So confusing, with the he said she said between “experts.” My FCLO finally went in the circular file. Please keep up as we eagerly anticipate your research!
    Anya

  5. A lot of your arguments seem to revolve around the idea that FCLO is oxidised, yet even DFr. Kaayla found no signs of oxidative species, and in fact, the presence of FFAs, which are extremely unstable and prone to oxidation, shows that there is no oxidative rancidity going on.

    This is another perfect example of unscientific reporting about science. We have someone who has no scientific knowledge (self admitted) reporting about fat chemistry making assumptions/filling in the gaps herself about processing to ‘prove’ that something is what she already believes.

    If this is proof of anything, then I can pretty much proof that clouds are made of candy floss.

    I really don’t mean to sound rude, but your reporting on this is outrageous.

    Why don’t you interview someone from the other side of the argument, and then you can see just how far misconceptions from camp ‘rancid pollock oil’ are.

    Please please please, for all that is scientific and true, step back, look at facts, and make decisions based of them. Don’t fill in blanks with your assumptions, because soon, you are left with nothing else but assumptions that you believe to be facts.

    You have done a lot of reporting on this, and I thank you for it. Please can you just compile the facts you have gathered though?

    1. Hi, Craig,

      In Dr. Kaayla’s report, she said the high FFAs show proof of rancidity.

      The bottom line for me is we simply do not have enough visibility into how Wetzel is doing this. The facts we do have do not add up.

      I have emailed Sally Fallon Morell, David Wetzel and VP of WAPF BOD, Kim Schuette for comment and offering them a chance to be interviewed. To date, I have not received a response.

      Which facts would you like me to compile?

      1. FFAs are evidence of microbial hydrogenation, which is a type of rancidity which doesn’t necessarily produce any toxic substances. Look at the data from Dr. Kaayla – what is toxic in there? The FFAs aren’t oxidized, and there is an extremely low TOTOX reading, which is good.

        The facts is, that the term ‘rancidity’ is strongly associated with oxidative rancidity, which is actually very toxic. There are other forms of rancidity, but these aren’t harmful at all, and in fact, you could argue benefit, but I won’t go there….

        The fact is, there is nothing in this oil which has been shown to be toxic at all.

        The term rancidity is causing confusion, because it is being too strongly associated with toxic rancidity (from oxidation), we know that this doesn’t exist in this oil.

        Despite this being quite simple to understand, people are just touting that this oil is rancid, and so toxic.

        I would really like it if someone could point me to what substance in this oil is toxic.

        Before people point me to the trans-fats, I personally don’t believe that there are any trans-fats in FCLO. If you look at other test data, there is almost no trans-fats whatsoever, so for the time being, I am putting this down as an anomaly (*which does need more research on). So even if you think I am wrong, please entertain me, and find another substance that is toxic in this oil.

        1. @Craig

          “FFAs are evidence of microbial hydrogenation, which is a type of rancidity”

          So you’re saying it’s rancid.

          Your words seem like a kind of shell game to me. “Oxidative rancidity is not toxic”.

          Rancidity, whether it is “oxidative rancidity” or “toxic rancidity” is the issue.

          You just said it was rancid, did you not?

          What is your evidence that there are no trans fats in FCLO?

          1. There is a vast amount of evidence showing that there are no trans-fats in FCLO (in fact I believe that GP have just published another round of lab reports comparing FCLO with other CLO brand, and the trans-fat content is all around 1%, which is natural).

            I genuinely want to know what in FCLO is so toxic, because from where I am standing, it looks just like a natural way to produce cod liver oil, which is what it always has been. Either I am missing some serious evidence here, or there isn’t anything in FCLO which is toxic, and it is all just malicious rumours.

            1. Hi, Craig,

              Rancidity is toxic.

              It may be a “natural” and even “traditional” way to produce cod liver oil but it was always known to be rancid to some degree. How rancid it is we don’t know. But given that the markers show either VERY LOW rancidity or extremely rancid, I would guess it’s much more likely to be extremely rancid. This is just based on common sense, since you can’t have a fish oil exposed to air and light for months and not have it be rancid.

              1. This is the problem, and something I tried to explain in my previous comments.

                Oxidative rancidity = toxic (the toxic substance being oxides, such as lipid peroxides).

                Microbial rancidity doesn’t mean it is toxic. This is why I want to know what molecule in this product is toxic.

                We know that the product isn’t oxidised ( in fact the presence of the FFA shows the product is rather stable).

                The logic at the moment is flawed. You can’t just say that because a rancid bio-marker is present the product is toxic. Science doesn’t work that way.

