Cod Liver Oil Recriminations Escalate


Dave Wetzel of Green Pasture

The cod liver oil recriminations have begun, and it’s not pretty.

Since nutritionist Kaayla Daniel released her devastating 111-page report on Saturday, contending that Green Pasture fermented cod liver oil is rancid, devoid of significant Vitamin D, and not from cod, the company’s many supporters in the world of nutrient-dense food have been pleading for people to suspend judgment.

Let Green Pasture and its owner, Dave Wetzel, along with the Weston A. Price Foundation, where he is a major event sponsor and on its board of advisers, respond, they have said. What do they want? Something like the plea of a teenage boy in 1919, when baseball’s Black Sox gambling scandal exploded, who shouted at Chicago White Sox star Shoeless Joe Jackson: “Say it ain’t so, Joe, say it ain’t so.” People want Green Pasture’s owner, Dave Wetzel, to “say it ain’t so.”

Well, Wetzel yesterday did say it ain’t so, but in so doing, he essentially accused Kaayla Daniel of unprofessional and dishonest behavior. He said  in a statement on his company’s web site that about a year ago, Daniel emailed him her concerns about his company’s “fermented” cod liver oil.

“In response, I offered Dr. Daniel an all expense paid trip to our facility to so that she may observe anything she would like and audit our work to her content. The offer was met with silence. I also emailed her a number of test results that I immediately had conducted on random samples of our products in response to her concerns. Again, the results were met with silence. We have never communicated on the subject once the offer for her to visit was made. Rather than base her conclusions on firsthand knowledge she relies on unspecified conversations, Internet rumor, and her own speculations about our processes and quality control that she recently published in a report titled ‘Hook, Line and Stinker: The Truth About Fermented Cod Liver Oil’.

Wetzel goes on to argue that his own tests have shown the Daniel report’s suggestions  that his company’s cod liver oil is rancid, devoid of significant vitamin D, and not from cod, are false. He promises a full report sometime in the future.

In the meantime, the Weston A. Price Foundation, in a statement to its members, referred them once again to a report from last February that “found no signs of rancidity in Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil.” Like Wetzel, the WAPF promised a full report on cod liver oil “soon.” In the meantime, it said, “we continue to endorse this product.”

I inquired with Kaayla Daniel today about her response to the Wetzel accusations that she dissed him a year ago. “It is not true that I met Wetzel’s invitation with silence.  Last winter, I told Wetzel I could not accept his all-expense paid visit, but would be willing to visit at my own expense.  At that time, he informed me that I could visit but that his lawyer would be present at all times.  At that point, I decided not to travel because I knew I wouldn’t see much. It would have cost me more than $2000 between plane, hotel and rental car — $3000  if I brought a needed witness — and I needed that money for lab testing.

“I also realized that little, if anything, would be accomplished by a visit. I had already talked to Wetzel in depth on many occasions. My specific questions were always met with evasive, vague, confusing and often contradictory answers.  And the stories about the products and processing kept changing over the months and years.”

As for Vitamin D absorption in rats, Daniel says, “Gall bladders are critical for the assimilation of fats and fat-soluble vitamins in humans.  Rats don’t have gall bladders so the studies Wetzel cites have questionable applicability to humans.”

She explains the markers for rancidity: “Rancidity is a complicated issue that I have addressed in depth in my report. In brief, Peroxide Values and Anisidine Values are reliable  markers, but only of early stage rancidity.  The Green Pasture product has consistently tested at low levels of Peroxide and Anisidine but high levels of Fatty Acids and Acid Value. This is true of the lab tests I ordered as well as those reported by Wetzel himself.  The high Free Fatty Acid and Acid Value numbers indicate advanced rancidity and far exceed standards set by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and Global Organization for EPA and DHA (GOED).

She adds, “Wetzel somehow thinks high levels of Free Fatty Acid level are desirable and that industry standards don’t apply to his product.  To the contrary, high free fatty acids mean rancid polyunsaturated acids and risk to human health.”

Finally, she addresses the cod-pollack issue.   “Just as industry standards don’t apply to his special processing, Wetzel seems to think food labeling laws do not apply to his special product.  As I proved through DNA testing, FCLO is labeled a cod liver oil but actually comes from Alaskan pollock.  The fact that pollock is in the cod family does not absolve Green Pasture from the charge of mislabeling.”

What stands out to me most starkly in these conflicting accounts is Daniel’s recollection that Wetzel wanted to have a lawyer present when she visited his facilities. That rings true to me because the first thing Wetzel told me on Saturday in response to the Daniel report was that he was having his lawyers (he used the plural) study it. As a long-time WAPF member put it to me after reading my previous blog post, “Why would he have lawyers reviewing the report, and not scientists?”

Usually you have lawyers because you either anticipate filing suit against people, or you anticipate them filing suit or other legal action against you. That’s why I project the cod liver oil recriminations could lead to a bitter and protracted struggle. In my next blog post, I will explore what this struggle might look like.

82 comments to Cod Liver Oil Recriminations Escalate

  • David Gumpert David Gumpert

    There are a couple of other interesting assessments of the Kaayla Daniel report that have come up of late. One from nutrition expert Chris Kresser, who says he began recommending a competitor to Green Pasture because of his concerns. He says he still has patients and family members taking the Green Pasture and doing well with it. His assessment of Kaayla Daniel’s report is kind of middle of the road.

    Then there is an assessment from Sarah Pope of the Healthy Home Economist blog, and a member of the WAPF board, that essentially reenforces the WAPF position backing of Green Pasture.

  • Open-minded Skeptic


    Still reserving judgment about this whole debate and listening to both sides before coming to a conclusion. But I’m still confused, as I commented on your preceding post, as to why Daniel saw fit to black out all lab identifying information for data she claims is legitimate. Which it may be…but also potentially may not be.

    Daniel says vaguely in her report that the participating labs required it for unspecified legal reasons. Another commenter in your preceding post added that, somehow because it’s a third-party and not dealing directly with a supplier, an identified lab in this scenario would be subject to legal repercussions.

    There really isn’t much logic to those explanations, however. As long as the lab abided by set standards for a testing methodology, there shouldn’t be any risk of being sued, say, for defamation. They’re just running the tests. In the anti-doping world, athletes who have been found to use banned substances don’t have a case against the lab(s) that furnished the incriminating data, as long as the tests were carried out with honesty and integrity. And they are by nature a third party.

    But how are we supposed to know if the labs Daniel used carried out their functions in an honest way if we don’t know who they are? If Daniel is not transparent about her sources?

    Imagine sitting in a courtroom. You’re in the jury. Daniel (plaintiff) v. Wetzel (defendant). Issue is over whether or not the oils are rancid, which Daniel charges they are. Wetzel presents lab evidence that the oils are not rancid. The names of the labs used are identified, as are their managers, who take the stand to explain their results, how they were obtained, why in their judgment results indicate that the oils aren’t rancid. Daniel the plaintiff now gets an opportunity to cross-examine these lab managers, to question their expertise and the value of their testing.

    Now it’s Daniel’s turn to present lab data supporting her allegations. She presents figures and interprets them for the court, but when asked for identifying info. re her participating labs…she can’t supply it to the jury…”for the legal reasons”? Wetzel the defense, as a result, doesn’t have an opportunity to cross-examine the lab managers acting for the plaintiff because…we don’t know who they are. They’re anonymous.

    Is this evidence admissible? As consumers (and journalists, David) in the jury, trying to determine if Daniel’s report has validity, how are we in some measure supposed to cross-examine the origins of the evidence if there is nobody to take the stand, nobody to cross-examine?

    We can’t adequately do so, and are only left to wonder why transparency is supplied from the side of the defendant but not from that of the plaintiff.

    • Steve

      An athlete at whatever level, agrees to be tested (in writing) in order to participate, and I’m sure part of that is a clause to protect the lab from a lawsuit. This is the same if you go to work some place that has a drug-testing policy. You agree to be tested.

      If this went to a trial, I’m sure lab names would be identified.

