Important Update on Cod Liver Oil
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Important Update on Cod Liver Oil

by Chris Kresser

Last updated on

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An independent analysis of Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil suggests that it may not live up to its claims. But is the analysis sound? Get the nitty gritty details and my recommendations.

As many of you know, I’ve long been an advocate of cod liver oil. In addition to being a good source of long-chain omega-3 fats like EPA and DHA, it’s rich in vitamins A and D, which are difficult to obtain elsewhere in the diet.

For several years I’ve recommended Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO) from Green Pasture. I took this product myself, and my wife took it throughout her pregnancy and while she nursed our daughter, Sylvie. I recommended it to my patients, readers, podcast listeners, and friends and family.

About a year ago, I received an email from a new company called Rosita Real Foods regarding a new cod liver oil product (called Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil, or EVCLO) that they were bringing to market. Leading up to the launch of their product, they sent out a series of emails explaining how it is manufactured, processed, tested, and produced.

I was impressed by their transparency: they provided test results for fatty acids, vitamins, dioxins & PCBs, rancidity, and oxidation by-products on their website, along with a list of institutions that performed the testing as well as the dates of the tests.

As soon as the EVCLO product became available, I ordered some. I noticed right away that it smelled, looked, and tasted fresh. This, together with Rosita’s transparency and third-party testing, was enough to convince me to switch over to EVCLO and begin recommending it to my tribe.

Independent analysis of Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Last weekend I received an email from Kaayla Daniel, a nutritionist who has been involved with the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) for many years. She had grown increasingly suspicious of the Green Pasture product recently, and she requested that the WAPF conduct independent analysis of it to determine whether it lived up to its claims. The WAPF voted not to conduct this testing, so Kaayla took matters into her own hands.

My take on the recent report on Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

The result is a 110-page report with test data from multiple independent laboratories both in the United States and abroad with expertise in testing marine oils and nutrient levels. You can read the full report for free here. But in short, these were the conclusions from her report:

  • One of the three batches of FCLO that were tested was found to be rancid, based on free fatty acid values.
  • Levels of vitamins D, A, and K are lower than Green Pasture claims on its website.
  • DNA testing of the livers purportedly used to make FCLO suggests that it is not made from cod, but from Alaskan pollock. Oils from Alaskan pollock liver have a different nutritional and fatty acid profile than those from cod livers (which explains the next finding).
  • While all other cod liver oil products contain more DHA than EPA, FCLO contains more EPA than DHA. This EPA-to-DHA ratio is consistent with what you would find in Alaskan pollock liver oil.

Kaayla’s report certainly raises a number of issues that deserve attention. However, I do have some concerns about the data she presents. They arose out of research I did over the weekend, as well as discussions with colleagues in the fields of biochemistry, nutritional science, and lipid science.

Are the fat-soluble vitamin tests results reliable?

Testing for fat-soluble vitamin levels is incredibly complex and not yet standardized. I am concerned that the approach to quantifying them in Kaayla’s report was oversimplified. This is based on communications I’ve had with Dr. Chris Masterjohn, a nutritional scientist and an expert in fat-soluble vitamins.

Chris has noted that there are likely at least half a dozen (if not more) vitamin D compounds in cod liver oil, and it may be that the preponderance of biological activity comes from compounds other than vitamin D3 or D2. (This is the case with cow’s milk, where most of the vitamin D activity comes from 25(OH)D and very little comes from vitamin D.)

In fact, one vitamin D expert has remarked that a scientist could spend an entire career simply characterizing the factors responsible for the vitamin D activity in cod liver oil. Clearly there’s a lot more to this than comes across in Kaayla’s report.

This may explain why Dave Wetzel, the owner of Green Pasture, has been attempting to quantify the fat-soluble vitamin content of FCLO for many years but has never been entirely successful. It seems that there are many different vitamin-D-like or vitamin-K-like compounds in FCLO (and other cod liver oils) that cannot be easily measured with current analytical methods. Measuring the biological activity of vitamin D compounds by feeding the substance in question to rats may be a better method of determining vitamin D content than quantifying the levels of D2 and D3. (Green Pasture did this kind of testing in 2009, and the results indicated that FCLO contained roughly 400 IU of vitamin D per tsp, which is in line with what you would expect for cod liver oil.)

Is FCLO really rancid?

If FCLO were truly rancid, we would expect to see very low levels of EPA and DHA in the oil. Once fatty acids (like EPA and DHA) undergo peroxidation, they cannot be regenerated from their peroxides. However, on page 102 of Kaayla’s report, the lab results show that FCLO has approximately 315 mg/tsp of DHA and 685 mg/tsp of EPA, for a total EPA/DHA content of 1,000 mg. According to Rosita’s website, EVCLO has approximately 1,200 mg of EPA/DHA combined. So, while the batch of FCLO tested in Kaayla’s report contained less EPA/DHA than EVCLO, it still contained a substantial amount—which would not be expected if the oil were rancid as claimed.

The claim that FCLO is rancid was based on high levels of free fatty acids found in the oil. Kaayla suggests that this is an accurate way to determine rancidity in marine oils. However, according to most lipid scientists, hydrolysis of triglycerides and other esterified lipids into free fatty acids is completely unrelated to oxidation and is therefore not an accurate measure of rancidity.

Instead, TOTOX, anisidine, MDA, and TBA/TBARS are better indicators of whether an oil is rancid. In Kaayla’s report, FCLO received good scores from all of the labs on TOTOX, and all but one lab (which was not able to obtain a result at all) on anisidine. Two of the labs reported normal TBA values. One lab reported a TBARS value that was high, and another reported an MDA value that was 10 times higher in FCLO than in other cod liver oils.

These results are somewhat mixed. The majority suggest that FCLO is not rancid, while two of the test results suggest that it is. I think more investigation is needed on this before any firm conclusions are drawn.

Variability in test results from lab to lab

There was significant variability in test results from lab to lab and test to test. The samples Kaayla sent in for testing had manufacture dates ranging from 2012 to 2014. It’s conceivable that Green Pasture changed its production methods during that period of time, which could explain the variation in the results.

Another possibility—and one that is likely—is that the variability is at least in part explained by different methodologies and techniques used by different labs. Unfortunately, this is difficult to verify and investigate further because Kaayla was not able to name the labs in her report (due to legal agreements).

Though this seems to be common practice in this field, I feel that the omission of the names of the labs that performed the analysis weakens the reliability of the findings. Given the known complexities involved in this kind of testing, as well as the variability between labs, it’s unfortunate that we can’t ascertain which lab did which tests. This isn’t a criticism of Kaayla, because I imagine it was beyond her control, but I do see it as a downside.

Summary and recommendations

Kaayla’s report does raise some concerns, but clearly there is a lot more to it than initially meets the eye. Rather than viewing her report as the final word, I hope that it’s the spark for an informed and forthright investigation into the issues that she has raised.

Green Pasture has issued a preliminary response here. Interestingly, it makes some of the same points I have made in this article (that biological activity may be a better measure of vitamin D content than quantifying D2 or D3 levels, and that free fatty acids are not an accurate measure of rancidity in marine oils). They are also working on a more detailed response, which I look forward to reading.

One of the lingering issues that Kaayla raised in her report is the finding that the livers used to make FCLO were not from cod, but from Alaskan pollock. I certainly hope Green Pasture addresses this in their upcoming response.

Frankly, I feel that I don’t have the information I need to make a clear decision about whether to continue recommending FCLO. I am in touch with several people with expertise in marine oils, lipid science, and nutritional biochemistry in an attempt to better understand the implications of Kaayla’s report. I will report back to you as I learn more.

In the meantime, I do feel confident in recommending EVCLO from Rosita Real Foods. As mentioned above, they are transparent about their manufacturing process, they post independent lab results (including the names of the labs that performed the tests) on their website, and their product smells, tastes, and looks fresh. They also have an extensive FAQ with answers to many questions about their product and process.

How concerned should you be if you’ve been taking Green Pasture FCLO?

Kaayla’s report identifies some issues that deserve further attention, including lower-than-reported levels of vitamins A, D, and K, possible rancidity, and a different ratio of EPA to DHA than would typically be found in cod liver oil.

However, it’s worth pointing out that I have numerous patients whose health noticeably improved after taking FCLO. I’ve heard similar reports from hundreds of readers and podcast listeners, as well as from women who went through my Healthy Baby Code program. In fact, my wife would count herself among this group, and if you search around on the internet, you’ll find testimonials from many people with similar stories.

So, while I do think this report warrants more investigation, I don’t think it is cause for panic. I will continue to investigate this issue and update you when new information becomes available.

UPDATE: Dr. Chris Masterjohn, a nutritional scientist with expertise in fat-soluble vitamins, has published his preliminary thoughts on Kaayla’s report. It’s worth reading.

Now I’d like to hear from you. What has your experience been with FCLO? Have you tried EVCLO? Did you notice a difference in how you felt after switching? Let us know in the comments section.

