About the Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO) scandal: I don’t want to get into the ‘he said, she said’, ‘he did, she did’ of this sad situation as one blogger has reported, so I won’t. But I do want to get the word out that there is a possibility that FCLO isn’t safe to consume.
If you have already read about this, you may want to tune out now…
There are a number of high profile health practitioners and teachers within the Weston A. Price circles who have died recently, and they all have in common the consumption of FCLO in fairly large amounts. Dr. Ron Schmid, naturopath and author of The Untold Story of Milk, died at 71 of heart failure, and Rami Nagel, author, died at 38 of cancer just a week later. These are just two, and I will get to others in a minute.
In all fairness, there is still much conjecture amidst those who really loved this product. Dr. Schmid believed it made him really ill, but Rami Nagel did not attribute his cancer to it.
In her whistleblower report 2 years ago, Dr. Kaayla Daniel, also of Weston A. Price Foundation, risked her standing and reputation to expose FCLO believing it to be toxic from rancidity. She started questioning FCLO years earlier when pulmonary embolisms became common in the WAPF community. Many WestonAPricers (die-hard FCLO consumers) have been very sick or died over the years. Katherine Czapp, editor of WAPF’s Wise Traditions, died of cancer at age 56 last year and WAPF board member, Carol Esche, died soon after of metastatic breast cancer.
This controversy left avid FCLO fans reeling and seeking truth. Dr. Kaayla was accused of profiteering and lying, and was, ultimately, fired from the foundation only later to be vindicated.
Many of the big food bloggers have not retracted their promotion of FCLO. Sadly, there appears to have been knowledge of this for several years, and many families are still consuming rancid, toxic oil thinking they are boosting their immunity and overall health. I am just now (where have I been?) reading about all this, so some of you may be as busy elsewhere as I am! Even now, two years later, you can still find a lot of blog posts promoting FCLO (and I love to read many of these bloggers).
Because of questions raised about the truth of the FCLO test results that Green Pasture posted on their website (and which appears to have been taken down), Dr. Kaayla sent unopened bottles of FCLO to multiple laboratories in the United States and abroad.
You can read the whole 100+ page report here if you like, but here’s a summary:
- Cod liver cannot be fermented because fermentation requires carbohydrates.
- Trans-fat content (suggesting heat processing/ vegetable oil).
- 7 Samples of fermented cod liver oil were sent to 7 different labs to test for:
- 6 Rancid bio-marker tests (varying results)
- Biogenic amines – a product of rotting/ fermented foods with in some circumstances can be toxic
- Vitamin content showing –
- Moderate levels of vitamin A.
- Low levels of vitamin D3.
- Low/ insignificant levels of Co-Q10 and vitamin K.
- DNA testing which shows the product is 100% Alaska Pollock.
How Does Rancid Fat Harm Us?
Health Effects of Rancid Fat. Excerpt: “Rancid fat can destroy vitamins, which leads to deficiency. (It’s an indirect health effect of eating rancid fat, since what harms you is the deficiency, rather than the fat itself.)” (Source: Pavcek PL, Shull GM. J Biol Chem 146(2):351-5, 1942.)
Many FCLO-user reported health issues:
Vitamin D Deficiency
Problems with Eyesight and Other Signs of Vitamin A Deficiency
C-Reactive Protein Test (Inflammation)
Other Lab Tests
Trouble Digesting FCLO: Nausea, Heartburn, Burning in Throat, Stomach Pain, Etc.
Heart Disease & Stroke
Tooth Decay, Cavities & Bone Loss
Gallstones & Pancreatitis
Skin Rashes and Eczema
Still Questions Abound & Politics
Dr. Kaayla’s report showed that the Green Pasture FCLO has some evidence of rancidity. Eating rancid fat causes vitamin deficiencies. But are the fat-soluble vitamin tests in Dr. Daniel’s report reliable? And this post is helpful in understanding more of possible politics surrounding FCLO.
I think the final verdict is still out. Still, I’m thankful we never went the FCLO route. Instead, we use this one from Norway (it has been around a looong time) with really great levels of Vitamins A, D, and E, as well as, Omega-3s, EPAs, and DHAs/teaspoon!
Ooh! Just now I found Vital Nutrients pharmaceutical grade product that beats the one we use with 1200 mg. Omega-3s and also higher Vitamin A and D.
In part, I write this blog because I care about people’s health, and I worry about all the people out there who have and will fall victim to this. Good health is a gift from God, and I don’t take it lightly. Please do your research before you consume FCLO or give it to your family – as you would with anything you consume.
My hope is that no matter what further studies find about FCLO, the real food community will see the importance of verifying the quality of supplements we recommend. I hope we can use this as an opportunity to improve the real food movement and not divide it.
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Thanks for reading!