      The lab results published by WAPF did not include a client (funding source) yet nobody has questioned that at all. Did WAPF simply get test results from GP and publish them?

      But I take your point and I too wish there would be more transparency in the Daniel sources. However, I also wish there was a LOT more transparency in the Green Pasture sources. What is the source of the livers? If wild, who catches them, where, and what are they? Where does the butter come from? All references to “northern great plains” that used to appear on the Green Pasture site have been scrubbed.

      • Carrie Hahn

        They were “scrubbed” as you put it back in 2012. The Midwest, you may remember, experienced a devastating drought which impacted dairy production. GPP was out of HVBO and BIR for several months due to this shortage which is well documented on there page. They had to look for other suppliers which were indeed from Argentina. The product labels and website were then changed and “produced in the Great Plains” was removed.


    First of all, both lions and tigers are in the same genus, Panthera. And yet if anyone tried to sell fermented TIGER liver oil with a picture of a LION on the bottle almost everyone would have a problem with that label. To argue otherwise is the height of quibbling and dissembling.

    Based upon Dr. Daniel’s report it appears that the last thing David Wetzel would want is to have a case about his product brought into the light of day in a court of law and attract significant regulatory scrutiny, particularly with regard to product labeling. He may threaten lawsuit to try to intimidate Dr. Daniel and save face, and may even follow through with a filing, but it does not look like his potential allegations of defamation would be upheld in a court of law. In fact, he may well find himself being scrutinized more closely in ways that he does not want at all. Any reasonable consumer seeing a product on a store shelf that is labeled COD would expect it to be COD and not pollock. As a WAPF member for many years I expect better integrity and product scrutiny out of this organization than to dissemble over whether pollock is a form of cod. It wreaks of bias and dangerous recklessness to continue to endorse this product as their preliminary emailed response indicated, particularly given that Green Pastures has Gold Sponsorship status with WAPF. A lion is not a tiger and for anyone that argues otherwise I have an expensive bottle of fermented cod liver oil to sell you.

    • Head in hands

      “And yet if anyone tried to sell fermented TIGER liver oil with a picture of a LION on the bottle almost everyone would have a problem with that label.”

      Nonsense. It would be like selling Panthera oil, have it come from a Lion, and then complain that it was not Tiger.

      Frankly, people are acting hysterical and ending up as muddled as Kaayla’s original report, which is littered with inconsistencies and major editorial errors. No doubt Kaayla will get litigated and the lab results will be subpoenaed. I hope for Kaayla that she has good lawyers and insurance because a finding against her will be astronomical in legal costs, and if she looses, she could be in line for millions in damages.

    • Julie

      Without taking a stand on this issue, I will say that pollok is commonly referred to as cod in the food industry. It’s described and served as “cod” on the menus of thousands of restaurants across the country. Comparing calling pollok cod to calling a tiger a lion seems pretty close to the line of quibbling and dissembling.

      I AM a reasonable consumer and would not be disturbed to find out that my cod liver oil was actually from pollok unless that reality created a substantive difference in the quality or effectiveness of the product. Perhaps this is because I spent many years in the food industry and worked for a renowned seafood expert who helped me understand why pollok is often treated as cod. My sense from reading this post that includes accusations of “dangerous recklessness” is that reasonableness is not really what’s important here.

      • Sandrine Love

        My assessment is that there was no intentional deceit made by Green Pasture Products in regard to disclosing the exact species of cod used. Had Kaayla expressed her concern about the fact that the exact species of cod was not revealed before she published her report, David Wetzel has shared that would have immediately added that to his product descriptions and labels without hesitation. He will add it to his labels now. He uses Pacific Cod and about 10% Alaskan Polluck to make their fermented cod liver oil, varying on availability at any given time. As has been established by many, both species are considered to be cod in the scientific community and it never occurred to David to add a list of the specific species to his label since it isn’t industry standard to do so.

        • Steve

          That’s very interesting information. Something I hadn’t heard before. I’m not sure he considered this, but I’m pretty sure that the FDA would take issue to his selling any Pollock under the name marketplace name “cod”.

        • Pete


          Thats not how a consumer will look at it. The mythology around the product marketing leads us to expect the same kind of fish traditionally used, not some distant relative that may well not produce the same quality oil.

          Your comment doesn’t pass the smell test, and low and behold I find you writing on the web about Dave of GP:

          I feel incredibly blessed to consider David to be a trusted friend and to collaborate with him as a colleague, and visual communication client.

          And the thing is, why has he been hiding the species this came from all this time?

          Those claiming Alaskan Polloc is in the cod family are disingenuously quibbling over definitions. No one buying Cod Liver Oil was expecting it to come from a distantly related species fished in the north Pacific. This is all the more true post Fukushima! In this day and age of know your farmer and of rampant fraud concerning the identity of meats and seafood, Consumers demand and desirve full transparency on exactly what our CLO is derived from.

          This comment says it all

          August 26, 2015 at 10:30 am

          I was already a GP customer when I approached David Wetzel over email with some questions regarding seafood sustainability (I’m a marine ecologist, so I am particularly interested in sustainability questions). The short of it is that I wanted to know, given how common seafood mislabeling is, how GP ensures that their product is what it claims to be. How do they know it’s cod? How do they know it was sustainably harvested? Do they know their suppliers or do they just communicate through a middleman? Not only did David Wetzel refuse to answer my questions, he basically told me to f-off and never contact him again. I was dumbfounded. Based on their lack of transparency on this matter and on how rudely I was treated (even after stating I was a faithful customer) I would never again recommend their product to anyone. Oh and the last batch of FCLO I did consume did taste awfully rancid to me.

        • Sally Oh

          Thanks for that clarification, Sandrine!

      • steve

        According to the FDA, cod is not an acceptable marketplace name for Gadus chalcogrammus. It wasn’t until early 2014 that the genus was changed to Gadus for pollock. It doesn’t really matter what is common in the industry. It does matter what is legal.

        And I think since the OPs assertion is right on. Lion and tiger have the same genus. Different species. Pollock and cod have the same genus. Different species. Head in Hands example that it would be like selling “Panthera” oil, would be entirely accurate, if this was being marketed as “Gadus” oil. It is not. A better example for Head in Hands to use would be it would be like saying that you are selling “cat” oil and then using whatever cat you happened to get your hands on, lion, panther, house cat, etc.

        In this case, it is an FDA labeling issue, not just a matter of ethics or preference. And they are pretty freaking serious about labeling.

  • Ron Schmid

    Lions and tigers, indeed. I do like that analogy, and for someone who does indeed argue otherwise I have a little over ten thousand dollars worth of expensive bottles of fermented cod liver oil in a corner of my storage room. I’m shipping them back to Dave Wetzel tomorrow and hoping for a refund. If they come back refused, they’ll serve as a reminder – until the next time we clean house – that I should be a little less gullible the next time someone tries to sell me a sacred oil of unknown origin.

    • Steve Tallent

      Good luck with that. Hope you can get your money. We only have a couple of thousand dollars worth. Not sure what we’re going to do. 🙁

    • Mary McGonigle-Martin

      Ron Schmid, you post here and I’m not sure people know who you are. This is the gentleman who wrote the Untold Story of Milk. Sally Fallon published his book. I refer to it as the raw milk bible. His work is heavily quoted in WAPF. He is a naturopathic doctor and claiming this fermented cod liver oil almost killed him. I think people should take notice.

      • Marea Smith

        Mary McGonigle-Martin, by Ron Schmid own admission he consumed FCLO in far higher quantities than might be recommended – Perhaps that should also be taken into account.

  • Dana

    Someone please tell dr. Kaayla Daniel that rats do not have a gallbladder, BUT PRODUCE BILE. ‘The bile flows directly from the liver through the (hepatic) bile duct into the small intestine, and in turn, their bile comes from the liver.”
    So, dr. know it all , NOT “Gall bladders are critical for the assimilation of fats and fat-soluble vitamins” but BILE ! …in my opinion and not only mine. Rats do have bile. So why are you spreading this dishonest information? I feel like you want to manipulate people! I’m a vet but not all people are. I am starting to believe it’s all political or something…
    Just google ” bile secretion in rats ” Thank you.