476 Comments

Join the conversation

  1. I stopped using this product for two years. Over thst time my eczema came back. I ate liver pate but that did not work. I tried anotger cod liver oil (from thrive market) but I could not stivk yo tgat one be ause of tge taste. Four days after starting to use the green pasture cod liver oil my eczema is almost all gone.

  2. All I can say is that the Green Pastures FCLO got rid of my sensitive teeth problems. Without this, nothing was enjoyable and nothing else helped.

    Now I take 1 or half a table spoon of the Green Pastures Coconut oil that is infused with the FCLO / high vitamin butter oil / skate liver oil every day.

    I’m not sure how it solved that problem but it’s such a great outcome.

  3. I started using green pastures fermented oil and within 3days of using it and iodine supplements , I was able to quit the synthyroid. Hot flashes are gone and I feel a lot better. But I think I will try the new oil you suggested. I have sibo and severe leaky gut, which I am trying to fix also.

  4. On October 28, 2016. I purchased Cod Liver Oil softgels. I became very warm after taking 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. It made my blood pressure jump to 191/135!!!! I had to go to the ER at the hospital. I could have had a stroke. Turns out, it was a synthetic form of CLO. It also contained vitamin A and vitamin D. It took me 4 days to flush this crap from my system. I used water to flush it out. Some of these fish supplements are synthetic. Beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I am so sorry you had such reaction . Did you take Fermented Cod Liver Oil or different brand . I am trying to figure out with which brand to go.

    • CLO would not make your BP jump up that high. Clearly you had a pre-existing disease process. CLO is known to decrease BP and cholesterol with consistent use.

    • Hi Alexandra, If you are interested to try Green PAstures which I have had previously and think are still very good, online in Australia, gpawholefoods.com.au is the place to go!! 🙂

    • You can get Rosita’s in Australia from Kitsa’s Kitchen in Sydney (also online). Beware, it’s pricey! Nordic Naturals Arctic is the brand I take (iherb) and has no synthetic additives.

  5. I am in Australia Qld I am unable to purchase the cod liver oil you recommended in this country online Is there any other way I can get it or what is the next best codliver oil I can purchase.. Thanking You Alexandria Sterling. I have very high bad cholesterol and my good cholesterol is only 0.2

  6. What concerns me is that no fish oil companies have released thorough tests for radiation. Fukushima continues to release massive amounts of radiation into the Pacific on a daily basis. The Pacific currents take that radiation to the NW, Canada and up the east coast of Russia. Testing should be done on all Pacific ocean food products on a regular basis and the tests should be posted on their websites once or twice per year, so that consumers can make informed decisions.

  7. Great link posted below, I’m resending it as everybody should know (and based on some of the comments after the link was posted, it seems that some overlooked it):

    http://www.thehealthcloud.co.uk/the-other-side-of-the-fclo-scandal/

    Please take the time to read it! Their summary (provided at the end) is excellent too:

    Corganics invested heavily into the development of EVCLO, upon release of this product, the WAPF rated it below FCLO, and so sales were poor. Either in reaction to this, or as part of their marketing plan, Corganics/ EVCLO and Rosita launched a malicious campaign against Green Pastures, which included accusing them of purchasing ingredients from China, lying about their producing methods, and saying that FCLO is lower in vitamins than EVCLO. This campaign got EVCLO noticed, but the lies and rumours they were spreading were unfounded and obviously malicious, so peoples opinion of the company fell. After a warning from the WAPF about EVCLO’s behaviour, they apologies for their actions, and removed much of their campaign.

    The slander campaign seemed to end in late 2014, which is when I suspect Corganics started conferring with Dr. Kaayla, because shortly after the end of the slander campaign Dr. Kaayla voices her concern about FCLO being rancid. The WAPF sent out samples of FCLO to Midwest Labs and Leicester School of Pharmacy which shows that FCLO had no lipid peroxide species and is safe. Despite the evidence showing that FCLO is not toxic, Dr.Kaayla decides to do her own research (you need to ask yourself why), and publishes a damning report against FCLO. Dr. Kaaylas research is riddled with flaws but this seems to mean very little considering her position of trust in the WAPF (vice president). People read her conclusions and chaos ensues, resulting in the WAPF and Green Pastures being accused of fraud, lying and worse.

    As a result of the chaos Dr. Kaayla establishes her own foundation (PPPF), people are encouraged to get rid of their FCLO and take EVCLO, and according to Archie Welch sales of EVCLO are starting to increase.

    ——-
    I’m quite surprised that Chris did not update his article in light of this, and would be very interested in knowing why.

    • Thank you for this helpful information.

      What do you think about the EPA/DHA ratio? Do you think GP’s product is cod or pollock?

        • I am currently considering buying the green pastures butter oil/fermented cod liver oil blend for my 3 year old in hopes of benefiting dental health. Hate there was/is so much controversy surrounding it because I don’t know which way to go. Just looking to help him any way I can.

          • Hi there, I read this article a while back as I was also wanting to purchase some for my daughter’s teeth. I went ahead with the Rosarita evclo and I also went to a local dairy and purchased some raw grassfed milk. My daughter’s teeth are doing alot better now. I initially wanted the green pastures because they blend it with the high vitamin butter oil too. But decided to wait and try the combo of the milk and evclo and its working.

            • Hi deana,
              Great news about your daughter. I am having trouble with my 3.5 year olds teeth and heading down this path for cavities due to hypo mineralisation. I can’t find a dentist on the same page. Can you recommend anyone? I am in Melbourne but willing to travel.

  8. We used the GP FCLO a few years back. We had no issues at all, and only stopped due to the cost. We LOVED the Cinnamon Tingle gel–even our kids took it willingly, and I would’ve taken more could we afford it.

    Recently got a new jar, after using the skate oil because it was cheaper. Perhaps my age, perhaps due to getting close to menopause, I have had constant edema, even though I tend to run a bit low on my body’s sodium tests our clinic runs. I read about sometimes fermented foods cause this, and so I backed off the FCLO and homemade kombucha. Swelling reduced. Coincidence–maybe.

  9. HI all, I bought a bottle of GreenPastures FCLO Sunday and took two mls mixed in yogurt Monday morning. I became violently ill within a few minutes of ingestion! I got severe stomach pain,diarrhea,and vomiting. Today is Wednesday and the first day I could keep any food down. I returned the product to our local health food store along with the story of my reaction. I would NEVER recommend this product to anyone. I have taken it in the past, perhaps, two years ago with no reaction at all.

    • You probably had food poisoning, it takes 24 hours for a ingested food to affect you. People always blame food born illnesses on the last thing they ate, but in reality it is what you ate 24 hours prior .

      • Not necessarily true. Depending on the strain and bacteria, food borne illness can strike anywhere from 3 to 6 hours after consumption and last up to a week.

  10. Your information is great and I would gladly switch because quality is very important to me. But I have two big problems with the new company. I am a super taster and I can’t handle the taste of the oil, so I NEED it in pill form in order to consume it. Also the new company does not offer a mix of the cod and butter oil. Can you suggest to them that they develop there product in pill and mixed form so that us picky tasters can use it. Oh and my 9 year old daughter is using it as well and she HATES fish. The pill is the only way I could even hope to get her to consume it.

    • Because our lives are riddled with chemicals, it is no longer enough to simply eat wholesome foods. With the normal amount of stress, chemicals, and lack of wholesome food in our environment we have to step it up a level to stay above water – so to speak.

    • 1) “Wholesome”, unprocessed foods (e.g. vegetables, fruits, etc…) no longer have the nutrient profiles they once had due the soil corrosion and mineral depletion over the decades. The expansion of factory farming has also made it difficult to obtain meats that are free of toxic residues from hormones and antibiotics.

      2) Even if you enjoy great health from a whole foods diet, taking extra supplements can always make you even healthier. And you can never be too healthy.

      3) Related to point #2, there are many examples of nutrients/herbs that the average person simply cannot get (or is very difficult to obtain) from food. For e.g., resveratrol.

  11. This isn’t a comment on the actual concerns about GP FCLO, so much as a something-to-consider if you’re one of the several people who have tried this product and had heart palpitations, brain fog, joint pain, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, or any of the other issues that I keep seeing this product blamed for.

    I would really like to encourage you to look into the concept of histamine intolerance if you’ve had a bad reaction to this product.

    I have two children. One can handle (and loves) FCLO, one cannot – she breaks out in eczema and has the equivalent of a mental breakdown for about 24-36 hours afterwards. If not for my older daughter, I would have assumed that the FCLO was bad, but she has never had a reaction to it and they both consistently took doses from the same bottle.

    After a lot of digging, reading, researching, and food trials, we uncovered quite by accident that my youngest has an extremely low tolerance for histamines. FCLO is a *very* high histamine food, being sourced from aged fish. If you’re having reactions to the GP FCLO, I would highly recommend trying trying a low histamine diet for a few weeks, then trying a binge of several high histamine foods that are not FCLO and seeing if you have similar symptoms. If you are, it’s probably not the FCLO, it’s probably a histamine sensitivity.

