FCLO Scandal: An Open Letter to Sally Fallon Morell

This is an update to my fermented cod liver oil series last fall… In case you missed it, you can click here to read all the posts and watch all the video interviews: Fermented Cod Liver Oil Scandal.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil Scandal: an Open Letter to Sally Fallon Morell

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.

Dear Sally,

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.

In another article, you stated that osteoporosis is caused by a ratio of A / D.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-6-49-19-am

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
Rosita EVCLO
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.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil Scandal: An Open Letter to Sally Fallon Morell

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.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-7-15-12-am

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. untitled-design-1

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.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-9-23-20-am

Oh, but it does say <4 for Nordic Naturals on their report… screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-9-29-08-am

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.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-7-44-48-am

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?

untitled-design

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.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-7-34-12-am

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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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.

20 thoughts on “FCLO Scandal: An Open Letter to Sally Fallon Morell

  1. Thanks for being a dog with a bone, AnnMarie. I wish more people had your tenacity and ferociousness! Looking forward the Rosita capsules!

  2. Bravo Ann Marie! Looking forward to Sally’s response. We all deserve to know what we’re spending our hard-earned money on. Many of us trust these products are improving our health; sounds like a few of these likely aren’t.

  3. Very informative! I’m really hoping that the other natural bloggers will read this and stop promoting Green Pasture. Your article is great because it really picks apart the problems with Green Pasture and WAPF and makes them easy to understand. I can’t believe that WAPF is still pushing FCLO and publishing completely conflicting and false information. They have to be profiting monetarily. There’s no other reason!

    1. Thanks for your comment. I can’t understand why Sally continues to promote FCLO… other than she doesn’t want to admit she’s wrong and yeah… it’s hard to believe she’s not making money from it. I can’t prove that as I have found no evidence but it certainly is suspicious.

  4. Thank you all the work you’ve done investigating Green Pasture and sharing what you’ve found. It’s disturbing to say the least.

    I took the FCLO for a couple years and found out about it because of the WAPF recommendation. The fact that they continue to promote it and have buried their head in the sand in response to all the information that has come out this year is troubling.

  5. Thanks for all of your very helpful information on this confusing topic. As a mom it is so discouraging not to know whom to trust in regard to your children’s health! Just wondering what your thoughts are on the possibility of contamination in these fish caught in Norwegian waters. If you google Norway fish contamination, there seems to be so much out there about the risks of consuming fish from Norway.

  6. In November 2015 I was 49 years old and began researching ways to better my health. FCLO was one of the supplements I found and I began taking it regularly. About 5 months into taking it, I began having increasingly worse heartburn and burping, but never connected it to the FCLO I was taking. Sometimes the episodes were so painful it made me feel panicky and all I wanted to do was drink cold seltzer water and stop moving until the pain subsided. One night the pain was so bad that I ended up in the bathroom sobbing and throwing up. I went to my doctor and after answering his questions, he wasn’t convinced the pain was stomach-related and ordered an EKG. Imagine my surprise when I was told that the EKG showed I had most likely had a heart attack in the recent past. The painful episodes have continued, but have not been as bad as that one, and I started to wonder if something I was taking could be causing the pain and stopped taking my vitamins and the FCLO until I could do some research, which led me to this site. Since I stopped taking the FCLO, the “heartburn” pain has decreased significantly which tells me I am on the right track. I am scheduled for a cardiac perfusion stress test to determine if this was definitely a heart attack and how severe it was. I am devastated to think that a supplement that I was taking could have led to this, but I am grateful to have found the information in this site. If anyone has any recommendations on a brand of Cod Liver Oil that is safe I would appreciate any suggestions.

  7. Hey Ann Marie, I’m kinda late to the rodeo here, but thank you so much for all you’ve done; seriously, I’ve learned so much from you over the years, I’m eternally grateful for your diligent research and reporting!

    1. I’d very much like to know that too! Just learned about Dropi. Makes me just sick to think I gave my babies the Green Pastures FLCO in their bottles for 2 years!! The people higher up in these companies lose sight of the harm that they can/are doing to so many! BABIES for crying out loud!! In the WAPF’s own formula recipe! Jerks. All for the almighty dollar… Unthinkable. So, yeah, what about Dropi?

  8. Thank you very much for this.

    I’ve been buying Green Pasture for a long time. I buy it when I can afford it, and usually I only feel a difference in my sense of well-being the first few days, but beyond that, I can’t say I feel any different. Now I know why.

    I’m convinced it’s time for me to make a switch.

  9. Hi Anne Marie! Do you have any follow up to your open letter / video? I have noticed that the bloggers you called out on your video have switch their recommendations but I don't see where they have responded to your allegations concerning the vit a / vit d ratio.

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