  • Dana

    Someon please inform dr. Daniel that despite rats don’t have gall bladder they produce bile. The bile flows directly from the liver through the (hepatic) bile duct into the small intestine. So, I think she is speaking without much documentation and it’s dishonest regarding this issue “the studies”. I thought she is better informed.

    “Gall bladders are -NOT- critical for the assimilation of fats and fat-soluble vitamins” but BILE is! So Ms. dr. “know it all” you have to prepare more not just throw wrong assumptions because for the momment it’s all that you have without any proof released.

    I am a vet taking FCLO with my entire family and Dr. Daniel rat statement it’s raising me questions about her correct research, it seems to me she only wants to discredit FCLO no matter what the reality is.

    My toddler decay problems improved and also my dioptrics (what’s interesting it’s that I didn’t realised it might be de FCLO till someone said experienced the same dioptrics improvement) After this statemenet I think she is not so fair anymore and for the moment it is only accusing. I think in the end it’s all political and she might be naughty. I will not stop taking something it is working so great for us, my girl it’s eating with so much pleasure, I also find FCLO is tasting much better then others CLO I’ve tried.
    Regarding rats and bile just google it. Thank you!

  • Maureen

    I am one who is asking to withhold judgement until we can really analyze, ask questions, give a chance to answer. While there are questions raised, there also seem to be reasonable answers and I am not willing to condemn product, a man and his business until we have given considerable thought to his responses, his testing, and other scientists explanations.

    This report is very condemning and I don’t imagine it was easy for Kaayla to move forward with it, but it does also seem to many of us that its release was less “ethical”, “professional”, “kind” to name a few of the adjectives used, and even “vindictive”.

    As to the pollock vs. cod aspect, we are not comparing tigers to lions, but German Shepherds to Black Labradors. A dog is a dog is a dog, but with various obvious physical characteristics. I may not be correct in this, but I don’t believe that is the case.

    On free fatty acids, from GP’s website:

    “If one or more of the fatty acids is removed from the triglyceride, the fatty acid is called a free fatty acid. Free fatty acids can be produced by enzymatic activity (lipases), oxidation and other chemical reactions. Actually, in the body, most of the fat is hydrolyzed by enzymatic activity to release free fatty acids and mono- or di-glycerides in order for the digestive tract to absorb the fat into the body. Once absorbed, these components will reform triglycerides and involve into metabolism. The fatty acids (including free fatty acids) are important in the metabolism of energy production, energy storage, membrane formation, and cellular signaling transpiration. In industry, some companies use the level of free fatty acids for evaluation of the sales value. The level of free fatty acids can be used as an index for oxidation level in the oil. Oxidation processes can release the free fatty acid from the triglyceride which can happens during prolonged heating at high temperature. The presence of free fatty acids, in turn, can speed up oxidative reactions. There are no official standards for free fatty acids, and again, free fatty acid levels indicate nothing about the health safety by the oil industry. The test for free fatty acids is a titration where any chemical that can neutralize a base is listed as a free fatty acid.”

    So, as with the variety of fish question, I am not convinced that FFA is the correct tool for judging rancidity.

    My family and I are still taking our FCLO/BO blend and feeling good with it. This does not mean I can not be convinced otherwise, my eyes are wide open.

    • Lolly

      My husband is a marine scientist at a top University and has for many years told me that FCLO is rancid. Apparently, and many companies do not tell you this, TOTOX (Peroxide and Anisidine values) can be low in a very rancid oil. I took FCLO briefly but got a reaction and stopped. I have previously contacted Dave on numerous occasions with questions I had about his oils. You know what, he never answered my questions and was extremely rude and abusive and may I say arrogant. As a previous consumer and follower of WAPF I am very angry with him and the foundation.

      How about the Pollock issue! Actually, my husband told me that FCLO was made from Pollock livers a long time ago when Dave showed a picture on his website of a jar of fermenting livers. He also looked at the DHA:EPA ratio like Dr Kaayla did. He sent the picture of fermenting livers to other marine experts and also to very experienced fishermen and every single one of them said it was Pollock livers in that jar. Much too small to be genuine cod livers. The DNA evidence of Dr Kaayla stated a 100% match for Pollock livers as well. But the picture gave it away long before that.

      I think most are missing an important point. That is the word “Vikings” used so many times by Dave. Dave has made out he was transparent in everything but why did he then fail to tell consumers he was using Pollock livers? Worst of all, he has been writing about how the Vikings consumed his oil. That is a lie! They did not consume FPLO (or should we now say “pickled” pollock liver oil)!

      What Sally and Dave have failed to acknowledge is the fact that the Vikings did not consume Pollock liver oil even if Pollock is in the same genus as cod (take a look at a Pollock and a genuine Cod fish – they don’t look the same and Pollock is a lot smaller). Pollock is not the type of fish oil the Vikings consumed. Ask any historian specialising in the history of food around the Roman times. If you think about it, would the Vikings move away from areas which at that time were very abundant in cod (the North Atlantic/Newfoundland banks) to enter the harsh waters of the Northern Pacific Ocean for the purpose of catching a Pollock fish approximately 10% the size of a cod fish? Of course not! How ridiculous.

      This is a serious mislabeling issue.

      If measuring vitamin D is so inaccurate and meaningless according to Masterjohn and Dave then why did Dave measure vitamin D levels and show such absurdly high results on his website? He always goes on about the high levels of D in his oil. According to the real vitamin D expert, Michael Hollick, D3 is the main form in cod liver oil. But what does he know compared to Masterjohn!

      I for one thing will be following PPNF from now on! WAPF is run like a cult and there sure are strong financial ties between Fallon and Dave.

      And I will not be consuming any oils anymore. But most importantly, I hope every parent avoids giving that stuff to their children!

      • Dairy mom of 6

        You are right on about everything!! The other thing I would add is, I would not want me or my child eating any part of a fish that has come from the West Coast line of the US. Our oceans here are way too toxic since Fukushima!!

  • Sandrine Love

    David, my understanding is that you have portrayed yourself as an investigative reporter yet, I don’t see a thorough investigation happening.

    This appears to be a case of “he said, she said”. I feel compelled to speak up because what you recount is not what I witnessed. I have the email of David’s invitation to have Kaayla visit his facility in front of me. I was copied on these emails, as were others, when they were sent in October of 2014.

    David made no mention of lawyers needed.

    I never saw a response from Kaayla to David’s invitation. There are no other emails about the visit in David’s records, nor is there any record of any phone calls between them, or any recollection of a face to face conversation about the proposed visit. If Kaayla has that, I would love to see it. Perhaps I mistaken? Does Kaayla have some record that David told her that lawyers needed to be present if she were to visit? An email, text, phone call record, airline tickets that reveal that they were in the same place at the same time to have such a conversation in person in the winter months as she describes?

    Also, my understanding from both you and David Wetzel is that you spoke by phone soon after Kaayls’s report was made available to the public, and he said he didn’t want to make a statement at that time. He had just received the document and was starting to explore the content. Just because David mentioned lawyers and not scientists doesn’t mean scientists would not be doing so. They are most certainly reviewing the report.

    Just because David mentioned the word lawyers in his conversation with you doesn’t necessarily mean that he told Kaayla that having a lawyer present was a requirement of a visit to his facility. There may be record of that fact that I am not aware of? As I said, I’d love to see it.

    There are many accusations made in Dr. Daniel’s report and I am not here to address them all. Green Pasture Products will have their own statements.

    • Lolly

      I am sure we will get a response from GP and the WAPF. They have had enough time to “create” one. I bet the words “industry” and “thousands of molecules” will appear in their well rehearsed statement. Then we have the famous Dr Jie ready to generate as much skewed information as possible. I for one am not easily fooled anymore by the nonsense spoken by GP and the WAPF. Sorry but Pollock livers DO NOT equal cod livers. The Vikings never consumed Pollock liver oil. I have absolutely no interest what GP or the WAPF have to say.