                Read my previous comments, and you will see that I have already explained why the term rancidity is causing confusion – because it is associated with the only form of rancidity that people are familiar with – oxidative.

                To show toxicity, please can you point out what molecule is toxic. I’ve asked 3 times now, and all I am getting is ‘the product is rancid’, which is disconcertingly vague.

                1. Craig –

                  FCLO has high FFAs. Even Sally Fallon admitted in her Powerpoint that high FFAs = rancidity. She said, “according to industry” and what she meant by that, I believe is that is what everyone in the fish oil and supplement industry says.

                  So are you saying they are all wrong?

                  It has to be oxidized. How can a fish oil sit out for 6 months? Just answer that one question. How can you let a fish oil be exposed to light and air for SIX months and not have it go rancid?

                  Even Rosita says you can only safely store their cod liver oil in the fridge for up to 3 months maximum. And that’s in the fridge.

                  How does Wetzel keep the FCLO from being exposed to heat, light and air? Is he using nitrogen or another gas? Is his “greenhouse” (or factory, since the factory says they do the manufacturing and bottling) climate-controlled and does it have low lighting? We know he doesn’t use an antioxidant which is standard practice for fish oil companies.

                  The only way he would be able to keep the FCLO protected from air would be if he used an antioxidant and nitrogen or another gas to flush out the air… We know he’s not using the antioxidant and he’s never mentioned using nitrogen or any other gas. In fact, he’s said he exposed the product to sunlight…

                  I just don’t understand why you keep defending FCLO when you can’t answer the above questions. Why doesn’t Wetzel answer these questions? And yes, I emailed him – no response.

                  1. Ann, it seems to me you haven’t actually read Kaaylas report – it clearly states that there are NO oxidative species in FCLO. Simply look at the TOTOX values in her report. TOTOX is the measure of the amount of oxidative species on the oil, and it was very low. This shows that there are no harmful oxidative species, and so your argument that the product HAS to be oxidised is just wrong, Kaayla has actually disproved your argument.

                    Your logic at the moment is the same as seeing something yellow in a fruit bowl, and saying it HAS to be a banana, and you aren’t even considering the possibility of it being a lemon…

                    You have only just asked me the question about how Gp prevent the fats becoming oxidised, but I believe by keeping it in a sealed container a layer of CO2 will cover the oil, preventing any oxygen interaction with the product. If the product is then handled in an oxygen free environment when bottling, then there will be no oxidation. I do not know the specifics, but the fact that the FFA are not oxidised, and there are no oxidative species in the product really does show that there isn’t any oxidation to the product, no? If not, please do explain.

                    Also, I’ve asked at least 3 times if you could point me to the toxic chemical in this product, but you have repeatedly dodged the question. I really just want to know what is toxic about this product. Don’t say that ‘it is rancid, and so must be toxic’, because that is far too vague. That goes back to my analogy of the yellow fruit (if its yellow, it MUST be a banana) – you are saying if it is rancid, it MUST be toxic. Prove to me, that this rancidity is toxic though. What chemical? It isn’t oxidative species, that is for sure.

                    I’ve answered your question about processing (although I personally see it as irrelevant because of the oxidative tests of the product), so can you please answer my question directly?

                    I’m not defending anyone, I don’t have any affiliation of any kind to WAPF, I just want to know the truth, but the way this is being handled is rather unscientific, and that really is bugging me.

                    1. Hi, Craig

                      I’m not sure why it keeps putting your comments into spam…

                      By the way, I go by Ann Marie, not Ann.

                      I have read Kaayla’s report. I’m not talking about TOTOX — I’m talking about FFAs… I’m specifically referring to pages 22-23:

                      A couple of quotes:

                      “According to independent marine oils expert Anthony P. Bimbo, the allowable limit of Free Fatty Acids (FFAs) for crude fish oil is in the range of 1 to 7%, but typically at 2 to 5%.46 The percentage of Free Fatty Acids in FCLO is much higher, as would be expected of a dark-colored oil. Lab #2 reported Free Fatty Acids at 16.2% and Lab #7 found an extremely high level of free fatty acids at 40.10%. Green Pasture’s own test data as posted on its website also came in high at 19.2% and 25.3%.”

                      “Acid Value should be less than or equal to 3 mg KOH/g according to FAO, CRN and GOED standards.48-50 European Pharmacopoeia Standard (EPS) is more stringent with its maximum of 0.5 mg KOH/g.51 Green Pasture’s products range from an Acid Value of 32.3 mg-KOH/g to a whopping 79.80 mg-KOH/g. In plain English, these Acid Value numbers are extremely high.

