courtesy of  Photokanok freedigitalphotos.net

courtesy of Photokanok freedigitalphotos.net

Kaayla Daniel, PhD, recently produced a 110 page report on Green Pastures and their FCLO (fermented cod liver oil) which has set the foodie world in a tailspin. The report has not been read by many people for many reasons. First it is required you offer up your email address to gain access to the findings and second some have difficulty with the reporting style.

To read the report Hook, Line and Stinker!: The Truth About Fermented Cod Liver Oil by Kaayla T.Daniel without giving your email address but instead going strait to the e-book click here. Please read the report before jumping to conclusions or commenting below.

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I immediately received questions from clients and readers asking if they should continue taking their FCLO. Hopefully this post can give people more insight so they can make their own calm decision. 

There is much more to this story that what is being told at the moment. At this stage we are getting one very vocal side of the story.

Daniel’s e-book was difficult for me to read not because it was 110 pages but because the tone was that of a high school mean girl throwing accusations with little evidence to back her findings. There were more “probably” and “could” as well as “possibly means” statements than I like to see in “scientific data collection.” I’m the type of reader that reads something, finds an endnote or footnote and goes to that source to continue reading. I couldn’t do this with Daniel’s e-book. After the third endnote siting opinions of people from Facebook threads or bloggers opinions I became frustrated.  I don’t have much patience for this style of reporting.

photo by zirconicusso courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

photo by zirconicusso courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

The report, in general, poses more questions about the report than answers to my concerns. There are many holes in the findings. The methodology doesn’t make sense.

Yet, after the report went public Daniel said, “I am getting so many requests for help that I think I should give a webinar.”

Daniel is the Vice President of The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), an organization dedicated to teaching others about the importance of nutrient dense foods. Yet, she questions the integrity, opinions and factual findings of the president of the foundation, Sally Fallon Morell as well as the board members and honorary board members of the organization. She specifically does this with Sally Fallon Morell, Sarah Pope and Sandrine Love. 

It’s unprofessional and not common for someone to verbally affront members of their own organization and then continue to keep their position within the organization.

WAPF has publicly announced they will research these findings and respond to the report in 10 days. Dave Wetzel, CEO of Green Pastures makers of FCLO has done the same.

Daniel said over a year ago she believed WAPF should do further testing on FCLO. WAPF voted to decline further testing as WAPF had already researched the testing and verified it’s validity to their liking. They publicly announced their findings. Click here to read more.

Dave Wetzel has continually and repeatedly tested his product as part of his business method. He has publicly said he uses MidWestern Laboratories, a certified laboratory which specializes in these types of tests. They look for peroxide value which is first level oxidation, anisidine value which is second level oxidation and malondialdehyde.

Time will tell us more as Wetzel and WAPF respond to Daniel’s report.

kaayla danielFor the record, three years ago I was a speaker at our local Weston A. Price Foundation Spring Conference with two other speakers – Kaayla Daniel and Dave Wetzel. Dave opened up the conference, Kaayla was the keynote speaker and I finished off the conference as the last speaker. I was honored to attend a dinner with Kaayla Daniel the night before the conference, along with several women from our local chapter. I sat diagonally across from Kaayla but went to the end of the table for this picture.

The next day at the conference I ate lunch with Kaayla and sat with her during breaks as well as helped her after the conference.

 

I was also honored, along with my husband, to have a more private dinner with Dave Wetzel with a few other gals from the conference. Both out of town speakers were offered lodging in local members’ homes. Dave politely declined and put himself up at a local hotel so that he wouldn’t burden anyone. He also paid for his own flight and expenses to the conference. Dave was a very informative speaker who answered every question presented. He was a very animated and delightful speaker who knew his presentation diligently.

We drove Dave to the restaurant, my husband sat across from him at the table and I sat diagonally across from him while we ate. Before we ordered my husband told Dave to eat whatever he wanted, the meal was a gift to him. Wetzel opened our meal in prayer even before my husband could initiate the moment. We shot him so many questions it was a bit embarrassing but Dave kept a genuine smile on his face and answered everything openly. He invited us, all of us, to a private meeting after the upcoming WAPF conference (which we ended up not attending due to funds). He spoke of his wife with genuine love and appreciation, he was grateful for her on many levels. He told us stories of testing his product and continually getting more testing because he was concerned he would hurt someone unknowingly. 