    • I totally agree with this! My daughter was taking FCLO from 6 months-present, and it took me over 6 months to finally figure out she has a histamine intolerance!! She has emotional “flooding”, and also breaks out with super red cheeks (first step) and then a huge rash on her back (really bad reaction). One big food item also contributing to it for her was Bone broth! It can be higher in histamine if it’s cooked a long time, as can many other very healthy, natural foods that many of us are eating. If you have reactions, definitely look into this.

    • Thank you! I seem to be having the same issue, stuffy nose and nausea. I think it must be histamine intolerance. So what are the alternatives to Fermented Cod Liver Oil? Just straight Cod Liver Oil I presume?

    • Is there a way to “flush” it out of your system or could you take an antihistamine like sudafed, etc. to combat the reaction symptoms? This has happened to me today and is unreal! I need this OUT of my system!!!

      • Omg, I’m not taking any of this then. By the way if you eat something like that unless you vomit (which can be a good thing) or unless you are having severe enough reaction to go to the ER (anaphalactic shock/severe breathing etc problems) you have to wait it out. And it seems the best thing is to keep sipping water, if you can handle it take an Epsom Salt bath, it seems to help stimulate the system and get the “poison” out a little. It’s HORRIBLE and I was actually considering taking this but not now. :/

  12. Bought the FCLO/HVBO Blend, tried it for 2 days, 2 capsules a day, once with breakfast, once with lunch. On the second day after lunch, I feel so nauseated that I need to go to bed right away, I’ve never had such reaction before. I stop taking the pills, I felt much better couple of days later.

  13. For me FCLO is a great product. I take the unflavoured liquid because it doesn’t taste of fish to me, just peppery cream and it tastes the same after months in the fridge. If it was rancid, surely it would taste abominable, like all rancid oils do. Ever eaten a rancid nut?
    All I know, is that within weeks of taking half a tsp per day of FCLO, my knees where no longer stiff in the mornings and when I stopped taking it the stiffness returned within weeks. Two years later and my knees are fine even if I stop taking it for a month.
    I have never had any negative reactions from FCLO but then I’m not a headachy kind of person.
    Someone above described it as a risky supplement and suggested that people should just eat other animal products instead. Unless you hunt and prepare your own food, then all the food you eat is, to some extent, processed, so what makes consuming any fermented product more risky than consuming store bought products, that are all mass prepared, packaged and stored? Also, define supplement. Butter is food, if I package it in a little capsule does it suddenly become a supplement? Is a pickle a supplement?
    Fermentation is a great way of giving food a shelf life without having to add a bunch of dodgy chemicals, so I, for one, am glad that the Green Pastures folk have revived this simple way of processing fish livers and add my voice to the testimonials of others with happy knees and other joints.

    • Thank you so much for your wonderfully unbiased analysis of the data… I hadn’t yet purchased any of Green Pastures products or any other fermented cod liver oils… and of course was concerned over the conflicting information… I have decided to try Green Pastures brand and will be sure to monitor for any negative health differences in myself since I understand the minimal risks involved.

      I hope for Dr. Daniel’s sake that she examine her motives so she doesn’t lose her following. I know I won’t be a fan… unless she issues an apology and changes her ways… I see her as a politician at this point instead of a health pioneer.

  14. Chris, I think you need to update your info to include everything. Green Pastures have done extensive 3rd party testing for trans-fats etc with nothing found, and there is a clear slander campaign against FCLO instigated by Corganics. The campaign includes (but isn’t limited to) the owner of Rosita (makers of EVCLO) making a video about FCLO, claiming it is bought from China!

    You can read about it all here: http://www.thehealthcloud.co.uk/the-other-side-of-the-fclo-scandal/

    This kind of action is really despicable, and needs to be made as public as possible.

    • My daughter was born with eczema, a small coin shaped area on her ankle. It got worse from there. She developed the typical looking infant eczema and then it mostly cleared except for the spot on her ankle until she was 16 months old and then the backs of her thighs became covered in nummular eczema.

      I tried everything, natural anyway. I use natural products at home for cleaning and body care. I started klaire labs infant probiotics at 9 weeks old. I didnt use soap on her. I applied all the recommended oils including jojoba, tamanu, etc., raw shea butter. Badger diaper cream helped soothe the itch and redness the most but nothing cleared it. She was exclusively breasted until about 10 months old, not that it matters, she was born with it.

      At 21 months, I started giving her green pastures brand fclo, despite my hesitation from what I’d learned in nursing school about the dangers of excess vit a. Within a week, her legs were nearly clear! She is now 31 months and I find I have to give her 5 ml/day to keep her legs from breaking out. I tried the fclo/high vit butter oil combo for a couple months but the same 5 ml dosage did not manage her eczema as well as fclo alone. Despite her success with fclo, the report is concerning. With all of the mixed information about vit a, even preformed vit a, i still worry about the amount she requires and certainly the source. Please keep us updated!

      I will try the evclo noted and compare the results. It is more expensive. I hope it won’t be a waste. I am inclined to believe the traditional method of extracting the oil will prove better.

  15. As an aside to all the bickering regarding FCLO, I happened upon a site “keeper of the home” wherein the author explained that one set of her Grandparents came from Newfoundland, Canada. The Grand father explained that they used to take the livers from Atlantic Cod and store them in barrels where the liver and impurities would sink and the clear oil would rise. Children would take the oil directly from the barrels into their mouths.

    This story is not unlike that told by others regarding how cod liver was stored in sealed barrels before consuming the oil.

    So argue all you want, the truth is that CLO was traditionally processed in just this manner not some steam processed, deodorized, re-vitaminized goo.

  16. Chris,

    The whole article from Dr Kaayla was very demeaning and antagonizing. If someone was to write a legit artivle, why not maintain a clear head and a clear article with no misemotion.

    That being said, I called Rosita and here’s the problem that concerns me. They process their oils in a “proprietary way” and use a family that processes the oil many thousands of miles away. They process sufficiently to not have any detectable levels of crap and they said they had to add Vitamin E to their oil (so they do process enough that they have to add a vitamin) and they will not disclose the source but said it’s also proprietary. How are they being transparent and much more important, has WAPF taken this oil and tested it? Just all smells fishy. Whats even more alarming to me was the verbal attack that Corganic/Rosita has had for a number of years. So, I would like way more transparency and I hope you demand that too.

  17. Ok, i only found out this a few minutes ago, so I hope people are still reading this topic. Sally Fallon Morrell was married to John Fallon. I did a search on John Morrell and found his obituary in 2014. Just search on forevermissed dot com for john baptist Fallon. It mentions that John was survived by his ex wife Sally Caroline Weztel. So her maiden name is same as Green Pastures David Wetzel. I wonder if that explains why she’s supporting GP at all cost. Is it a coincidence? I don’t know enough about these people to know for sure, but I always thought it’s strange that Sally would put her reputation on the line for any company.

      • If I’m following correctly, you are saying that Sally Fallon is David Wetzel’s sister? Did I get that right?

            • Sally Fallon who heavily promotes Green Pastures as being exactly the right thing to take to be healthy may have a family relationship with a key person at Green Pastures. Since she’s never mentioned it she could obviously be biased and have ulterior motives for promoting the company. In other words she’s promoting a family business but keeping quiet about the fact that it IS a family business. Which seems suspicious.
              I don’t think it’s hard to understand at all.

  18. Hi,

    I posted this following message earlier this morning on another blog discussing fermented cod liver oil:

    I write to you as I recover from some incredibly uncomfortable food poisoning symptoms after taking green pastures fermented cod liver oil.
    After taking 2 servings on day one (of 2ml) when I tried to sleep that night I woke up at around 2am with really bad acid re-flux. I quickly googled a cure and found that some people have tried apple cider vinegar (luckily I had some) so I sipped some of that and after 10 mins (feeling absolutely awful and very close to vomiting) I was able to get back to bed. The next day I woke not feeling too bad so I decided that I’d probably just overdone it and instead, early in the day this time, took a single 1.5ml dosage with some food. I didn’t feel anything up until bedtime.
    That night was pretty much sleepless as I developed sharp pains in the stomach and cold sweats. I got out of bed early the next day telling myself I’m done with the FCLO (angry because I paid $80 AUD for it after an emphatic recommendation by the staff at a local health store)
    I felt incredibly drained and told myself ‘you just need to get some food in’ well as soon as I took my first bites of the eggs I had made for myself i had instant gurglings and pain in the stomach and ran to the toilet with diarrhea. So the rest of the day was spent either on the can or lying in bed. In the evening I had a similar experience to previous nights but this time with constant stops to the toilet.
    It is now 5:34am, the same morning, I haven’t had a wink of sleep and i’ve just emailed work saying I will be sick and unable to work tomorrow (of which i get paid pro rata so now a payless day!)
    I don’t know what can be done, but i’m tired and angry about it!