      And one final point, I very recently got my husband (an academic) to talk to world leading historians in Europe specialising in the history of food during the Greco-Roman era. He told them about fermented liver oils and asked them about certain big statements made by Dave. Their response was as follows:
      “Fermenting the livers of fish to extract the oil is an old world practice that may go back as far as biblical times.”
      Historical evidence suggests the ancients had some interest in certain fish livers like Mullet Liver but there is absolutely no historical evidence for an interest in cod livers or their oils.

      Garum was produced during the Graeco-Roman period but was certainly most often made from oily fish of the sardine family. It fulfilled multiple functions and was also a commodity of trade.

      “The Mighty Roman Soldier was given a daily ration of fermented fish oil” AND “Soldiers refused to march without their daily ration of liquamin”. Is there any historical truth to these statements?
      There is absolutely no recorded evidence that speaks of Roman soldiers eating fermented fish oils, or, for that matter, any fish oils on a daily basis. The historical literature actually mentions them eating porridge, bread and drinking acetum (a sharp wine)! As for refusing to march without their daily ration of liquamen – where on earth has that come from!

    • Complete Disclosure

      Sandrine Love, I have a question for you. How much money have you, or an organization you represent, received from Green Pastures/David Wetzel?

      • Steve

        Although I can see why you would ask this question, perhaps a less inflammatory way to phrase it would be, “Sandrine Love, what is the nature of your affiliation/relationship with Green Pasture/David Wetzel and does it comprise a financial element for you or an organization/company you represent? You seem to have inside information and access to his email records.”

        • Sandrine Love

          For some reason, I am not getting notices that there are follow up comments.

          I was introduced to Green Pasture products in 2004, before fermented cod liver oil was produced. My association began when I founded the Weston A. Price Foundation’s San Francisco chapter in 2004. In November of 2014, I was named to the honorary board. I currently serve as the co-chapter leader in Portland, as well as the executive and creative director of Nourishing Our Children, which is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation that I established in 2005. I have had a long association with the Foundation and Green Pasture Products. I know the Wetzels both personally and professionally. We’ve hosted David Wetzel for a series of talks he gave to our chapters in the Bay Area. I’ve visited their home and facility in Nebraska for about a week.

          I have a visual communication business and Green Pasture Products has hired me on a handful of occasions over the years as a photographer and designer. So has Sally Fallon Morell, and many other clients. Green Pasture Products has donated to Nourishing Our Children on an number of occasions, as have some 3,000 other donors since 2005. Are we dependent on the donations we’ve received over the years from Green Pasture Products to sustain us? No. Would we survive without those donations? Yes.

          Have I benefited from my association with Green Pasture Products, Sally Fallon Morell and The Weston A. Price Foundation? Yes. Most definitely. Both personally and professionally.

          Have I been influenced by the long association with both parties accused in Kaayla’s report? Yes, of course. These are not strangers to me. I don’t believe them to be con artists, and one of the reasons is because I have gotten to know them over many, many iteractions over the course of 10 years.

          I wouldn’t hesitate to part ways with both the Foundation and the Wetzels if I thought that they had purposefully deceived the public or allowed an unsafe product to continue to be sold for their own personal gain.

          I have posted my opinion. I don’t believe that there was any purposeful deceit at play here based on what I know of the people involved. If folks want to discount my opinion because they think I’ve been paid off, that is their prerogative. I am posting any opinion like anyone else here.

          • Sandrine Love

            Oops! My opinion … typo.

          • Complete Disclosure

            You did not answer the question though you danced around it. Many are aware that Nourishing Our Children has received significant donations from Green Pastures and were integral in the foundation of that organization. Perhaps your judgement has been clouded like Sally Fallon’s with regard to this particular product?

            There has definitely been deceptive practices with regards to product labeling of Green Pastures occurring. The FDA has laws in place that specifically require pollock to be labeled as such. Accurate labeling is exceedingly important so that consumers can make fully informed decisions for themselves. This has to do not only with the nature of the product but also the way that it is produced. Pollock/Pacific Cod is fished via trawling, a destructive practice that disrupts the seabed as well as producing a lot of wasted by catch. The sustainable fishing industry refers to trawling as the “rape of the sea.” Cod on the other hand is caught via line fishing which makes it a more expensive alternative but also less disruptive to our rapidly deteriorating oceans and fisheries. For an organization such as WAPF, which has so much invested in the effort to label GMOs and the Right to Know issue, it is exceptionally concerning to witness such overt dissembling over the labeling of Green Pastures products. This, particularly given that many are aware of the significant financial relationships between Green Pastures and both Nourishing Our Children and the Weston A Price Foundation.

            Finally, can you please point me to exactly where in the writings of Dr. Weston A. Price he ever refers to or recommends FERMENTED cod liver oil, let alone fermented pollock liver oil? Let me help you. He does not. Any reference at all was to Norwegian cod. I am far more inclined to seriously consider the laboratory results and report that has been produced by Dr. Kaayla Daniel, a doctor of nutrition, than I am to take the financially driven opinion of others less professionally qualified. Based upon the other posts here and around the internet this particular opinion appears to be the majority. Is the Weston A. Price Foundation a science based nutrition organization or is it, as many detractors claim, more a cult of personality? The as yet forthcoming official statement from WAPF will be quite telling.

            That all said, I enthusiastically look forward to the upcoming Wise Traditions conference in Anaheim, particularly given its theme this year of “Focus on Fats.” Wise Traditions is an AWESOME event that is one of kind in its ability to unite consumers and farms through food while feeding thousands of people several meals a day at a venue that changes every year. It is a truly magnificent feat and not to be discounted. There is no other event like it and for it WAPF and Sally Fallon should be proud and are to be respected. It does not, however, allow for a pass on accurate labeling and transparency in production methods of any of the vendors at the event particularly given the knowledge that WAPF is financially involved with Green Pastures (Gold Sponsors).

            I would love to see WAPF take a pioneering and open stance with this issue and even have an open Q&A forum on the issue at the event. I guarantee that it would be well attended as long as it was perceived as open, honest and transparent. Thank you for your consideration.

          • David Gumpert David Gumpert

            Sandrine, thank you for sharing the history of your association with Green Pasture. It is an enlightening, and much appreciated, example of transparency in the midst of much murkiness.

            I’ll just add that I, for one, have never thought that Dave Wetzel and Green Pasture, or the Weston A. Price Foundation, engaged in purposeful deceit. We may be seeing some naivete, stubbornness, ideological rigidity, and fundamental intellectual disagreement at work here, by people who all care a great deal. That’s part of what makes this whole situation so difficult.

            Also, I’ll check into why you aren’t receiving updates about comments. It could be related to the site problems we had last weekend. Most everything has been fixed, but there are still a few glitches, and those updates could be one of them.

      • Carrie Hahn

        How ridiculous….you use an alias and accuse someone else of financial conflict?

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Sandrine, this is absolutely a case of “he-said, she-said.” I’m not sure what your expectation of investigative reporters is, but we often report on “he-said, she-said” situations because truth is rarely obvious in disputes such as this.

      I should point out that I emailed Dave Wetzel of Green Pasture shortly after Kaayla Daniel released her report Saturday. He chose not to respond to me in writing, but rather called me. That is acceptable practice between journalists and sources–it’s just that, as you suggest, there isn’t the same sort of permanent record. (In most states, it’s illegal to secretly record telephone conversations.) By telephoning, he is trusting me to represent his response accurately. As I said in my previous post: “Dave Wetzel, owner of Green Pasture, called me to request I hold off publishing Kaayla Daniel’s findings. ‘They will be shown to be false,’ he said. He declined to explain what specifically was wrong with her findings, except to suggest that there are problems in how she determines what is rancid. I told him I was publishing something today (Saturday), but would be glad to publish additional information when he has it. Wetzel added that he has several lawyers studying the report, and that he will be issuing a rebuttal within days.”