                      So high that they blow any claims that FCLO is a non-rancid oil right out of the water.”

                      TOTOX values are irrelevant to FCLO as Kaayla says on page 21:

                      “Unfortunately, TOTOX Value depends on PV and p- AnV, and so is useless for evaluating a product that’s already been “fermenting” for six months to a year.”

                      “Your logic at the moment is the same as seeing something yellow in a fruit bowl, and saying it HAS to be a banana, and you aren’t even considering the possibility of it being a lemon…”

                      No, I’m not talking about bananas. I’m saying quite clearly that high FFAs in fish oil means rancidity. Can you find me evidence showing that this is not true?

                      “but the fact that the FFA are not oxidised, and there are no oxidative species in the product really does show that there isn’t any oxidation to the product, no? If not, please do explain.”

                      High FFAs = oxidation

                      You can google this yourself but is one that comes up on the first page in a cursory search (there are many more as you will see if you do the search yourself):

                      “High levels of FFAs in marine lipids reflect a quality loss of the product (13). Indeed, FFAs exert a prooxidative effect on marine lipids (14).”

                      Source: Page 119, “Marine Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods” by Colin Barrow, Fereidoon Shahidi (look it up in Google Books)

                      “Also, I’ve asked at least 3 times if you could point me to the toxic chemical in this product, but you have repeatedly dodged the question.”

                      I’m not dodging any questions. I keep giving you the same answer which you just don’t want to hear.

                      HIGH FFAs = rancidity.

                      Even Sally Fallon said high FFAs = rancidity in her powerpoint.

                      Rancidity = toxic. Period, end of story. All you have to do is google “rancid fish oil toxic” or something to that effect.

                      If you can disprove any of the above points I have made, please do so with factual evidence. I’ll keep checking my spam folder once a day or so to see if you can… but unless you can, I suggest you stop posting here with pointless comments.

                    2. Craig, I want to thank you for your clear-headed thinking in this regard. Your observations are spot on – oh how important it is to actually deal with facts.

                      And Ann Marie, it is clear to me that you went off on this topic without actually doing any real research. Your article was poorly researched and makes unwarranted assumptions. You have done everyone a disservice by treating this subject in such a sensationalist manner.

    2. At this point it appears quite a few people are seeing improvements in areas like heart problems and dropping crp numbers off the fclo. Somethings going on since many of them experienced these problems for a number of years and are now finding the problems clearing up in just two months off the stuff.

      1. Yes, just a few examples…

        Dr. Ron’s “miraculous” recovery from fatal heart disease (which is irreversible).
        Cathy Raymond’s recovery from the head-to-toe body rash and loss of 36 pounds within a few months.
        The C-RP test results before and after FCLO.
        The vitamin D deficiencies clearing up after getting off FCLO.

        There are many other stories like this here: https://www.cheeseslave.com/fermented-cod-liver-oil-scandal-many-fclo-customers-report-health-problems/

        I haven’t had time to post the ones that continue to flow in… there are more every day.

        1. How do you know that rancid = toxic?
          There was once a time when thought all mold was evil, until I began my study of cheese.

  6. I spoke at length with Dave Wetsel this weekend. He said that his cod livers are taken from the waters off Alaska. They are processed on ships and frozen for further processing into oils in Seatle , California and Nebraska ( and perhaps on more place ) He uses a Custom pharmacudical company for bottling etc.

    1. So much for nordic cod livers. Didn’t David say earlier he only used Alaskan cod when there was a shortage of Nordic cod? But now all his cod is from Alaska? I can no longer keep his multiple stories straight.

      1. Yes. It seems very suspicious that the new company was started in Alaska. And then the name was changed…

        I have a line on an interview with an Alaskan fisherman who has very interesting things to say about how they do this on the big ships that catch the pollock for McDonalds. He says they separate the pollock which is sold to big buyers like McDonald’s for their fish filet sandwiches and the like. The rest of the fish is used to make pollock oil. He says they never separate the livers.

        So the fact that he is using pollock is very fishy indeed. If he is using the pollock livers, where is he getting them from?

        None of it makes sense and Wetzel needs to make a statement explaining everything. Nothing less will do. Until he does that, this product should be avoided like the plague.

  7. Thank you Ann Marie for this post. It does not make sense that fish oils, including cod liver oil, can be good when rotten due to its very high polyunsaturated fat content.