What stands out in my mind the most about that night wasn’t Dave’s genuine heart, his openness, his spirit that made us feel like we had been friends for years or his incredible knowledge on farming, food, traditional eating and history, it was his humble attitude. You see, after the meal Dave excused himself to the restroom. Before he returned my husband flagged the waiter to pay for our bill, including Dave’s meal, so the tab could be cleared before Dave returned. The waiter told us the bill had already been paid. We were shocked and asked by whom. The waiter said he was asked not to say and kept his lips zipped tight even when we asked if it was the guy sitting across from my husband who had stepped to the restroom.

Let me make this very clear, two of the gals at our table were invited to dinner with us by Dave, not us. They too attended the conference. They were from out of town who came and came for the day, one stayed overnight. Dave talked with them after the conference after we asked him to come join us for dinner he asked the two gals to join. He ordered an extra meal for the one gal to take home to her son staying with a friend in town. Both girls were single moms.

Unfortunately we had a church meeting that evening and couldn’t spend more time with Dave. He wanted to see our city and explore, find the heart of our town. We drove him to the ballpark so he could watch The Lookouts, our minor league baseball team and offered to pick him up after the game and take him to his hotel. He wouldn’t allow it, didn’t want to burden us or cause us to leave church early.

I met Dave Wetzel on a personal level that day. His integrity was not just impressive it was bonafide. 

pixabay.com

pixabay.com

Green Pasture makes many products we do not, and can not take. My son and I are both canaries-in-the-coalmine, we respond to foods we should not have immediately. We used to tolerate, and love the cinnamon tingle until the ingredient list changed to include cassia oil. Other products we can not take due to flavorings or stevia, all of which feed pathogens or cause inflammation for us. Instead we take the unflavored FCLO or the Oslo Orange

This is one of the many things that bother me greatly about Kaayla Daniel’s report. I’m curious to know which flavors and additives alter the test for “other oils” outside of the cod liver oil. I’m also curious why she didn’t go to Dave Wetzel and felt the need to publicly attack him as well as WAPF. I’m curious why she refers to oil not being fermentable and criticises his fementation process of the oil when one email to Green Pastures will tell you the oil is not fermented, the livers are fermented.

When Daniel says things like, “Those few people who’ve questioned whether oil can even be fermented, or if the smell and color might signify rancidity, find themselves shushed and shunned” (p 3), it doesn’t make any sense because it’s not the experience we have had at all. 

Daniel says she sent unopened bottles of FCLO to 5 different labs for testing (p4). 

She clearly states (p 4), “Last summer, the FCLO flap caught my attention and I became curious enough to start investigating.” Since the book was just released August 23, 2015. This brings up a curious point as her last summer investigations would be June of 2014. However, at the bottom of the bulk of her report on pages 96-103 it reads, “Issue date 01 October 2013.” 

This isn’t the only thing that doesn’t add up clearly. 

The Green Pasture website says, “Dr. Price traveled the world studying the traditional diets of many cultures. In every culture he discovered sacred foods that were carefully collected and prepared to ensure the strong mind, body, and spirit of its people.”

Daniel takes issue with Wetzel referring to Dr. Price regarding fermented cod liver oil.  I don’t see how this is referring to fermented cod liver oil and I’m hoping one of my intelligent readers can assist me here.

When Wetzel spoke at our conference he said his information came from a medical text he found from the early 1800s.

Wetzel made it very clear to us that day when he spoke at our local conference, as well as privately at our dinner, that he didn’t know the amounts of vitamin D or other nutrients. He couldn’t claim any value because it’s a live food, subject to change. He was respectfully very cautious of his words. He made no grandiose claims but instead told us how he learned about cod liver oil traditionally, felt so passionate about the nutritive value for the product and the need of it in the marketplace that he left his corporate job as a suit and moved to the country to start his farm and make fermented cod liver oil.

Daniel says in her report (p 4), “I was skeptical of data showing improbably high levels of Vitamin D2 in the product.  I furthermore shared reports from clinicians who were finding severe Vitamin D deficiencies among some members who were regularly taking FCLO.” 

en.wikipedia.org

en.wikipedia.org

I find it interesting that Daniel blocks out the testing facilities names and information to back up her findings and withholds the names of these clinicians who found Vitamin D deficiencies. She says on page 110, “This was a top secret project. I am grateful to many people who helped with this investigation, most of whom spoke to me on the condition that I keep their names private. These included top university professors, scientists, researchers, lab managers, doctors and other health care practitioners.”

