Fermented Cod Liver Oil Scandal: an Open Letter to Sally Fallon Morell
I have attempted to contact Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, several times regarding FCLO since I started covering the FCLO scandal last year. To date, I have not gotten a direct response from Ms. Fallon Morell, hence I am writing this open letter, which addresses my concerns with WAPF and their continued promotion of various cod liver oil brands, specifically Green Pasture Products fermented cod liver oil and NutraPro cod liver oil.
In 2010, you awarded me the Weston A. Price Foundation Activist Award. It was a proud moment for me. I was happy to promote the WAPF and to do what I could to bring attention to your organization and the important work you were doing.
I can no longer support, promote or recommend WAPF because I think your position on fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) is dangerous and irresponsible.
In this post, I reveal the WAPFGATE's smoking gun, conclusive evidence that Green Pasture FCLO is toxic and harmful to human health, based on the WAPF's own guidelines.
Cod Liver Oil: Why the Ratio of A & D Matters So Much
You have stated multiple times that consuming too much vitamin A and not enough vitamin D is toxic and damages human health.
Seven years ago, you challenged Dr. Joe Mercola on this topic, in a lengthy rebuttal to his public statement about why he recommends against consuming cod liver oil with high levels of vitamin A and low levels of vitamin D:
Mercola Statement: Consuming such high amounts of vitamin A as contained in cod liver oil and most multi-vitamins, while not getting nearly enough vitamin D, combined with the fact that most people are deficient in vitamin D to begin with, could potentially cause vitamin A to become toxic.
WAPF Response: We agree with this statement and have consistently warned people not to use multivitamins and not to take brands of cod liver oil that are low in vitamin D.
Sally, you have repeatedly stated that any cod liver oil WAPF recommends must meet certain requirements. On the WAPF website you state:
Sources of high-vitamin fermented cod liver oil and high-vitamin cod liver oil with natural vitamins are in the BEST category; sources of processed cod liver oil with synthetic vitamins in the right proportions (ten or fewer units vitamin A to one unit vitamin D, and with at least 2,500 IU’s of vitamin A and 250 IU’s of vitamin D per teaspoon) are in the GOOD category. We do not recommend brands of cod liver oil that have low levels of vitamin A and/or low levels of vitamin D.
So, WAPF says, in order to be in the Good category, cod liver oil must have a ratio of 10:1 or lower of vitamins A and D.
What is the A/D Ratio of Green Pasture FCLO?
Sally, the three brands you currently recommend on this page in the BEST category are:
Green Pasture Products FCLO
NutraPro cod liver oil
Green Pasture Products FCLO does not meet the requirements of the BEST category, according to the test results published on your website.
According to the lab tests you did, Green Pasture Products fermented cod liver oil showed that it contains (per teaspoon):
Vitamin A: 3,125
Vitamin D: 59
Sally, this indicates a ratio of 53:1. This comes nowhere close to your stated requirement of 10:1 or lower.
Sally, why do you recommend FCLO as BEST or even GOOD when it does not meet the requirement you set?
Also, why have you not updated your website to reflect this information? The WAPF website still says that Green Pasture FCLO has “9500 IU vitamin A and 1950 IU vitamin D, a ratio of about 5:1”.
What gives, Sally?
Cherry-picking and Hiding Data?
It was not easy to find your published test results, Sally. In fact, it was like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. If it weren't for blogger Jaclyn Harwell of The Family That Heals Together in her excellent post, The Weston A. Price Foundation Vindicated Kaayla Daniel In The Fermented Cod Liver Oil Controversy, I never would have seen your published test results.
Why were the test results so hard to find? I'm not sure, but I'm very suspicious based on the way you chose to make them public. Were you trying to hide them on purpose?
Let's walk everyone through how you made this information with the public…
1. WAPF Conference Powerpoint Presentation
In November 2015 at the WAPF annual conference in Anaheim, CA, you made a presentation entitled The Fat Soluble Activators. Unless one actually attended the conference (which I did not), it is not easy to locate the powerpoint deck that you used for your presentation. This powerpoint is buried on your website, linked to on this page, which I could not even find by searching for “cod liver oil” on your website.
Your powerpoint is very interesting. On page 57, it talks about the levels of vitamins in the different cod liver oil brands. Notice there are only 3 brands on this slide.
2. Wise Traditions WAPF Journal
In the spring of 2016, you published a Wise Traditions Journal article in which you say WAPF tested 5 brands for rancidity and trans fats… and you share that information for all 5 brands.
However, for some reason, you didn't publish the vitamin levels for all 5 brands. You only published the vitamin testing results for 3 brands.
This is where things seem real sketchy to me. Sally, you said that 5 brands of cod liver oil were tested for rancidity and transfats. But you are claiming that only 3 of the brands were tested for vitamin levels?
That's very interesting. So, you're telling us that you sent the labs the samples for all 5 brands of cod liver oil — Green Pasture, Rosita, Nordic Naturals, Nature's Answer, and NutraPro.
And then what happened? Did you tell the labs to test all 5 for rancidity but ONLY test 3 for vitamins? I find that very hard to believe.
Isn't it more likely that you just never shared the vitamin levels from the lab tests for 2 of the brands? Those two were NutraPro and Nature's Answer.