    Some of us might think that the fermented cod liver oil is similar to other fermented foods, such as cheese, sauerkraut, and salami. Yet, cheese, sauerkraut, and salami are not high in polyunsaturated fats like fish oils, including cod liver oil, are in which are very prone to rancidity and oxidation very quickly, possibly within hours or days if the oil is not handled and stored correctly and even with proper storage and handling, the fish oils do not last long, and may according to Dr. Ray Peat, oxidize in the body when consumed even in its fresh state which is most likely why Dr. Weston A. Price only used very small amounts of the fresh cod liver oil and anything over the very small amounts can have a negative effect on the human body.

  8. Ann Marie,

    Instead of making a statement prior to WAP about CLO, I waited until now to collect data, and speak directly with everyone at WAP convention. I spoke in depth with Dave Wetsel, I spoke with all the WAP board that was present, I attended Sally’s presentation and digested every word.

    After hearing all the testimony, seeing all the information, this is the opdc position on all CLO:

    Please do not include fermented cod liver oil in any OPDC raw baby formula. If you make the WAP baby formula with OPDC raw milk please exclude cod liver oil at least until more is known.

    At OPDC we try are hardest to assure the following for our raw dairy products:

    Do no harm
    Assure highest levels of safety
    Assure that there are clear and known benefits to consumption
    Respond immediately to all complaints and make adjustments

    Fermented cod liver oil has failed this test on all accounts.

    CLO may also have serious problems as well if not taken with caution. After watching Sally’s presentation about 3rd party lab tests of 37 foods and oils, it was clear that CLO can be dangerous. Sally listed the side effects which included heart problems and dental cavities. It appears that dosing of cod liver oils is fairly arbitrary. When I asked Dave Wetsel what he knew about the benefits of cod liver oil….he could not describe them. He did not know the physiologic effects of his products. Instead he gave me copies of papers from scientists reports about his products. His labels do not list vitamin A or D as values in his products.

    In the vacuum of “not knowing” ……”not taking” is our position. A consumer warning should be included with any cod liver oil ( fermented or not ) to assure that consumption is advised clearly.

    Thank you Ann Marie for your investigation into this and other matters of importance.

  9. I was just checking the Nourishing Our Children power point presentation for fermented cod liver oil references, and there are none, except for one picture of the product. References are made to “high vitamin” cod liver oil, and “cod liver oil” only. I would think that FCLO no longer has a “high vitamin” claim, as it is low in D3.

    But, Sandrine has this in the speaker notes, and that concerned me:

    “You can give a baby as much or more cod liver oil on a body-weight basis as an adult. It is fine because they really need that vitamin A. The books on infant feeding back in the 1930s and 1940s recommended 2 teaspoons of cod liver oil per day for infants over 3 months old.”

  10. Ann Marie,

    A Happy Healthy Thanks Giving to All!!

    One question really sticks out in my mind. If Cod Liver Oil was such a great source of Vitamin A and or D, then why doesn’t Green Pastures FCLO include any reference to Vitamin A or D in its FCLO on its labels?

    1. Thats a great question mark. But to be fair,other companies don’t include the vitamin a or vitamin d on their clo label,ie. Rosita evclo(which im now taking). I think all companies should have to atleast list a average or a range of the vitamin a and vitamin d content.

  11. Craig,

    It definitely isn’t malicious rumors. I have nothing to gain at all from speaking out my own views regarding the safety of the fermented cod liver oil. My husband and I (in which I found out this past week) had negative experiences with the fermented cod liver oil in which I will share right here:

    My husband shortly after taking the fermented cod liver oil had a burning sensation in his throat, burped almost to the point of vomiting, had heart palpitations, and one time a very severe burning in his throat to where we thought he had to go to the emergency. He was only taking about a half a tsp to a tsp a day. He now no longer has these issues, and oddly enough, he can eat the occasional restaurant meal most likely with processed vegetable oils with rarely having these issues, if any at all.

    I found out this past week regarding the strong connection between my severe abdominal pains shortly after eating fermented cod liver oil with a meal. I have had severe abdominal pain regularly during a time while I was consuming the fermented cod liver oil with a meal every day for several months several years ago. Before ever having the fermented cod liver oil in my diet, I was consuming the same foods as I did while having the fermented cod liver oil in my diet and I don’t recall ever having that same severe abdominal pain or any abdominal pain for that matter as I have had with the fermented cod liver oil in my diet. Prior to consuming the fermented cod liver oil, I was consuming Premier cod liver oil (in which is no longer on the market) and did not have that same problem. After I stopped consuming the fermented cod liver oil due to lack of money, the pains stopped. I wasn’t able to correlate the fermented cod liver oil with my severe abdominal pains until this past week. I was only taking about a tsp with a meal and no more than 2 tsp a day.