      Wetzel was true to his word in the sense that he issued a response within days, and that is what I reported on in my current post. Just as I had asked Wetzel if he had response to Daniel’s report, I asked Daniel if she had any response to Wetzel’s statement. I was particularly interested in what she had to say about his claim that he invited her to visit his facilities, and that she failed to respond. She says that she and Wetzel did communicate. She doesn’t say exactly how, though based on your account of having reviewed emails, I would guess they spoke by phone.

      You pose this question: “Does Kaayla have some record that David told her that lawyers needed to be present if she were to visit? An email, text, phone call record, airline tickets that reveal that they were in the same place at the same time to have such a conversation in person in the winter months as she describes?” That really isn’t reasonable, for Daniel, or for me, if a telephone conversation occurred. I was listening carefully to what Wetzel said, and he specifically referred to having “lawyers” reviewing the study. Remember, in my case he chose to have a telephone conversation, knowing there is no absolute way to prove or disprove anything without a recording. It could be that is his “style” in dealing with the media and other inquirers. Daniel seems to also have a specific recollection that he said a “lawyer” would be present if she came and visited his facility. I didn’t ask Daniel about lawyers, she recalled it independently, and it registered with me that Wetzel is quick on the draw with the legal card. It’s not necessarily a random thing to mention–in fact, some business people regularly refer to their lawyers, which is potentially intimidating to outsiders–suggests he can afford the considerable expense of having a lawyer involved, and puts the outsider on the defensive.

      Thanks for your input and observations.

  • Pete

    Accusations are flying fast and loose both ways. There are a lot of reputations and money at stake here. Not to mention egos. I see a lot of people reacting against GP/WAPF because they put faith in WAPF and they feel it was betrayed. And a bunch of others defending GP/WAPF based on little more than blind faith in WAPF or their individual experience with the product.

    Given the large number of reports of adverse reactions to FCLO from GP, it is at least credible that there is something wrong with the product.

    Though the report is very damaging, I am not making any conclusions yet due to the complexity of the matter. I’ve long since learned there are two sides to every story. With all the money involved, this situation is ripe for some deep investigatory reporting as it is clear many may be operating out of conflicts of interest. But GP has some pretty high hurdles to clear here.

    One potential big smoking gun right now is WAPF’s pushing of FERMENTED cod liver oil over and above other forms. There was controversy when EVCLO came out over WAPF rating it below FCLO. In light of PPNF’s research on what Weston A. Price himself used and said, WAPF’s advocacy of fermented CLO is highly suspect.

  • As a critical point of reference….last year Dr. Daniels sat down with me at the annual WAP conference and so did Dr. Ron Schmidt….both said that there had been deaths associated with the consumption of fermented cod liver oil. After my initial shock…I inquired more about who the injured and dead were. I could never get the low down on the coroners report.

    Does anyone have the official data on causes of death? And who they were?

    • Sandrine Love

      Mark, I think it is quite risky to accuse fermented cod liver oil for being the cause of someone’s death. I’ve heard those concerns raised and it is clearly speculative. Keep in mind – Dr Ron was taking up to 45ml of FCLO each day. The label says to take 2ml per day. He blames the FCLO for his health problems. Also, he took cod liver oil for years at high dosages before that. There is no question that some feel very well on the product, and some don’t. Isn’t that true of your own raw milk products? Aren’t there those who simply don’t tolerate it well, or perhaps they tolerate it but, don’t like your particular brand?

      • Pete

        Over taste yes. But a dairy producing milk that is going rancid? That is a problem, not a preference.

        A dairy producing milk from Holsteins while advertising it as Jersey or Heritage breed milk? Or selling cow milk as water buffalo milk? Thats deception no matter how you want to dice it.

        People not being able to tolerate raw milk because it is milk is categorically different than not being able to tolerate FCLO but doing just fine on EVCLO because it isn’t rancid.

        You are attempting to claim moral equivalence to defend the indefensible.

        • Sandrine Love

          I am sorry, Pete. To revive an unsubstantiated rumor that fermented cod liver oil has caused deaths is, in my opinion, very, very risky. Mark, your products have been under fire many times. I’d love to see your hold your accusations until you have proof.

          • Pete

            Now you’re moving the goal posts. We’re not holding FCLO to any different standard than we do dairy or other food.

            Mark is not making any accusations, he’s bringing up a relevant question. If what he heard was true it is an important piece of what is going on here.

    • Barbara

      The report that was released over the weekend would have rocked the real food world if the information was presented in a factual way, but with the added innuendo, speculation, and character assignation that has been going on, it has been downright destructive and devastating. I’m sad to see that there is more unsubstantiated heresy being thrown into the mix and wonder how that is helpful to the situation?

      • Pete

        ‘I don’t like how Daniel presented her information so she’s to blame for causing all this harm being done.’

        A LOT of money is at stake. If Dr. D’s assertions are correct, then dirty dealings are to be expected from the GP camp. (which is not to say they are)

        But the level of rangor, threats, and character assassination going on is a good sign (not proof just a positive sign) that she is onto something; even if she didn’t get everything right.

        • Amanda

          “everything”…? lol she didn’t get ANYTHING right, and couldn’t have been less transparent or malicious while doing so. I don’t see how anyone can take Kaayla seriously after this.

    • Ron Schmid, ND

      September 6, 2015.

      I am writing to correct misinformation about me in Mark’s post above and in other places on this blog. Mark Mcafee writes above that he had a conversation with me last November at the WAP Conference in which I said that while I would not name names, I knew of two people who had died as a result of taking FCLO. I absolutely have NEVER made any such statement to Mark or anyone else. What I did say to Mark was that at the time of my hospitalization with advanced heart failure in July of 1912, I may have died if I had not then sought help (this according to my first cardiologist). Mark appears to have become confused on this, or attributed to me something someone else said. I emailed him at Organic Pastures about this, and he has not corrected himself, or emailed me back. Perhaps he did not get my email.

      Other misinformation concerns the amount of CLO and FCLO I took over the years, As I describe in an article on my website (Too Much of a Not So Good Thing), I typically took two tablespoons daily of CLO (Carlson) from 1979 til about 2002; then usually two tablespoons daily of GP Norwegian CLO til 2006; then usually two, but sometimes one and sometimes three, tablespoons of FCLO daily from 2007 until stopping about two weeks before my hospitalization (call it belated intuition). I had absolutely no symptoms of heart disease or any other health problems, except Lyme disease, during my 25 plus years on regular CLO. I began to have symptoms of shortness of breath and edema in about 2008-09, which I attributed to what I thought was my long standing Lyme disease (in fact I had controlled if not completely cured it; the symptoms were the beginning of my heart failure). An interesting aside: my wife Elly and I had contracted Lyme at about the same time in 2002. We did very careful diet (see Dr. Ron’s Dietary Principles on my website if you are curious), herbs and hyperbaric oxygen daily for a year (2011). Elly’s Lyme symptoms disappeared, while I continued to get worse with shortness of breath and edema. I never could figure out why until I read Kaayla’s report. Here is the kicker: ELLY WOULD NEVER TOUCH THE FCLO. SHE TRIED IT ONCE OR TWICE, COULDN’T STAND IT, REFUSED TO TAKE IT.

      There is a lot of talk about what a fool I was. Well, yes, but mainly for trusting the WAPF and GP. I certainly don’t recommend taking two tablespoons a day of any CLO, but the fact is Carlson’s never hurt me. I believe this is because it was not rancid. Dr. Price warned particularly of the dangers of rancidity in CLO, mentioning specifically heart and kidney problems, among others. My symptoms of heart failure came on slowly, beginning around 2009-09. Here, I truly was a fool (“Only a fool has himself for a doctor.”) I couldn’t imagine that I had heart disease. I missed my own diagnosis for years.

      Finally, there are accusations of financial motives on the part of Kaayla and I. I won’t speak to Kaayla’s finances, but I do know she formerly derived a substantial part of her income from her association with Sally and the WAP (if I were a betting man, I’d bet big that she’ll be off the Board very soon…maybe Sally will give her my spot as a Conference speaker? topic was heart disease).
      Now, what about me. Am I crooked? Now, I don’t anyone to be deterred from believing whatever they want in spite of the facts, but here are a few.