    -Zak

    • Do people with posts like this really think that this means the product is bad, or to be blamed? So many people take the product without adverse reactions, it seems that those who experience unpleasant side effects are forgetting that their own body’s chemistry plays a part. For one thing, it could be an allergy or sensitivity to some part of the supplement. Another possibility is that your body needs to adjust to the new supplement, thus you need a smaller dose for a while until your body adjusts. This goes for any supplement, any of this could apply. You can’t just outright blame the product for the way your body reacts to it, without considering the possibility that it’s your body, not the product. Different people react differently to everything in our world. If you have an adverse reaction, it’s likely that someone else could take the same dosage from the same bottle of product and be just fine with it.

  19. What are your views on nutra pro virgin cod liver oil vs Rosita EVCLO? The former appears to be a lot cheaper while being the same. They say the oil is centrifuged but otherwise not put through any heating process..

    • Traditional Inuit staples included fermented fish, and I believe that traditional Chinese cuisine boasts of fermented eggs. So apparently, no, sugar is not essential for fermentation.

  20. All I have to say is that my husband and I took this product for the first time this AM.
    Result: Incredible burning of the throat for an hour. Nausea, and a feeling of general illness. Anyone else have such reactions?

      • Jenny,
        My husband and I took our first dose yesterday morning.. Same issue.. Intense, almost intolerable burning in the throat for both of us. Nausea as well. My husband`s throat issue cleared up in about an hour. I was well into the night before all residual effects were resolved. I am quit concerned and am not sure what to do about this reaction.

    • I read somewhere that they said it’s because it’s fermented and most fermented foods leave a little of that feeling in the throat. We never take it alone. That’s the worst part to me, the burning throat.

  21. Well, I have been involved in the fish oil business for the last 20 years, and especially the manufacturing of Cod Liver Oil (CLO). Two facts are indisputable. One. All CLO must be purified through molecular distillation or they will not pass Prop 65 for PCBs. Two. All CLO have higher DHA than EPA level, typically 14% DHA and 9% EPA. Any oil where EPA is higher than DHA is typically sourced from Sardines or Anchovies or Pollock.

  22. Fermentation (which is awesome) ..

    This could be throwing people off as well – just
    about everything fermented smells bad etc. ..

    People may think they’ve got a rancid product,
    but just be smelling the fermentation (many
    fermented products are fantastic).

    • My sister and I have been taking FCLO for over 2 years now and just last week received new bottles. We actually enjoy the taste oddly enough as does my 3 and 4 yr old. This last batch was definitely rancid tasted more like mold than fermented as we are very into fermenting. Yes it is an acquired taste and lifestyle. After our taste buds were thrown for a loop we will be trying something new for a while. Hopefully Green Pastures will get it together before we return as customers or should I say if we return…

  23. For whatever this is worth, my stomach is extremely sensitive to rancid oils. Consuming a rancid oil or oil product can put me in the bed with terrible stomach pain. I take Green Pasture FCLO almost daily and have NEVER suffered in the slightest. With my stomach as a barometer, I still am confident that the FCLO is safe, and as a witness to my family’s unusual good health, I believe it is doing us good.

  24. Has there been any update to the original post? Has Green Pastures posted a response yet on the point about the authenticity of their cod livers?

  25. As a non-liker of fatty fish (yep, even Salmon) this is such a tough issue…for every article on why supplementing is good and what kind to do, there’s a counterpoint article.
    Green Pastures has recently (9/23/15) responded and will be further clarifying their product (cliff notes: pollock and cod are in the same family and their new labels will include the species name that is in each bottle). I appreciate this new transparancy.
    http://www.greenpasture.org/fermented-cod-liver-oil-butter-oil-vitamin-d-vitamin-a/fermented-cod-liver-oil-labels/

  26. We found Green Pastures back in 2007.

    I started my son on it when he was 4/5 for dental reasons. We went to the dentist and he was clear of any cavities and looking good. I wanted to keep it that way. I wanted to prevent him from getting any caries if I could. We try to eat outside the market as much as possible and shop FM when we can, ect…

    Between 2011 and 2012 we had to buckle down and save some money towards a big purchase. I cut out the fish oil for the whole year. By the end of the year he had 4 small cavities.

    The cost of the dentist was more than it would have been for the fish oil. As well, now he has a fear of needles as one of the top cavities required a roof needle and he screamed to high heaven and jerked with the needle in his mouth.

    If he needs any more repairs at this point we will have to have him put under and gas costs much more than the local + repairs.

    After all the repairs were done I immediately put him back on his fish oil. It is 2015 now, and my son turns 12 in two days and he is still clear- finger crossed.

    He takes it every day, although I must remind him, I take the butter oil daily as well. The investment in oneself is more valuable than we realize when we are making it.

    And while there are valuable questions regarding this research, for our family it has prevented years of undesirable side effects of the Standard American Diet from caving my sons mouth. Because while we do alot of organics we cant cut out all out all GMO all together.

    While the majority of my adults friends children have had many dental trips, if not complete mouth rot due to malnutrition my son has had just one trip to the dental chair. I have seen some horrors of the mouth. Just unreal.

    Years ago(2008 or so) I told one of my friends she might want to try the GP fish oil for her kids, she told me it was too expensive. Her children are on state medicaid and they have constant dental issues, but since she doesn’t have to actually pay for it, she sees medicaid as the cheaper cost.

    We also have our son on garden of life kids vitamins, and eat more than 60% organic. He has been on goat milk his entire life. Every now and again we will pick up some organic whole cow milk. The above with the fish oil makes a complete nutritional regimen for his health.

    So things aren’t perfect, for us I believe Green Pastures has made a difference.

  27. It’s my personal opinion that ANY “data” ripping another person, service, or product MUST be taken with a grain of dalt in our current online environment that includes “reputation management.”

    Reputation management may be used to pump up one product while tearing up the reputation of another based on deceit, sly wording, and outright lying.

    ANYONE can use a search engine and research this new, dishonest industry called reputation management.

    Do your own research, learn all of the facts, keep your OWN counsel (don’t accept brainwashing put forth by a “title”) and make your own decisions.

    Face it, our modern times are full of people trying to “corner the market”, “get rich quick” and “retire at a young age” who look with sour grapes at anyone else in their field. They see it as “taking my money” when they haven’t earned the trust and respect to get that income.

    I would stay far and away from any product recommended by an vile and dishonest ripping of someone else apart. How can they be trusted if they cannot rest alone on the integrity of their product?

    • All of which is completely irrelevant to this report and article and blog post since Kaayla did not write that info for the purpose of recommending any products.

    • I agree with you. I would really question the motives of the company that is spear heading this negative campaign against Green Pastures and do they stand to gain when customers turn from GP to their alternative product? The whole thing has always “smelled” to me since the beginning of this smear and discredit Green Pastures campaign. I have used the Green Pastures Blue Ice royal butter/FCLO product for quite a few years with absolutely no untoward side effects and IMO if something isn’t broke, it doesn’t need fixing.

  28. Science works. Pseudoscience, parascience, the paranormal, superstition, religion, as well as holy books don’t work because they brainwash our minds into believing in myths and committing atrocities to boot…as ISIL (aka ISIS), Boko Haram, al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, and the like, have been doing for years.

    Let’s follow science. This squabble concerning FCLO versus EVCLO is easily solved by using logic—not common sense, alas, an expression even used by some scientists; common sense kills and has no science behind it. Logic tells us to take either one first and then the other because (1) the prices are about the same, (2) our body will tell us which one it likes better, and (3) we’ll be supporting two small businesses that want us to be healthy and thus avoid taking drugs or being hospitalized. Let’s not get blinded by moola to not see the big picture here.

    What’s wrong with fermented foods? Fermented fish has been eaten for thousands of years—bagoong (Philippines), fesikh (Egypt), garum (Ancient Rome), hákarl (Iceland), hongeohoe (Korea), igunaq (Inuit peoples), kusaya (Japan), lakerda (Greece), ngari (Manipur, India), pla ra (Thailand), rakfisk (Norway), surströmming (Sweden), tepa (Yu’pik people, Alaska), prahok (Cambodia), pekasam (Malaysia)….

    How many people have died after eating any of those 15 fermented foods? Very few in many millennia. How many have died after taking FCLO or EVCLO? None. Hospitalized? A few, perhaps none. ?

    “Time is a great teacher but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.” —Hector Berlioz

    • you forgot to take consideration of all the toxic industrial waste pollutants that have entered food chain since the start of the industrial revolution. Triillions of tons of pollutants annually for over a century. So, comparing historical reference to oldworld cultures that consumed raw fish to todays fish, is not apples to apples. I prefer a product that is tested by independent labs as well has just advertising claims, since these types of supplements are not regulated by any government agencies. Its not about ripping anyones reputation, its about backing up a products claims with real independent scientific testing and published reports. That my friend is “COMMON SENSE”

  29. I had to stop taking Green Pastures FCLO because I realized that it was affecting my ability to think clearly. I believe brain fog is the term. After I stopped taking it (the unflavored capsules) this cleared up. I now use EVCLO from Rosita Real Foods and I much prefer it to the FCLO. I haven’t had my vitamin D level checked since I made the switch so I can’t comment on that yet. But the Rosita product is much easier to take with no side efffects.