    When I occasionally eat food from a restaurant that has most likely been cooked in processed vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, I do not get the kind of severe abdominal pain as I had with the fermented cod liver oil. In addition, my husband appears to not have the same problems with the occasional restaurant food as he does with the fermented cod liver oil either. And this is only coming from us having consumed in the past around1 tsp or less or no more than 2 tsp a day of the fermented cod liver oil. It appears as though the fermented cod liver oil could be possibly even more toxic than processed vegetable oils. I would like for the fermented cod liver oil to undergo extensive study before it is even sold to the consumer.

  12. Apologies Ann Marie, I meant no offence by writing ‘Ann’, I’ve just only ever saw it written down, and thought it was a middle name.

    In response to your comments – yes, FFA do show the oil is rancid, this I am sure we agree on. However, going back to my previous comments, there are important differences between the types of rancidity. The chemical end point of oxidative rancidity is different to hydrolytic rancidity, and so they must be treated differently for the purposes of this discussion to avoid confusion.

    FFA = hydrolysis, not oxidation.

    Just to clarify, are you saying that the toxic chemical in this product is the FFAs, and indicate oxidation?

    If so, then I would disagree with you. The mere presence of FFA (after months of fermentation) is very surprising, but shows just how stable the product is. FFAs are more unstable than triglyceride’s, and if the oil was reactive, then you wouldn’t find any FFAs in the oil, but instead large amounts of n-epsilon-carboxymethyl-lysine (CML), which is produced when FFAs become oxidised.

    The fact that these FFAs (which are a production of hydrolysis) have not become oxidised is a testament to the stability of the oil.

    And I am very sorry if you feel that my comments are pointless. I am trying to get to the bottom of this, and seeing as you have made up your mind on all of this, I thought you would be able to answer my questions about why FCLO is so toxic. However, so far all you’ve said is that FFA are toxic, which isn’t true. FFAs indicate rancidity, but not toxicity, so rancidity doesn’t always mean it is toxic. This is my point.

    But, for the sake of argument, lets say that FFAs are toxic to consume. What about them is toxic? What do they do to my body that eating triglyceride’s won’t do?

    1. Craig, how do u explain ALL the testimonies of people getting sick on this oil,if u claim its not toxic.
      No other clo on the market,is having tons of testimonials of people getting sick,like fclo does.

      Do u think the fact that it does have a high number of ffa’s,it should always be kept in the fridge (after its opened)? It is definetly more “prone” to go rancid ,considering the high amount of ffa’s,when its being stored in the cupboard for months,after opened.

      1. I wonder how many of these people also had flowers in their garden? Or ate broccoli, or drank water? Does that makes these common factors causative agents too? No, but I can guarantee that if you said broccoli causes heart attacks you would get 1000s of people claiming that it caused their heart attack. But what about the 1000000s of people who ate broccoli and are healthy?

        Anecdotes are not scientific, they are not reliable, and shouldn’t be given the value they are in this debate.

    2. Hi, Craig,

      No worries on getting my name wrong. I’m sorry I said your comments are “pointless” — I’m just honestly getting frustrated. I feel like we are going round and round…

      Your point, as I understand it, is “rancidity doesn’t always mean it’s toxic”.

      We know that rancid oils make us sick and cause nutrient deficiencies. I don’t think it matters what *kind* of rancidity it is. If it’s rancid, I will avoid it.

      If you choose to keep buying it, that’s your business. But for me, I will avoid. There are too many people who have been taking this product for years and ended up with nutrient deficiencies and other health problems (which makes sense if it is a rancid oil).

        1. Amy,
          Sorry but that’s just really silly. It’s like saying “I thought all air was bad until I learned about fresh air”

  13. I’ve never taken FCLO because I don’t trust it. Do you take just regular cod liver oil now or do you avoid all together? If you do take it, which brand! Thanks for doing all this research and putting this together.

  14. this is appalling and so very glad the whistle-blower came forward. I could not understand why after several consecutive bottles of FLCO consumed from Green Pastures, that not only was my vitamin D level still very low, below 30, my teeth continued to decay. this explains it all.

  15. I hate to admit I emailed your Rosita EVCLO a year ago when I was still trying to convince myself any CLO was healthy. They gave me the same rhetoric and no real information. I will never buy from them or trust them as a company.

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