I’m interested in knowing why at least 12 professionals need to keep their names withheld from clinical findings.

Dr. Deborah Gordon, MD interviewed Wetzel and asked, “On your website we noticed that you don’t provide assays of the content of your fermented cod liver oil.”
Dave answered, “That right, because that’s not the real question. Naturally produced cod liver oil contains thousands of molecular structures. Our understanding of their nutritional functions as well as our ability to measure them is very limited due to a huge variety of metabolites in FCLO that we don’t understand. Vitamin D is a hormone and it’s very difficult to pinpoint its role in human nutrition. Until we more completely understand these things, just take it. When we’re under stress, take a bigger spoonful. Let’s not try to turn this traditional food into a drug. Even trying to establish the level of vitamin D in our blood is a difficult question. I recently saw a report where a blood sample sent to 10 different labs produced widely varying results.”

Beyond these misunderstandings she speculates, which isn’t factual but leads the readers emotions astray.

“In all probability, FCLO is bottled at the point that it has become so rancid that it can’t get much worse,” (p 20) is not fact and is one of many statements Daniel makes which leads the reader against FCLO.

She admits in an endnote on page 24, her findings were from, “Conversations with managers and technicians at food, supplement and marine oils laboratories.” For factual purposes it is much more binding if these managers and technicians are named and quoted.

In the same endnote she says, “Few (laboratories) are set up to properly test fresh or fermented fish oils because so few manufacturers produce them.”

Daniel makes it clear near the end of her report, “Finally, if you think you have health challenges related to FCLO consumption, share your story with friends, colleagues . . . and me. If you think you’ve been harmed, I would like to offer you a FREE mini appointment by phone or face-to-face on Skype. To share your story or to make your appointment, contact me at wholenutritionist@earthlink.net.” (p 71)

This is concerning to me, it looks like something a torte lawyer would say. Maybe Daniel is just looking for more clients, time will tell.

I’m not sure what the truth is here. I could not read her report word for word due to all the red flags that appeared. I need to know more and sadly Kaayla Daniel wrote a report that leaves me with more questions regarding her report than answers. I am eagerly waiting a response from WAPF and Dave Wetzel. If past experience proves true, their responses will be level headed and factual. Until then I will take my FCLO as I always do because my body tells me in two specific places I need it – the insides of my ears become dry and flaky and my left heel becomes tight and sensitive like the beginning stages of a heel spur. For that matter if anyone is spooked away from this product feel free to mail your unwanted FCLO to my office. 

*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the affiliate links above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, GAPS who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia as well as through Skype and phone consultations. Most of her clients have Leaky Gut, histamine issues, autism or autoimmunity. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. This is not a news article published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging effect of today’s “food”.

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6 Responses to Concerns Over Fermented Cod Liver Oil May Not Be Substantiated

  1. Sara says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing the responses. I agree that the language in the report was inflammatory but there are a few points that bother me, like the livers actually being Pollack, not what most consider to be cod.

  2. Bret Bouer says:

    Very helpful article and perspective. Thank you.

  3. Karen says:

    Big, big risk in defamation charges to be completely unsubstantiated.

  4. Debbie says:

    Just to add that Chris Masterjohn and Chris Kresser have provided long responses on their blogs as well; they also do not suggest a definitive answer. I have another question, unrelated to whether CLO is fermented or not: do we really know what a healthful and not harmful dosage is? I ask after reading Ron Schmidt’s account of his heart failure, which he attributes to overdosing for years on FCLO. I’m wondering if we don’t really know the long-term effects of taking it daily, even at “small” doses.

  5. Foam says:

    It clearly says in her report that she knows it’s the liver, not the oil, that’s supposed to be getting fermented. She says that livers cannot be fermented because they have only a tiny amount of carbs. I don’t like the sensationalist style of her writing, nor the collecting of one’s email to access the report. She obviously doesn’t come from a scientific background and she takes too many cues from advertising websites. That said, I’m not at all surprised by her findings. There’s a reason why or bodies interpret certain things as disgusting, and usually it’s because those things contain toxins and are bad for us. It was always obvious to me that FCLO was rancid and rotten. Not to mention, Price himself never promoted fermented CLO, and indeed cautioned against taking too much and rancidity.

What do you think?

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