      First, about 20% of my company’s sales were of GP products. We took them all off our website the day after I read Kaayla’s report (I paid for about half of her lab costs. I respected her suspicions, but I hoped the report would exonerate GP). Yes, we carry two other CLOs. We have no unusual financial arrangement with either. As GP’s largest distributor, we had substantial wholesale sales to health care practitioners and health food outlets. We gave up that business completely because there is not enough markup in the other CLO products we carry to wholesale them.

      Second fact, we are giving credit or refunds to all of our customers, retail or wholesale, for opened or unopened bottles of GP products that they may have. This is posted on our website.

      Third fact, I have watched how David Gumpert has handled this controversy, and I believe he is a fair minded investigative journalist. I have told him that if he has any reason to want to do so, he may come to my business and home (they are together) with an accountant and have free access to all of my books and computer records, business and personal, tax returns, whatever. Kaayla Daniel has indicated to me that she would do the same.

      I hope my real motives are obvious by now. My thanks to all of you who are being open minded and trying to get to the truth.

      • Amanda Rose

        I expect that the purpose of Mark’s comment in the first place is to begin his entry into the butter oil market. He has a great deal of expertise in outsourced butter and so is ready to hit the ground in this open marketplace. I don’t expect he’d want Dr. Ron’s facts to stand in the way of a good marketing story.

    • Carrie Hahn

      Mark, did you see Dr. Schmid’s post on September 6th?

  • Rachel Jacobson

    I am surprised there is no article about how Rosita Ratfish Oil was recalled last month in Norway because it was toxic and contaminated.

    “As late as June asked the FSA consumers to throw three types of supplements based on fish oil produced in Norway because they contained carcinogenic substances above the levels permitted in the EU… Rosita handcrafted ratfish liver oil”

    Has anyone noticed that Kaayla Daniel seems very irrational. She would not accept Mr. Wetzel’s “all-expense paid visit,” with no reason listed besides the assumption she would not learn anything. Then Daniel stated that she needed her $2,000 for lab testing. A flight from Arizona to Nebraska is at most $500. 3 days of hotel = $240. 3 days car rental = $100. 3 days of food $150. So about $1,000 for 3-4 days of travel.

    People already commented on the rat studies and how her comment about rat makes no sense. The WAPF board agreed to independently test fermented cod liver oil. Daniel is fear mongering.

    • D. Smith D. Smith

      You used the word irrational. You’re asking questions, but Dr. Daniel can’t – without being irrational?? Pot. Kettle. Black. We are all allowed to ask questions and also to state our beliefs. That does not make people irrational, it makes them curious enough to ask questions and do some digging. Is curiosity the same as irrational?

      I don’t recall seeing anything where the WAPF agreed to do any additional testing (but I haven’t been following every detail of this either as I have other work to do). The last I heard about this end of the deal was that WAPF had already done testing and they were satisfied with those results.

    • Steve Tallent

      The posted article is not what you think it is. I carry Rosita products, the EVCLO and the Ratfish Oil. I contacted them to find out what is going on, since they never told me of any recall. I got the low down. The article is misleading to say the least. The tested sample was crude ratfish oil, as requested by the particular lab, not finished product. Finished product always test below EU levels for contaminants. Read the article. There was no recall. They could not initiate a recall because it was not finished product. They’ve got some at a lab now and said they will post the results on their site as soon as they get them to help quell these rumors – which BTW seem to only be getting passed around by those seeking to undermine Rosita. Many of the shares that I’ve seen of these have actually stated there was a recall of their EVCLO. Anybody really concerned would have contacted one of the companies that distributes Rosita Ratfish oil.

      Dr. Daniel stated her reasons for not accepting a paid trip out there in a followup on her site. As I recall, they were, she didn’t want to have her judgement clouded, or “owe” anything, just as doctors going on junkets paid for by big pharma might have their judgement clouded, he told her that his lawyer would have to be present every where she went, and this indicated to her, that she probably wouldn’t be able to see anything but what he wanted her to see anyway, plus the expense – especially if she wanted to bring a witness.

      According to all of the sources that I can find, the WAPF board voted not to do testing. The reason that I’ve been getting is because they had already done testing, which they posted in February of this year. Which seems reasonable on the surface. Daniel’s subsequent actions seem to bear some explaining. Attempts to get information from folks present at the board meeting have resulted in a suggestion to ask for the meeting minutes. I did that days ago, but have not yet heard back from WAPF. I know the meeting was in December, but don’t know the date. The date on the test results are Dec 12. The insinuation is that WAPF is the client and paid for the tests. However that is not actually stated on the test results, and a request to a board member for the actual client/funding source have been met with silence. This seems to indicate that there may be a little bit more here going on than any of us know about to which Dr. Daniel was reacting.

      I’m still waiting for more info.

  • Lynn_M Lynn_M

    I wonder if some sort of feeding study is needed of FCLO using lab animals, rather than a laboratory analytical study. You would need multiple arms, with one group taking FCLO, another group taking CLO, and a control group with no CLO of any kind, and then determine the outcomes. You might have more groups taking different doses of FCLO and CLO, or some groups taking it for shorter or longer periods of time. Of course this type of study would be much more expensive, perhaps prohibitively so.

    I am thinking of the situation with Vitamin B12. Spirulina and fermented foods test as having B12 in USP assay studies, but when fed to lab animals, the animals developed B12 deficiency. It was found that the B12 was in an analogue form. says “A preferred, reliable test that can differentiate between true B-12 and corrinoids (true B-12 plus B12 analogues) is provided by differential radioassay.”

    I think the health outcome of a lab rat or mouse in a controlled study may be more determinative than a lab assay.

    • Steve Tallent

      This sounds like a great study. I wonder if Green Pasture or Rosita or any of the other CLO companies would undertake such a study?

  • Lolly

    We don’t need any studies. It’s Pollock liver oil NOT cod liver oil. That is more than enough for me. Why didn’t Dave mention that before? Why doesn’t Masterjohn or the foundation look into this? I know why – because the Vikings did not consume Pollock liver oil. There would be no Viking story to make his oil sound attractive. I would not consume that oil for a million dollars! He has tried so hard to portray himself as the simple farmer who cares for his community. Reality is very different. He has gained considerable wealth from selling POLLOCK OIL labelled as cod liver oil. He is a good businessman. I think I prefer “industry” made oils with not so many “molecules” and “pigments”.

  • To be clear…I never ever said that someone had died…I was reporting that I had been told by two people that are central to this story that there had been deaths.

    My question is this…where is that hard evidence? Is this still part of the story? If not ok…if it is, then I would like to hear more and see the coroner’s report.

    • another part of the story that hasn’t been commented-on, is : Dr Daniels’ allegation [in the body of the previous post on David Gumpert’s blog]
      : “We have reliable reports that the X-Factor Gold Butter Oil comes from Argentina, not the Great Plains, and it tests rancid as well.”

      … butter oil being the Holy Grail in the Weston A Price movement, let’s get right down to brass tacks. If Green Pastures has been passing-off butter oil by pretending it comes from cows eating grasses on the Great Plains of America, when in fact the oil, or butter from which it was derived, has been out-sourced, that has VERY serious implications for people in all sorts of directions … not just Green Pastures.
      … Let’s see some real hard evidence = first-person, NOT anonymized, NOT redacted = to back that up. And let’s have it right away

      • Gordon — You’re assuming that the WAPF cares about outsourced or misbranded dairy products. Long time readers of this blog know that there is a history of outsourcing in the raw dairy business. It was admitted to, the messenger was shot, and the dairy has continued on (slandering the messenger along the way). Maybe that raw dairy outsourcing controversy was just training for this current nation-wide controversy. Do you really expect the WAPF to hold one of its sponsors to transparency? Based on the past behavior of the WAPF, I sure don’t.


