Weston A. Price

Suddenly, in mid November, the story about fermented cod liver oil seemed to go silent. It was almost as if the FCLO controversy—some had turned to calling it a scandal—had simply ended.

But, of course, that wasn’t the case. Green Pasture, the only known commercial producer of FCLO, continues to crank the stuff out. In its current web site welcoming message, it uses the word “sacred” to describe FCLO five times within five short paragraphs, almost as if it is talking about holy water, or an aphrodisiac.

The Weston A. Price Foundation continues to promote Green Pasture FCLO as “best” among fish oils—indeed, the first four of its six listings of “best” in the U.S. are Green Pasture—on its web site updated just six weeks ago, Nov. 23. All this even though Dr. Weston A. Price himself warned about the dangers of rancid cod liver oil.

As much as Green Pasture and WAPF would like to pretend that little has changed in the world of FCLO, much did, of course. I continue to meet and hear from people who say they had bad reactions from FCLO, and that getting off FCLO improved their health. The latest is a comment on this blog yesterday from Anneliza, who just in the last week or so discovered that there was more to the FCLO issue than what was reported in the WAPF quarterly magazine.

“I called my mother to tell her to quit taking FCLO,” says Anneliza. “Come to find out she had just been to the doctor and her Vit. D is low. Now I’m hoping this is why I have the awful skin rash, headaches, and inflammatory tendonitis which, I realized, started the year I started using FCLO, after it came out.”

The story also was very much noticed in the conventional world of food safety.  Food Safety News allocated two of the ten places on its year-end “nice list” to people who publicized the problems around FCLO—Kaayla Daniel, who broke the story with her report showing samples of FCLO to be rancid; and me, for my reporting on the study and its huge after-effects within WAPF. One effect, of course, was the formation of a new food and nutrition organization, the Paleo-Primal-Price Foundation.

Ideally, a mention would have gone as well to Ann Marie Michaels, who did a number of analyses and interviews on her Cheeseslave blog to explain the problems associated with FCLO. Here’s one.

I have to admit, it felt a little strange to be on a commendation list together with Michael Taylor, the chief food safety official as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But, then, one of the lessons I learned from the entire FCLO blowup is that not everything is as it seems, or as I might like it to be, in the world of food safety and nutrient-dense food. Financial interests and ideology can have corrosive effects on anyone and everyone, no matter their initial intentions.

While the work that several of us did to alert people to the potential health problems associated with FCLO certainly put many users on notice, lots of people who don’t follow food news closely didn’t get the word. Anneliza is one of those, and you can be certain there are many more like her who still don’t have the word. The failure of Green Pasture and WAPF to properly alert people to the potential dangers of this product will remain a black eye for them for as long as they continue to pretend that all is well.