  30. So here is the thing: After reading every available aspect of this controversy:Kaylas report, Chris Masterjohn (who is a leading P.H.d. expert on fats???!!!), Chris Kressers commentary, Sally’s rebuttal, Wetzels so called expert Scientists in his defense etc. et. al.

    My question is after all this there is no conclusive evidence of whether or not this product is Rancid.

    How is this possible?

    Is there no truly definitive test to tell if a oil-like substance is “Rancid” whatever that truly means?

    This is almost beginning to have an air of absurdity and comedy to it.

    “It is rancid”

    “No it is not, just look at what these lab values state”

    “Well those lab values are wrong”

    “Which lab did you use”

    “I can’t tell you”

  31. Interesting to read your thoughts on this. Personally, I find her whole report quite unscientific. She has gone out with the sole purpose of trying to prove fermented cod liver oil is rancid. Instantly, this loses all credibility, as she will obviously interpret her results in a bias way. The, coupled with the many errors in her report mean it has shown very little. I’ve had a good look at her report and put my findings down here (http://www.thehealthcloud.co.uk/green-pastures-rancid-report-analysis/)

    Would be interested to know your thoughts on it.

  32. I am pretty shocked at the lack of concern about health when such a grave concern about a widely consumed product is raised. This is a rancid product, there is no other conclusion.

  33. I read that WAP has financial ties to Green Pastures and I have to admit – if this is true – it concerns me – seems like a conflict of interest situation / follow the $$$. I really trust WAP info and recommendations, but this debate and situation has me wondering. I would love your opinion on this. Thanks!

    • Financial ties are being mentioned as the reason for the stance taken on many blogs and various articles. Weston A. Price disclosed the annual amount received from Green Pasture Products, which was 1.1%. I don’t believe an amount of that quantity can possibly be labeled as a “financial incentive” for WAPF to endorse this product. The Foundation endorses the product because the product was one of the first of its kind to be raw and unadulterated, and was an answer to many consumer concerns about all other fish oil products being highly processed, heat treated, and containing synethic nutrients. David Wetzel spent a considerable amount of time and expense prior to starting his business to learn what the commercial fish and cod liver oil companies were doing, so he could produce a product that delivers in nutrient-density as well as safe and non-toxic. That’s why WAPF endorses this product.

      This page appears to be down ATM, but here is the link to WAPF’s discussion on this topic:

      http://www.westonaprice.org/action-alerts/fermented-cod-liver-oil-concerns/

  34. It would be wonderful if you were able to get the oil added to the Thrive Market website along with other supplement brands you recommend like magnesium, etc. thanks!

  35. Hello, for further information regarding your post on your blog. I do not believe in the company Green Pasture. It does not seem transparent. It lacks many independent lab tests. In addition, the mislabelling clearly shows the lack of transparency and professionalism of this company. In discussing this ‘bomb’ with some members of my family. I asked what my grandfather who was a cod fisherman of atlantiqu, and others were with the liver. It seems that was storing the livers of cod in wooden barrels. The oil was then used for health (ingested) or spread to the fields as fertilizer or used to launch boats in the spring.

    It is a pity that all research on this subject is difficult.

    Good day

    • Silly Me, I thought that this is what Dave Wetzel did. Soak the COD livers in a wooden barrel on his farm in Nebraska. Add is some cinnamon oil and some stevia and then bottle that stuff.

        • I read that same article and it sounds to me that the other company doesn’t actually manufacture the FCLO, but are the bottlers/enscapulators and final quality check.

          This whole thing has political in-fighting written all over it. Currently, my take is that Daniels has some personal issue with Sally Fallon (I don’t find Daniel’s report credible much at all). Perhaps there is some merit in Daniel’s attack on Fallon, who knows, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to hash this out in public.

          Daniel’s most recent rebuttal for her stance comes across as a very different tone from her report. Her report comes across as sensationalistic, whereas her recent rebuttal seems to me as more “real”, as in, we are seeing more of the real Dr. Daniels:

          http://drkaayladaniel.com/transparency-blackouts-doses-and-grand-tours-my-response-to-the-healthy-home-economist/

          I do have a major bone to pick with Mr. Wetzel… for offering an all-expense paid trip to Daniels for her to come check out his operation. Just like something Big Pharma would do, and he should be conducting business as unlike as Big Pharma as possible. This is clear, as Mr. Wetzel confirms this on his website. Her allegation that Wetzel changed his tune when she said she would come on her own dime is unclear to me at this point. Either she is making this up, or Wetzel neatly left that detail out of his response to her expose, as he said he was “met with silence”:

          http://www.greenpasture.org/fermented-cod-liver-oil-butter-oil-vitamin-d-vitamin-a/response-to-questions-on-fermented-cod-liver-oil/

          • Well, GP is not in the same league as Big Pharma, by a long stretch. As Dr. Daniel said, it was a hardship for her to come on her own dime. Inexcusable to not report on the rest of the story- i.e. to not get his side of the story. (Of course it would be his side and he would have a bias. But to NOT get that side is WRONG!)

            If you can’t get the whole story, then you shouldn’t be reporting. Yellow journalism really sucks. I have had this done to me. As a professional, she really was in the wrong for doing this. It’s not like he was offering her a vacation in Hawaii. Come on. Use some common sense.

    • I’ve been using Green Pasture’s fermented cod liver oil for a few years now. I like it, I feel good and have more energy when I’ve been taking it for a while. I haven’t had my D levels tested, but I don’t have any reason to do so either.

      The only thing I have found Green Pastures to not be totally transparent about is their entire production process. He says he uses “salt, fish broth starter and livers.” His trade secret is in the ‘fish broth starter’. Who knows what he has in it? That’s the only thing he is really being secretive about and I think he has every right to do so. It is a big thing that is protecting his company, his specialty. If he shares that then for sure we will see dozens of competitors pop up. Perhaps that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but I don’t see why he should be shamed into sharing his recipe secrets.

      As for the claim that he has mis-led consumers by using pollock instead of cod, he says it is industry standard to occasionally substitute one species for another. He said 90% of the livers come from true cod and about 10% from pollock, depending upon market availability of fish. I bet if you tested a dozen different brands of cod liver oil, you would find the source of liver came from many different fish, not just true cod.

      I have to say I am surprised that so many folks are put off on the pollock thing. It *is* a cod, it lives and functions very similar to true cod (there are many species in the cod family). And it’s only 10% of the total volume of his production. Now, if he were using beef liver, chicken liver or some other non-fish liver, I would be furious. I would also be upset if he were using “big fish” livers, such as from shark or tuna, because of heavy metals or PCBs. *That* would be true deception, in my opinion. But he’s not, it’s just cod livers.

      I for one, am not put off by this. I have always thought of pollock as a type of cod, anyways.

      Mr. Wetzel’s response to Dr. Daniels article:
      http://www.greenpasture.org/temp/Blog%20Rebuttal.pdf

      • That’s Bs Josh… if someone says they are using Cod liver then that is what must be used. Not this or that because of seasonal demand. If he is substituting the Livers of Cod with Pollock livers, then he should be straight forward be honest and label it as such..Pollock is not Cod, and pollock is about 1/4 of the price. My question would be where else is he cutting corners; the butter perhaps, how does one know if the butter is from grass fed cows.
        We take the word of producers, small sins are punished by life. In business, especially the health food business never give anyone any reason to doubt your integrity.
        John

      • Actually the pollak makeup of types of fats, as is explained in several of the articles being promoted, is different from the cod makeup and does not have the same nutritional profile. WAP says the ratio of oil types is very important, and in fact having more Omega-6 then -3 is detrimental.

  36. Ya know, even without knowing this, I just do not trust cod liver oil that is not encapsulated. I mean, if you have to drink a bottle of red wine within a few days of it being opened to the air, then I can only imagine that even the best FCLO oxidizes quickly, too.

    But back to the issue, it is sad that companies lie to their consumers – especially when their products are bought by chronically ill people trying to pick and choose the best health products.

    Thanks Chris, for being the good health detective that you are.

    • I’m certainly not an expert on oxidation, but I have learned a thing or two over the years. The example you give about wine I believe is less about oxidation and more about further fermentation. As in, alcohol in the wine being converted/fermented to acetic acid (vinegar) by the processes of acetobacter. Vinegar itself has it’s own anti-oxidant properties.

      I agree that there is probably a small measure of increased oxidation in a liquid bottle of fish oil rather than capsules. But, assuming that the cap is replaced immediately after dosing it out, I would imagine this amount of oxidation is pretty small. And seeing that capsules cost 2-3 times as much as the liquid (per dose), the frugal side of me wins out over a small amount of oxidation.

      Oxidation and anti-oxidants get a lot of attention these days. Trust me, you *can* overdose on anti-oxidants. Our bodies need a certain amount of oxidation going on in the body and too many anti-oxidants can throw this off balance. The Standard American Diet (lots of sweeteners and refined flours) will give one an overload of oxidants, but for folks like myself who no longer eat the SAD, anti-oxidants are already present in my diet and supplementation can be tricky. I’ve experienced it myself and know others who have done the same. It’s all about balance.