      • Steve Tallent

        I have no information on the sourcing of the butter, but I will say that as of 12 days ago, all but one of the GP butter oil products had no mention of “northern Great Plains”. One of them still had that description – which is what you will find on most websites because it was copied straight over. But as of two days ago, even that mention was gone. That would definitely seem to indicate a source other than Great Plains.

        • Carrie Hahn

          The Midwest, you may remember, experienced a devastating drought in 2012 which impacted dairy production. GPP was out of HVBO and BIR for several months due to this shortage which is well documented on there page. They had to look for other suppliers which were indeed from Argentina. The product labels and website were then changed and “produced in the Great Plains” was removed. This was done years ago, and as you pointed out, as with other large websites its often difficult to catch all the updates that need to be made.

  • Sandrine Love

    I have attempted to respond on the chain that I am being questioned on but, I can not. I am still not getting any notices about new comments. A community member alerted me to the fact that I am being further questionsed. I have no way to notify the person who is questioning me, who doesn’t reveal their name. It is not true that Green Pasture Products was instrumental to me establishing Nourishing Our Children. I established Nourishing Our Children in June of 2005. The first donation we received from the Wetzel’s was in 2011. The checks are not company checks, they are written from the Wetzels themselves. We’ve received a total of 17,500 from them since 2011 out of the just over 280.000 we’ve received in 10 years. My mother has contributed 75,000 to put their contributions in persepctive. The Wetzel’s donation is about 5.5% of the contributions we’ve earned to date.

    They’ve donated once a year since 2011. The first time they donated 2,500. They have subsequently donated 5,000 each year. We’ve used the funds in various ways every year depending on our needs at the time.

    Has my opinion been bought? I don’t believe so. Not for a minute. There is no amount of money that would prevent me from walking away from the Wetzels or the Foundation if I doubted the integrity of those behind the products. If I ever learn that my trust has been broken, I will disassociated from all involved without hesitation.

  • Sandrine Love

    David Gumpert, since you see the emails behind all of our comments. Will you forward this inquiry to “Complete Disclosure”? Will you ensure they see this message: “Complete Disclosure” – why not reveal your full name?! You want complete disclosure but, aren’t willing to even reveal who you are?! I think that fits the definition of irony.

  • GP

    Kaayla’s assertion that she declined to attend because having a lawyer present at the plant would inhibit her while she investigates is a lame and disengenious statement. I’ve been to the Green Pastures plant, and it should be noted that liability issues alone warrant an accompanied visit. I don’t trust Kaayla any further than i could throw her, and having her unescorted going through a very dangerous (as in there are quite a fews someone could fall poking around the vats) is just unbelievable. I wouldn’t put it past her to take samples off the floor in the corner behind 10 year pallets. She might not have the brains to know the difference between the cast offs and the new product. I’d have a hard time grieving if she fell off the vats and broke her neck, but I’d prefer if Dave wasn’t somehow blamed for the fall! Dave, you need to get your head examined! I don’t think her approach is anything but vicious.

  • I don’t use Cod Liver Oil, but this controversy got me looking at some of the info on the GP website. I found reference over and over to this being a “traditional” method of extracting CLO, but in fact, all of the methods he lists as historical examples involve putrifaction, not fermentation, and they yield very little oil in a consumable form. They still require extreme processing to get any significant amount.

    Further he references the South Sea Island people as an example of a traditional fish liver oil extraction. He says that Shark Liver Oil is “prized” by them, and was prepared by putting the livers into the shark stomachs, which were hung from trees for months before the oil was taken off the top.

    What he fails to mention is that shark liver oil prepared in that manner was used as MACHINE OIL, and for LIGHTING. It was not fit for human consumption.

    Much of his “historic” information is either out of context, distorted, or interpreted by him to be more prevalent than it was, or used in a different manner than it was.

    The fact is, meat does not ferment. Oil does not ferment. They rot or go rancid.

    Cod Liver Oil really isn’t good for a daily supplement for the majority of people, it is more of a treatment for specific conditions.

  • Hi David and others. I haven’t popped in here for a very long time. *waves to all*

    I will direct my comment toward the controversy surrounding Ron Schmid and his high dose of CLO. We are hearing all over the Internet how he had very poor judgement. How poor was it? Was he alone all of those years?

    Sandrine Love implies right here in this discussion what poor judgment he had. Sarah Pope at The Healthy Home Economist makes a similar argument.

    So says the Internet scuttlebutt: How could Dr Ron be so careless with his own health, taking tablespoons of CLO a day, and then HAVE THE NERVE to point to CLO and FCLO as the cause of his heart failure? Really, take some responsibility for your own actions!

    Here the WAPF lists 1 tsp as a recommended dosage:

    Here it lists a max of 3/4 tsp as an “absolute maximum for long term use”:

    However, let’s just look on the WAPF website and find out why people like Ron Schmid took high doses of CLO and FCLO in this 2002 article that has been widely circulated over the years:

    For those who don’t want to click, here’s a copy of the relevant portion of CLO doses:

    In pregnancy:
    “Thus if you are or may become pregnant, limit cod liver oil intake to not more than a total vitamin A value of 30,000 IU. If using my favorite brand, Carlson Labs cod liver oil, that would equal the amount of vitamin A found in 12 teaspoons or 4 tablespoons, more than anyone would ever take. If using high-vitamin cod liver oil, the limit would be 2 tablespoons. ”

    In adulthood:
    “Two tablespoons of regular cod liver oil, one tablespoon high-vitamin cod liver oil is a dose that is safe and adequate for pregnant women and, in fact, all adults. There is no indication that anyone needs a dose of cod liver oil exceeding two tablespoons except in certain special circumstances. More is not better.”

    In Sandrine’s 2012 ebook “Nourishing Our Children,” she cites the WAPF pregnancy diet and recommends 20,000 IUs of vitamin A a day, somewhere in the range of 1 1/2 TB. (A dosage of six times the current WAPF recommended dose.) She also offers this point: “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.”

    From the same 2002 WAPF link above, here’s the recommendation for infants and children:

    “Infants and growing children can tolerate higher-per-pound doses of vitamin D and cod liver oil. Recommended dosages are as follows: one teaspoon from birth to six months, two teaspoons from six months to three years, one tablespoon from 4-10 years and two tablespoons thereafter during winter months or when not sunning.”

    In the context of this current discussion, 2 TB is apparently a whole lot of CLO going into the mouths of little WAPF kids.

    Aside from the WAPF literature, there are also accounts online of consumers being recommended verbally over 2 TB of high vitamin CLO a day from those in the WAPF leadership (or from those selling CLO) over the years. The accounts includes Kaayla Daniel herself who says that Fallon recommended such high doses to her.

    Now let’s double back to the current outrage over Schmid. Pope writes that he was taking up to 9 times the daily dosage in the link to her site above. It appears, however, that the WAPF maximum recommended dosage went from 2 TB to 3/4 teaspoon sometime between 2002 and (I don’t know when). That’s an 8-fold difference dosage.

    Back when that 2002 WAPF article was circling the Internet and Pope and Love were both chapter leaders spreading the message, Schmid’s upper dose would have been up to 50% higher than the recommended dose (not 9x) and it certainly was on target with what was being recommended verbally, apparently even by Fallon herself.

    I have stayed out of the WAPF loop for some time but I am still on the email list. When did the WAPF inform its people that it changed its recommended dosage for CLO?

    When did Sarah Pope and Sandrine Love inform their people of the change?

    From the looks of the WAPF website, the change happened at least several years ago but I see no announcement from WAPF along the lines of this: “Our CLO dosage recommendation has changed. Be sure to update your practices.”

    As for WAPF followers in general, how many people have continued on these high doses because they have access to the old information? How many current members have been giving this old information to their friends?

    • Sandrine Love

      Amanda Rose, I sincerely appreciate your post and am looking into the history of the dosage recommendations the Foundation has made, and Nourishing Our Children has made now for greater clarity. I was not aware that there were any changes to the dosage recommendation made by the Foundation over time. In my comments above, I spoke to what is on the actual label.