How Much Vitamin D is in Green Pasture FCLO? Typos and Blanks?
Also, if you look above at the two charts — one from the powerpoint and the journal article — in the powerpoint the vitamin D for Green Pasture FCLO says “<4". (I had to look up the "<" symbol because I'm dyslexic and I can never remember.) It means "less than". So less than 4.
Is that a typo, Sally? Because that's not what the Covance lab report says. It says Green Pasture FCLO has 1180 IU vitamin D per 100 grams.
Oh, but it does say <4 for Nordic Naturals on their report...
So… maybe that is a typo? Maybe you accidentally pasted <4 from Nordic Naturals next to Green Pasture FCLO?
Anyway, back to Green Pasture FCLO and their vitamin D level… Let's do the math, shall we? Covance found 1180 IU of vitamin D per 100 grams.
1180 divided by 100… so that's 625 per gram. Multiplied by 5 (5 teaspoons in a gram).
That's 59 IU per teaspoon.
Also, this is super strange… the journal article has blank spaces for the vitamin D data for Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Was that just a mistake?
Or did you leave that out on purpose so we didn't figure out the ratio?
Release the Transcripts, Sally
Why would you do all of this, Sally? Well… I can think of one good reason. Because you knew that the numbers would show something you didn't want us to see.
Remember Ancel Keys? This is called cherry-picking the data. It's what people do when they want to hide things.
Maybe you innocently made all these mistakes… maybe you didn't do it on purpose in an attempt to deceive people… in which case, it's time to clean up the mess.
Here's my question for you, Sally. If you sent all 5 brands to the labs and they were all tested for rancidity, did you instruct them NOT to test for nutrition levels, or more likely, did you hold that data back from the public? Perhaps we should call Covance and UBE and ask?
Sally, I'm asking you to release the nutrition data for the other 2 brands that were tested: NutraPro and Nature's Answer.
Nature's Answer was quietly removed from the WAPF website cod liver oil recommendations in late 2015. Not just from the Best category, but you no longer recommend them at all.
Why? Is it because you could no longer recommend them since something came up in the nutrition data that would reveal that they have the wrong vitamin ratio?
I also want you to admit that Green Pasture FCLO has a ratio of 53:1 according to Covance. This proves that FCLO is toxic and should not be listed on the WAPF recommended brands of cod liver oil.
Bottom line: Your own testing proves that the only cod liver oil you should be recommending is Rosita.
(And maybe NutraPro, but we don't know because you didn't release numbers so I'm thinking there's a reason for that. Plus, there's the whole sex offender thing… most moms I've talked to aren't real big on buying nutritional supplements from convicted pedophiles.)
Please, Not the UBE Numbers Again
I think I know what you're going to say next. You're going to try to pawn those UBE numbers on us. We're not falling for it, Sally.
You yourself said in your powerpoint that it was agreed that the UBE numbers are not reliable and that we should go with the Covance numbers. Interestingly, the Covance numbers are almost exactly the same as what Kaayla Daniel found when she tested the FCLO last fall.
Sally, UBE is the same lab that said in 2009 that ONE TABLESPOON of fish roe has 17,000 IU of vitamin D. According to the USDA (and everyone else on the planet), one tablespoon of fish roe has 68 IU of vitamin D. UBE said fish roe had 250X more vitamin D than it actually does.
UBE also said that fermented cod liver oil had vitamin D2, not D3. Even Chris Masterjohn had to dispute this. Once again, everyone on the planet knows fish oil has D3, not D2.
So yeah, I think you can delete that whole column in your powerpoint and in your journal article. The UBE lab numbers are not to be trusted, and not relevant to this discussion.
Hey, WAPF! It's Time to Come Clean
Sally, I'm just asking for two things.
1. Stop recommending Green Pasture FCLO, as it has a ratio of 53:1 and is low vitamin D (59 IU per teaspoon), and therefore is toxic and harmful to people's health based on your own guidelines.
2. Publish the nutrition lab data for NutraPro and Nature's Answer cod liver oils.
If you can't do these two things, we need to know why.
Thanks, Sally… I'm looking forward to hearing your response.
Note: I'm sending this article to Sally. I'll also send this to Sandrine Love, since she responds to my emails. I will also be emailing this link to all the real food bloggers, health care practitioners and retailers who continue to promote and endorse FCLO and WAPF so they can inform their audience, customers and patients.
Watch My Facebook Livestream
In this Facebook livestream, I shared what I believe the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) is hiding in their test data. I also call out the “real food bloggers” and others who continue to promote FCLO and WAPF.
What Cod Liver Oil Do I Recommend?
I know you guys are going to ask. I recommend one brand of cod liver oil: Rosita EVCLO (extra virgin cod liver oil).
Please note: I have recently become an affiliate for Corganic, the company sells Rosita, so if you click that link, I will earn a small amount if you purchase a product. This is the only cod liver oil I will be recommending. (I only promote and recommend products I truly believe in… and affiliate commissions help me continue blogging.)
Oh, and for those who are asking, Rosita will be offering capsules of their cod liver oil here in the United States very soon… hopefully within the next month or so.
I am working on a comprehensive post this week about why I recommend Rosita cod liver oil over the other brands.
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