      • Josh,
        This is very true! Antioxidants prevent oxidation, and thus reduce tissue damage. But too many anti-oxidants can interfere with oxidation. And our cells need oxygen. Not too much, not too little. Like you said, it’s about balance.

        Oxygen can kill bacteria. That’s why your doctor tells you to let cuts n’ scrapes “breathe” and why oxidative substances like hydrogen peroxide kill germs on contact. Hydrogen peroxide is also made within the body to kill internal germs.

        Combined with iodine in your body, hydrogen is highly oxidative; it also leads to the necessary production of thyroid hormones. Another win for oxidation.

        So anti-oxidants are good. But too much can interfere with oxidation. And oxidation is good. But too much can damage tissue.

        I’m just concerned when its food that is oxidizing, it goes rancid. I think this whole “PUFA uproar” has made me really anal about oils going rancid. How do you feel about PUFA’s (or fish oil since that is what the article is about) and rancidity?

        Thanks, you have eased my mind 🙂

  37. Chris,
    I have the baby code, read Sally Fallon’s books and Sean croxton etc etc. we are now pregnant and I had my plan: cod liver oil and eat liver or take dessicated cod liver pills everyday. Ordered my $60+ “green pasture” fermented cod liver oil orange flavor and could not believe how horrible it was!!! Threw it up and probably got 5 total servings down. Now I have not been nauseous or have issues with throwing up during my pregnancy. Most disgusting product ever and now I can officially feel ok throwing the bottle away. hoping my diet and the vitapearls are enough fish oil for my baby. Thanks for this info.

  38. A good comment from Dr. Masterjohn’s site.

    “Sean CarsonAugust 29, 2015 at 2:14 PM
    Well, I’d like to bring up a somewhat larger question that has kept me away from CLO in general, and that would be comparing some of the manufacturing differences between a couple of the top-tier flax oil producers (Flora and Barlean’s) vs your typical CLO and fish oil manufacturing. What I’ve found interesting is how much care the formerly mentioned manufacturers take to produce and bottle their flax oil: It’s produced in a light, oxygen, and heat free environment and then nitrogen flushed in the bottle. The purpose for all of this, of course, is that flax oil – which is mainly alpha-linolenic acid – is known to go “rancid” pretty quickly.

    So, this is what bothers me: How is it that ALA needs such careful extracting and bottling to prevent rancidity, whereas CLO, and I am mainly talking about the DHA and EPA components – which are super unsaturated and pretty much the most highly unsaturated oils consumed by humans – do not??

    EPA and DHA are much more unsaturated than ALA. They are found in cold water fish because with little UV exposure and such cold temperatures, they remain fluid and stable.

    So, when we’re talking about “fermenting” fish oil basically under circumstances that in no way resemble the kind of way quality flax oil is handled AND we’re talking about consuming those oils and putting them into a 98.6 degree body, I have a hard time swallowing it, if you know what I mean!”

  39. I have been taking Fermented Cod Liver since 2009 and in 2010 added taking Fermented Skate Liver. Since August 2010, I have been taking between 3 and 4 teaspoons daily of the FCLO / FSLO! I am almost 67 years old and am in perfect health. I eat a high saturated fat diet including rib steaks at least 3 times a week, fatty shoulder pork chops, 29 pounds of butter a year, a 1 quart of raw milk a day, some grain but really limited. I attribute my good health and extreme amount of energy to the FCLO / FSLO made by Green Pasture Products. I have been selling Green Pasture Products for 5 years and hope to be full time in this business by the end of next winter! I have done almost 2500 ‘taste tests’ at shows in 5 years and most (90 percent) of the taste testers say, ‘This taste pretty good!’ Certainly not rancid! Weston A Price Foundation including founding and current president Sally Fallol Morell deserve a standing applause, as far as I am considered, both in this matter and in general health and nutritional information the Foundation stands for. Best To ALL -JOHN DELMOLINO / Traditional Health First / Amherst MA

  40. My doctor guided me away from FCLO due the the Aldehydes that are out off with FCLO and guided me to another brand which has been around since the 1920s. Can someone comment on the Aldehyhe factor and its toxicity??

    • Chris Masterjohn’s recent response covers this topic. Link above.

      “WAPF sent samples to Dr. Martin Grootveld of the Leicester School of Pharmacy, who performed more sophisticated NMR-based techniques to analyze the oil for a range of peroxides and aldehydes, finding none detectable.”

  41. Just received this. A very good view on the subject.

    An expose’ on a fermented fish oil product
    “A Summary of Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s New Report on Green Pasture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil

    by Ron Schmid, ND

    (page 1 of 1) Articles Home
    Kaayla T. Daniel PhD, author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food, Vice President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and 2005 winner of the Foundation’s Integrity in Science award, has just published an e-report titled Hook, Line and Stinker! The Truth About Fermented Cod Liver Oil. We carried Green Pasture FCLO and Butter Oil for many years until I read Dr. Daniel’s report. I have prepared this summary of her report so that our customers may learn why we no longer carry these products.

    To download the full report, please go to Dr. Daniel’s website, http://www.drkaaladaniel.com .

    Summary of Dr. Daniel’s Report: Green Pasture brand “fermented cod liver oil” (FCLO) has been promoted by the producer and the Weston A. Price Foundation as the only true “traditional” cod liver oil and the “high vitamin” cod liver oil recommended by Dr. Weston Price. Dr. Daniel had concerns about many of the claims and brought them to the attention of Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Foundation, and requested testing. Morell and the Board declined. Dr. Daniel on her own had extensive testing done at world renowned marine lipid laboratories. The following are some of her conclusions.

    Flavors, odors and colors are indicative of rancidity – extreme rancidity – and that’s what the data show. Several lab managers said FCLO was the most rancid oil they’d ever tested. A massive body of research shows rancid polyunsaturated fatty acids can contribute to heart disease, cancer and other ills.
    Levels of fat-soluble vitamins reported by the labs utilized for this testing are significantly lower than those reported on the Weston Price Foundation and Green Pasture web sites. Levels of vitamin D are strikingly low, in contrast with the high levels reported by Green Pasture, which has reported especially high levels of vitamin D2. The world’s leading vitamin D researcher states that he has never found vitamin D2 in cod liver oil. Interestingly, a number of doctors and other health care professionals have reported severe vitamin D deficiencies among some patients who have been taking daily doses of FCLO for months or even years.
    Green Pasture claims stupendous amounts of vitamin K and significant amounts of Coenzyme Q10 in FCLO. The world’s leading vitamin K research center found extremely low levels of vitamin K; another lab showed nearly undetectable levels of Coenzyme Q10.
    The ratio of EPA to DHA for Arctic cod should be about 6 to 10. Testing at the two labs sent samples of FCLO to show the ratio of EPA to DHA to be approximately 2 to 1. These numbers do not match Arctic cod, and in fact are similar to what one would expect from Alaskan pollock.
    According to the Green Pasture website, the “cod livers” in the Green Pasture Cattle Lick product are left over from the manufacture of FCLO. Dr. Daniel had DNA testing done on the product. The lab reports that the liver is “100 percent Alaskan pollock.” While pollock is a member of the cod family, it is a cheap product with a very different nutritional profile than codfish, and is commonly substituted in “cod liver oils” coming out of China and other countries. It is a favorite of Big Food, which turns it into fish sticks, fried fish, and other fishy substances found in processed, packaged and fast foods. The livers are primarily sold for use in pet food. So much for truth in labeling.
    FCLO was tested for trans fats. The lab showed 3.22 percent trans fats, of which Dr. Gjermund Vogt, a leading authority on fish oils, says: “No authentic raw or mildly processed cod liver oil will contain trans fats [indicating] that another oil has been added to this oil.” The evidence indicates that the most likely explanation is that a heat damaged vegetable oil has been added.
    Joan Grinzi, Executive Director of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, says: “It’s taken us over a year to thoroughly search the archives. We can now state that Dr. Price never mentioned fermented cod liver oil and never recommended a product like it.” FCLO is neither a true “traditional” cod liver oil nor the “high vitamin cod liver oil” recommended by Dr. Price.
    Dr. Price pointed out the danger of rancidity in the cod liver oils of his day, and he cited other researchers from the 1920s and 1930s who had “called attention to the importance of considering the toxic substances in cod liver oils as possible explanation for differences in the results obtained by different workers in vitamin studies.” Clinicians observed “severe and striking” effects, most notably “serious structural damage” to the heart and kidneys.
    Green Pasture Butter Oil showed very good levels of Vitamin K2. So too did grass-fed ghee – which costs about one-seventh as much. Green Pasture claims its butter oil is from the “milk of cows that graze on select grasses of the Northern Great Plains.” In fact, evidence indicates that for several years the company has imported its butter in large canisters from Argentina, which visitors to Green Pasture have reported sit around and heat up in his solar facility. Many butter oil connoisseurs have commented that the product has gone downhill over the past several years, with “off flavors” and an “odd texture.”
    Lab testing of the butter oil showed a Peroxide Value of 3.6 meq/kg. The value should be no higher than 0.6 meq/kg. Acid Value tested at 3.0 mg-KOH/g. The value should be no higher than 0.796 mg KOH/g. Both of these tests show significant primary-stage rancidity.”