      Just as a matter of clarification, as I shared perviously on this chain, I was not a chapter leader in 2002. I didn’t know the Foundation existed until 2004. I served as a chapter leader for about 1 year and then resigned my role to launch Nourishing Our Children. We first talked about cod liver oil in our first educational materials in the form of a PowerPoint launched in 2006. There was no mention of fermented cod liver oil then. At that time, that iteration of our PowerPoint didn’t mention dosages at all or the diet for nursing and pregnant women. I am reviewing the history of our own educational materials as we’ve had a number of iterations over time. As is identified in the ebook, the content of the ebook comes largely from Sally Fallon Morell’s PowerPoint on Traditional Diets.

      I appreciate you bringing this to our attention and will follow up.

      • Sandrine Love

        We sincerely appreciate you pointing this out Amanda Rose. The 2002 article by Krispin Sullivan tilled Cod Liver Oil: The Number One Superfood is clearly a very old article in which she recommends Carlson’s, which I have been told is very low in A, and has no D. It is not one of the Foundation’s recommended brands nor has been for quite some time. There have been announcements made about why Carlson’s was no longer recommended. The recommendations in that article didn’t pertain to fermented cod liver oil or other cod liver oils that have been recommended since.

        The first thing I noticed when I looked at the article you were referring to was that the it did have a link at the top to redirect folks to the most current recommendations.

        The article was published before my time. The Foundation has removed it now that they have become aware that it has caused some confusion, and wanted me to thank you.

        Nourishing Our Children’s ebook, which has the same content as all of our other educational materials, states the Foundation’s recommendations verbatim.

        Cod Liver Oil to supply 20,000 IU vitamin A and 2000 IU vitamin D per day. We don’t translate that to measurements but, provide a link to the Foundation’s website and they do:

        I hope this clarifies matters.

        • Amanda Rose

          Sandrine — Thank you for the response and research however I am pretty firm on the cause of the confusion over CLO dosages and I am not impressed at the backlash against Schmid.

          (Claim 1) The confusion centers around the Carlson’s brand

          On the “CLO Super Foods” article (now deleted), the author discusses the Carlson’s issue in the article and the difference between high vitamin and regular CLO. Here is the relevant paragraph:

          “Thus if you are or may become pregnant, limit cod liver oil intake to not more than a total vitamin A value of 30,000 IU. If using my favorite brand, Carlson Labs cod liver oil, that would equal the amount of vitamin A found in 12 teaspoons or 4 tablespoons, more than anyone would ever take. If using high-vitamin cod liver oil, the limit would be 2 tablespoons. Two tablespoons of regular cod liver oil provide 15,000 IU vitamin A, 2600 IU vitamin D and 6 grams of mixed omega-3 fatty acids, safe for pregnancy and good for mom and baby.”

          Her article does not appear to be about Carlson’s at all, not really. That does not “explain” the dosage difference.

          Here is an archive of the article:

          (Claim 2) There was no confusion because the top of the CLO Super Food article (now deleted) sent the reader to updated material.

          It’s also interesting to look at that note at the top of the “CLO Super Food” post (now deleted) that you point out, Sandrine. Your screen shot doesn’t show where that link goes but the archived version does. The article links to itself, not to any additional clarification, giving the impression that this article of confusion is the go-to source on CLO dosage.

          Hover over the link in that archived link above and you can see that the article linked to itself.

          Google Cache seems to tell the same story:

          In addition to the on-going sources of confusion above, this article by Wetzel may also be adding to the confusion:

          In general, the backlash against Ron Schmid appears to be out of line and misdirected. I would guess that a whole lot of people have taken large doses of HVCLO based on information from the WAPF. Apparently, even the chapter leaders are confused about the WAPF’s historical recommendations.


          • Sandrine Love

            Amanda Rose, I really think you need to bring your concerns to the Foundation. I don’t have any voting rights, I don’t set their recommendations and I am not a spokesperson. I responded to your comment because you name the educational materials that I have published for Nourishing Our Children, which is in my domain.

            I don’t know how effective it will be for you to continue to file your complaints here.

            The people in a position of leadership will not see your concerns here. They have too much to focus on to be reading all these chains. Contact them directly. I don’t have the bandwidth to serve as an intermediary between you and them.


          • Sandrine Love

            Also, Amanda. The webmeister shared that the link at the top was intended to direct folks to updated recommendations, but it wasn’t functioning. He said it was likely due to a transition to a new website that happened some time back. Unless someone notifies him of a nonfunctional link, he is usually unaware because of the size of the site.

          • Amanda Rose

            Right. The incorrect dosage information has been online for years. It was not a non-functional link — it was the wrong link, to outdated information with an incorrect dosage. I do believe I’d be looking for some legal counsel. There is a huge amount of bare tail hanging around right now.

          • Amanda Rose

            I think it’s kind of amusing that my posts had a bunch of “thumbs ups” and Sandrine’s “thumbs downs” over the weekend but now a little posse has come in and moved the “voting” in the opposite direction, as if that matters. It’s kind of like the current arguments over whether pollock is cod. We can all bicker about it but U.S. labeling laws are actually the place to look, independent of a “thumbs down” vote on an Internet message board.

          • Amanda Rose

            Sandrine — I am not a member of the foundation and don’t intend to contact them. I did not intend for you to be their intermediary, simply to state how you handled the dosage change. (Answer: you didn’t. I wonder about Pope.) For my part, I continue to suggest that the dosage outrage is completely out of line. Historical revisionism.

          • Carrie Hahn

            So no one is allowed to change their opinion about something when information becomes available later? In 2002 when that article was written we did not have the choices available that we do today, largely because WAPF promoted CLO and more companies started to produce it! And GPP did not start making FCLO until 2009.

          • Amanda Rose

            We should definitely change our opinion, Carrie, if we realize we made a bad decision. My question above intended to focus on how the WAPF educated its followers about the change. It appears that it added new dosage information but there was never any announcement that the change had taken place. My guess is that a lot of old timers didn’t realize the change had happened.

        • Amanda Rose

          I am now reading the offical WAPF response here:

          Given the discussion here about dosages, I find this comment by Sally Fallon to be extraordinary:

          “I have never taken cod liver oil in tablespoons.”

  • Julie D.

    The WAPF has responded:

    Then click on link that says: Answers to Recent Concerns About Fermented Cod Liver Oil

  • janieinMN

    It’s called “seafood substitution and economic fraud”. And it’s against the law!!
    Green Pastures has deliberately misbranded their product. It is ILLEGAL to label pollock liver oil as cod liver oil. It is ILLEGAL to not list “all” the fishes used in a fish product (in GP’s case: Pollock should have been listed both in the ingredients and the ‘contains’ portion of the label). It is also in violation of the FDA allergen labeling rules. See labeling #11

  • Slave

    Its a sorry state of nutritionial science when nobody can even tell for sure whether an oil is rancid or not. I mean what a joke. And we take nutriotional advice from these people? Doesn’t anyone see how absurd this is? How reliable can their recomendations be when they can’t agree on such very banal property as rancidity?

    As for me, I seriously doubt the oil isn’t rancid. This cod liver or any other fish oil. Polyunsaturated oils are EXTREMELY unstable and they oxidize at room temperature. I ask how in god’s name could they NOT be rancid.

    Not that i follow WAPF in that much detail, but i have been keeping an eye on their response to this. Its been nothing short of ludacrous. These people, whose operating budget have gone from 200 grand to 2 million dollars in the past 10 years thanks to almost entirely corporate donations from food corporations (they call them famers) are behaving exactly the way you would expect any industry lobbing group would in midst of a scandal affecting one of their corporate members. Reading the naive and panicking discusions of their sheep flock in various forum, about foundation this, foundation that, which makes it eerily reminiscent of some dystopian future where you don’t even dare to pass gas with the foundation’s prior aproval. God people are so gullable and stupid. When you need a foundation to tell you what to eat, a foundation run by companies whose food the foundation recommeds (including this snake oil from green pastures) then yeah you are as stupid as stupid gets. No two ways about it.

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