It was the VIP dinner for speakers preceding the 2014 annual Weston A. Price Foundation conference in Indianapolis, just a year ago, and Annie Dru was excited. The self-described “real food educator” was not only attending her first WAPF annual conference, but she was attending to do an elaborate six-hour food-preparation demonstration on “ancestral cooking” at the personal invitation of Sally Fallon Morell, the founder and president.
“It was very humbling and flattering,” recalls Dru, in a new interview with Ann Marie Michaels, on her Cheeseslave site. “When Sally Fallon calls, you answer. I was elated I was being given this opportunity. I wanted to show up and reprise the foundation in a way they would be proud of me.”
Dru’s flight to Indianapolis had been delayed, so when she finally arrived at the VIP dinner, together with her daughter-in-law-to-be, Taylor, only two seats remained, at the head table. Dru, 52, was seated next to Fallon Morell’s husband, Geoffrey Morell. “We ate our meal and were conversing,” Dru recalls.
What happened next took her aback. “He took my arm and started doing what he considered energetic diagnostic. He was touching my arm, and moved up, and touching my chest. He began asking very personal questions. It was very embarrassing because I was sitting next to Taylor, who was 19 at the time.”
Dru looked over to Fallon Morell for a reaction. “I kept waiting for Sally who was sitting to his left and she would intervene. She inexplicably turned her back to us while he did his exam.”
Dru thought to herself, “He’s an older gentleman….I thought, maybe he is a little dotty. Maybe he isn’t in proper possession of his table manners.”
The next day, says Dru, “I had to run interference between him (Morell) and Taylor, because he was going to do an energetic…He attempted to do it to Taylor the next day.”
Geoffrey Morell describes himself as a naturopathic doctor and an energy healer. He was on the board of directors of the WAPF nearly from its launch in 2000, until three days ago, when the organization suddenly announced he had resigned. The WAPF announcement said that Morell, now 89, resigned “based on his desire to make way for a younger generation of board members.”
It wasn’t clear if Morell’s resignation was related to the Dru interview with Michaels on Cheeseslave. There have been rumors on social media in recent days that allegations of inappropriate behavior involving Morell were forthcoming. I emailed both Geoffrey Morell and Sally Fallon Morell earlier today, seeking their comments on Dru’s description of the events in the Cheeseslave interview. Neither responded.
I also inquired in two emails with a spokesperson when the organization announced Morell’s resignation as a director, earlier in the week about whether Morell will be attending the upcoming conference in Anaheim and, if so, whether he would have an exhibit in his role as an energy healer, as he has at previous conferences. I was told there would be “no comment.”
During the interview with Dru, Michaels related her own experience of having an energy healing session with Morell, at the 2011 WAPF annual conference. “I signed up for one of his personal hearings,” recalls Michaels. “He starts asking me about my sex life, when I should have sex with my husband. I felt violated…”
For Dru, last year’s encounter with Morell was just the beginning of a journey of disillusionment with the WAPF. Her food preparation session went badly, in her estimation, because she didn’t have all the tools she needed. More significantly, she became extremely concerned after the controversy over Green Pasture fermented cod liver oil broke in August.
“One of the mistakes I made is I recommended a product that I didn’t know a lot about…I am so regretful that I took that approach. Many of my students did the same thing….I was wrong…. I viewed it as having magical powers. A lot of it was smoke and mirrors. We didn’t have scientific evidence. We are finding lots of questions….Now that the questions raised by Dr. Daniel have spread like wildfire, is it possible we were wrong? I have to go and tell all the students of the last seven years and tell them I recommended a product that was deleterious….Dr. Price’s work isn’t discounted. Sally’s work isn’t discounted.”
But, she added, “The product may be rancid. …Rancid polyunsaturated oil can have a devastating effect on human health….It’s like smoking. It doesn’t make everyone sick….If it didn’t work, you go back to the drawing boards….That’s okay, we learned. there is an opportunity to make a better product.”
Her recommendation to Dave Wetzel, Green Pasture’s owner, “Recall it….go back to the drawing boards and build a better mousetrap.”
Dru isn’t the only long-time WAPF loyalist demanding Green Pasture recall its product. Blaine McAfee, the wife of Organic Pastures owner Mark McAfee, said on Facebook yesterday, “The farm to consumer relationship MUST be built on trust, integrity, and transparency. It is my firm belief as a food producer that the producer must be fully confident that their product is both beneficial and safe. If at any time the product’s safety is in question, it should be recalled and production stopped. I am concerned with the mounting evidence against FCLO which brings into question the safety and efficacy of the product, and yet it continues to be sold and promoted as safe and beneficial.”
Dru says she remains a big admirer of Sally Fallon Morell, despite the seeming unraveling of WAPF. “I have compassion for Sally. We raised her up.” Perhaps, says Dru, “This model (of WAPF) didn’t work. There was great stuff that came up….maybe it is time for a new model.”