    • Interesting and worth repeating from the above “Joan Grinzi, Executive Director of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, says: “It’s taken us over a year to thoroughly search the archives. We can now state that Dr. Price never mentioned fermented cod liver oil and never recommended a product like it.” FCLO is neither a true “traditional” cod liver oil nor the “high vitamin cod liver oil” recommended by Dr. Price.
      Dr. Price pointed out the danger of rancidity in the cod liver oils of his day, and he cited other researchers from the 1920s and 1930s who had “called attention to the importance of considering the toxic substances in cod liver oils as possible explanation for differences in the results obtained by different workers in vitamin studies.” Clinicians observed “severe and striking” effects, most notably “serious structural damage” to the heart and kidneys.” Roy Schmid also states ”
      Joan Grinzi, Executive Director of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, says: “It’s taken us over a year to thoroughly search the archives. We can now state that Dr. Price never mentioned fermented cod liver oil and never recommended a product like it.” FCLO is neither a true “traditional” cod liver oil nor the “high vitamin cod liver oil” recommended by Dr. Price.
      Dr. Price pointed out the danger of rancidity in the cod liver oils of his day, and he cited other researchers from the 1920s and 1930s who had “called attention to the importance of considering the toxic substances in cod liver oils as possible explanation for differences in the results obtained by different workers in vitamin studies.” Clinicians observed “severe and striking” effects, most notably “serious structural damage” to the heart and kidneys.”

    • He should rename his blog ‘the Sympathetic Nutritionist’. Just how many bottles of free FCLO did he actually choose to receive from Dave? Tens of thousands of dollars is my guess.

    • After reading both reports, I find Kaayla’s report very straightforward, well thought out and supported scientifically while I thought Dr. Masterjohn’s response was weak in its science, scattered and full of excuses. Bad science is bad science. Just admit that Dr. Kaayla Daniel is right and move on. There is no such thing as fermented cod liver oil, it is rotten cod liver oil and that’s it.

      • Call it rotten or not, but as people previously stated, a whole lot of cultures have been eating fermented fish. If fermented fish was so bad would it have spread successfully to so many cultures.

        You need to address this before preaching that fermented fish oil is rotten and bad.

        So far you have not been very convincing nor scientifically in this matter.

        • Well I really think that Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s paper addressed the issue quite thoroughly, it is up to the company to prove her wrong, they are the ones selling it. I have no issues with fermented fish, this is fish oil, a very different thing.

  42. There are now over 300 comments on this topic. It is interesting to peruse the thread. The comments on effectiveness are interesting, ranging from “it seems to work” to “didn’t notice anything bad” to “it caused me to throw up”. If a product is good for you, you should be able to feel the difference, that’s why supplements were used in the first place.
    Maybe that’s why there are 15000 fish oil studies out there, half of them say it’s good and half say it isn’t (more of these recently). If a supplement is really good, you should feel the difference within 2 weeks of starting and you shouldn’t need 15000 studies, the difference should be big enough to show positive results consistently, so you need a fraction of that many studies.

  43. I’ve been taking a heaping teaspoon of blended CLO/Butter Oil from Green Pastures. I haven’t had a problem, and have no way of knowing if it’s been beneficial to me or not. I assumed it was a good thing! What I find most disturbing is Dr. Ron Schmidt’s account of his heart failure, and his belief that it was the FCLO that caused it. (Apparently the WPF has severed all ties with him over this.) It’s true he was taking more than the recommended dose, but I was overdoing it somewhat to; he himself told me a heaping teaspoon was fine. Chris, do you have any thoughts about this? Actually, I’m not sure I want to take CLO at all now!

    • Dr. Ron has said that he took 1-3 TABLESPOONS of regular cod liver oil a day for over 20 years (I don’t remember the exact number), and only in the last 6 years of that period was he taking FCLO. It was during that period that his symptoms developed. However, it seems likely to me (correct me if I’m wrong, Chris), that the underlying disease process was developing over the entire period of his overconsumption of cod liver oil. No one recommends taking that much CLO on a daily basis for years. You CAN get too much of a good thing. Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids are BOTH necessary in the diet. An imbalance in either direction has health consequences, as Dr. Ron found out.

    • Dr. Ron Schmidt said that he took two to three tablespoons of cod liver oil for thirty-one plus years. Green Pasture’s FCLO has only been available since 2007.

    • Debbie, I had never heard of Dr. Ron before Dr. Daniels report came out last week, but apparently he had been taking TABLESPOONS every day of cod liver oil since the 1970’s and had only been taking the FCLO the last several years. Most experts agree that 1/2 to 1 TEASPOON of cod liver oil (fermented or not) is plenty for most adults and that higher amounts over extended periods of time *can* be toxic. I would certainly love to hear more about Dr. Ron’s experience about why he thinks it was specifically FCLO that caused his heart attack and not the fact he was overdosing on CLO in general.

      Sally Fallon of WAPF shares more details about their reasons for severing ties with Dr. Ron, sounds like he wasn’t playing nice: http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/questions-and-answers-about-fermented-cod-liver-oil-fclo/

      I just found Dr. Ron’s personal account of his heart failure as connected to cod liver oil. He fully admits he was overdosing on cod liver oil for over 30 years, only the last 6 he was using fermented CLO. His reasoning why it was FCLO that did him in and not the previous 24 years of overdosing of CLO? Intuition…”I also had an intuition that the [fermented] cod liver oil was not helping me.” Now, I am a big believer in intuition, but I also know that it can get wonky…usually there is some good information in intuition, but I always take it with a grain of salt.

      http://www.drrons.com/cod-liver-oil-too-much-of-a-not-so-good-thing.html

      Dr. Ron seems like a good guy who really cares. I’m sure the heart attack really scared the daylights out of him. I’m convinced he believes that FCLO was not good for him, but I am not convinced that it is not good for *everyone*.

  44. This should be relevant.

    http://chriskresser.com/the-definitive-fish-oil-buyers-guide/

    The NSF has been at work since the 1940’s and appears to be an independent source of supplement and food testing.

    I learned about I first on the VitalChoice website, which says it submits its products to NSF for certification.

    I have never seen the FCLO on the Consumerlab.com website, and now I wonder whether either NSF or consumerlab was among the labs she cites in her report.

    Data from them and from IFOS would be quite helpful, since their results are available online or via symbols on consumer products.

  45. My family had been taking FCLO/butter oil blend since it came out. Before we took it, I would give my son regular cod liver oil. He almost never got sick. When we switched to the FCLO, both of my children started to get sick several times a year. Last fall, I ordered two bottles of Rosita CLO. When we finished these bottles, I bought regular Carson’s CLO and also give them a spoonful of Kerry Gold grassfed butter. My son has not been sick one time this year, and my daughter has been sick once. It may just be a coincidence, but I do think it has something to do with the CLO, and this was even before these reports came out.

  46. Any thoughts on the elevated trans fatty acid content?
    I’ve purchased the FCLO with and without the HVBO and also the SLO on several occasions. Never noticed any of them really doing me any good. The last time I bought the cinnamon tingle FCLO was over a year ago. I think it wasn’t properly mixed as there was no taste or smell of cinnamon at the top. What it did have was a bitter rancid taste. Contacted the company that sold it who said that nobody else had complained and that GP say their products are not rancid. Contacted GP and got no response. Absolutely no incentive to purchase FCLO again, and probably nothing from GP again.

    • Jim, if you read dr Kaayla’s blog article on her website she addresses this very question. They offered to pay for her flights, which on the surface appears generous, but it’s un ethical, especially if she is researching the company. Talk about a payoff by GP. Read her blog article!

      • This is why I don’t comment on blogs, actually this was the first time. I didn’t mention anything about paid flights, that is immaterial. If it is a moral hangup…how about visit and inspect the site on her own dime? That removes all doubt of impropriety, while giving her an opportunity to inspect the facility, which would give greater depth and insight to her findings. The FDA will not allow pharma companies to pay for their trips/visits; but they still visit those site and inspect them. As someone who does this kind of thing for a living, I know that while analyzing paperwork hundreds or thousands of miles away from a manufacturing facility may have some value, there is no replacement for an onsite, visual inspection. So, Dr. Kaayla, take your briefcase full of papers and get in your car and see for yourself. Don’t forget to pay for your own gas!

        • As Dr Kaalya mentions in her blog article she couldn’t justify the personal expense to fly there because all her money was going into the testing. Anyway, what’s the point of visiting the site if Dave won’t even disclose the exact manufacturing process involved in his secret fermentation process? Seems pointless doesn’t it? Take for example inspectors who visit restaurants, they are not going to announce their visit now are they? they turn up up unexpectantly, that way the owner doesn’t have a chance to clean up the cockroaches and remove the dead rats from the oil vat! Visiting DAves cult headquarters would have defeated the whole purpose. Wake up people! Dave is not transparent, let’s all demand that he come clean.

      • If it was only that simple. What test(s) and what range would you consider optimal? Is VIt D testing alone actually meaningful without other testing to place the result in context? Does the general health of the person being tested have to be considered to know if supplementing would actually be a wise decision? Is Vit D supplementation safe without taking other stuff like K2, and if other cofactors are necessary how much of each? Is your information from studies or primarily from health blogs?

        Anyone eating sufficient calories from whole foods is unlikely to ever have a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Sub optimal levels, perhaps…. a straight up deficiency? Unlikely.

        And having a fat soluble vitamin deficiency in someone not living in a third world country? Maybe it could happen to an alcoholic with an eating disorder or an uber vegan with poor conversion issues from BCM01 SNPs or someone with cholestatic liver disease etc.

        I’m sure there are instances where supplementation is wise, but for most people simply getting some sun and eating fish, eggs, nuts and seeds etc is more than sufficient.

        Read enough health blogs and you can be convinced everyone has a deficieny of some sort.

  47. Does anyone have any knowledge about VASCEPA ( icosapent ethyl) supposedly a medical grade fish oil by prescription? Right there, it’s worrisome…it was given to my mom to try for her high triglycerides?? I’m concerned and I don’t want her to take it…but need her to try something else….she is difficult with meds sometimes and has crohns.

    • My mom struggles with high triglycerides. I was reading on Mercola about cutting sugar and grains from the diet to bring triglycerides down. Hope that helps. The Crohns also made me pipe up about grains.

  48. Reading through this comment section, I have to say, irrespective of what Dr. Daniel and Dr. Ron’s motives or roles are, whoever’s engineering the attack — for commercial and/or political reasons, in all likelihood — the PR group/s employed are doing an astonishingly thorough job. This astroturf crew is really on top of their game. Hat’s off.

    For a short primer on astroturf, see Sharyl Attkisson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    The best lies are always mixed in with truths. Key for us is to discern which is which, and which really matter.

  49. Glad this article came up, because I have had some suspicions last several years regarding this product. About 2 yrs ago I noticed a off flavor to the skate liver oil, which I can only describe as a subtle rancidity or oxidation. I always buy the plain and bite into the capsule for the very purpose of tasting it. I called GP to report this issue and they said that the product was fine, now I’m thinking my instincts may have been correct. Also, I alternate between the SLO and the FCLO/HVBO and these products have never raised my blood levels of 25 (OH) D, which I get tested periodically. GP said there are unresolved issues to vit D testing. Glad to see this controversy come to light.

  50. Hi Chris! Jack Kronk here.

    I’ve been sorta out of this scene for a little while now, but I’m still here. We’ve been ordering FCLO from Green Pastures for years and still have almost a full bottle from a recent order. Thanks so much for taking the time to provide your thoughts on this situation and a clearly articulated update.

    I must admit… first thought was a bit of panic… like “chuck that stuff in the trash!” haha. But then I immediately realized that we should wait to see how this all shakes out and reserve final conclusion until…. well… until more conclusive findings are known.

    Good to see that you are discussing this with The Master.

    I’ll be watching for more updates.

    Thanks again and best to you,
    Jack Kronk

  51. I was dosing myself regularly with 2 tbsp of Green Pastures FCLO before my last pregnancy. I was certain my vitamin D levels would be adequate, but asked my midwife to test them in early pregnancy. The result was 20. I started taking vitamin D supplements instead.

  52. I started taking the fermented cod liver oil about 2 weeks ago and absolutely love it. I felt an immediate lift in my energy because it felt like it stopped up a hole that felt like it was leaking energy. So all my energy was able to circulate quite strongly.
    It does sound like EVCLO is very good and fresh tasting. However, it is not fermented. I think, in my case, the fermenting is key. And a fermented cod liver oil can never taste fresh. It’s process precludes that. Even though the fermented original cod liver oil tastes very strong, I could detect no rancidity.

  53. I consumed one batch of FCLO last autumn as a part of an increased consumption of fermented foods and other foods/supplements in order to heal a leaky gut. I bought a second batch this summer and are currently consuming FCLO capsules again. I haven’t experienced negative effects (that I am aware of) from FCLO, but the positive effects might just as well come from the fermented foods and other supplements. Based on your article I might have short break from FCLO until more info occurs.

  54. I use Carlson Lemon flavored Cod live oil because it was recommended by Dr. Sherry Rodgers as the highest quality. Any comments?

    • following–we switched to Carlson’s a few months ago after taking FCLO for years. It has been an improvement for my family’s health. They don’t get sick–even when I purposely exposed them to varicella! They used to get sick all the time when they were on FCLO, but they also never got sick before we switched to FCLO, and they were taking regular CLO.

  55. I have been using the FCLO for several months and when my doctor did my blood work he mentioned that my levels of Vit D was very low. I told him about the cod liver oil and he instead recommended I buy a supplement instead. I am hoping my next blood work is better. Will keep you posted.
    Eva

    • One of the problems with his articles is they are all over the map, jumping from subject to subject without a coherent theme. He also quotes lots of studies (none of which are biochemical studies) but fails to explain why Linoleic Acid makes up 25 to 40% of the lipid structure of all our cellular membranes (including the all important mitochondria), so how can a diet deficient in it be good for us?

  56. I had my 25-vitamin D level measured prior to consuming a bottle of the Blue Ice/FCLO/butter oil combination product at the recommended dose. It was 35 nmol/L (14 in US units) and after finishing the bottle, I had it measured again and it had dropped down to 30 nmol/L (12 in US units). So I went onto D3 supplements instead.

    I also have a couple of servings of liver per week, plenty of eggs, 4 servings of salmon per week, feta and cheddar around 4 times a week, a natto/miso mix as a spread, a couple of ounces of linseed oil in my daily dressing plus 500 mg of krill oil per day. Hope all this does the trick.

    • D3 supplements can cause calcification of your arteries so you may want to reconsider synthetic D3. It makes for an excellent rodenticide.

      • Bob,

        Would you please let us know what evidence you have for this assertion that vitamin D3 supplements an cause calcification of the arteries?

      • Yes, I’ve seen cholecalciferol nailed to trees for use as a rodenticide. Massive doses of it causes a life-threateningly high calcium and phosphorus level in the body, resulting in severe, acute kidney failure. It’s a question of dose. Clinical signs of poisoning can be seen at 0.5 mg/kg of cholecalciferol.

        My dose has raised my level from 12 to 24 or as we say here in NZ 30 nmol/L to 60 nmol/L which is just into the lower end of the normal range. It would be good to see the link to the scientific studies that show a dose of 0.3 mg which in my case equates to 0.06mg/kg is going to cause arterial calcification.

        • It’s a rodenticide because rodents can’t metabolize large doses of cholecalciferol. This says nothing about the human need for it.

          Vitamins D3 and K2 are both needed to make sure calcium ends up in the bones and teeth and not the soft tissues. They don’t *cause* calcification; quite the opposite.

      • This is ridiculous. The only way that D3 supplements can cause calcification is if they manage to raise your 25(OH)D levels to 200 ng/ml or higher (500 nmol/L).

        Find me one, yes just one, single case study where arterial calcification was caused by a 25(OH)D level below 200 ng/ml. You can’t, because it doesn’t happen.

        For those who wonder how this relates to dosage, you would need to consume massive amounts of vitamin D3 to ever reach a blood level of 200 ng/ml. Like 50,000 IU per day for a year. Most people would be lucky just to get their levels into the 50-70 ng/ml range.

      • It’s a rodenticide because rodents can’t metabolize large doses of cholecalciferol. This says nothing about the human need for it.

        Vitamins D3 and K2 are both needed to make sure calcium ends up in the bones and teeth and not the soft tissues. They don’t *cause* calcification; quite the opposite.

  57. I was taking FCLO a couple of years ago. A cholesterol test came back with very high levels of oxidised LDL. My husband who was taking OmegaRx has very low levels, as our diets are very similar and our cholesterol profile was also similar it made me question the FCLO and I decided to stop taking it. I dont know if it caused it however, I dont want to take the chance.

    • Oily fish will raise your cholesterol by the way, which is good!!!

      For over 30 years I have consumed Atlantic Mackerel or Herring everyday. This was primarily for my eczema but has also got rid of my asthma and hayfever. I am 53 years old and have a BP of 90/60! I avoid all high Omega 6 sources as well. So all grains and grain products (including Olive Oil! Omega 6:3 ratio 13:1) and all nuts.

      Now some maths. My 2 tins of mackerel for lunch have 5.6g per 100g of Omega 3! They are 100g drained so 2 cans makes 11.2g or 11,200mg of Omega 3. A high dose fish oil capsule here in the UK is typically only 300mg of Omega 3 (EPA + DHA)! So I’m taking over 37 capsules worth of Omega 3 for lunch. Mackerel or Herring is much much cheaper than fish oil capsules and contains loads of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The real deal. Why squeeze the oil out of fish? It doesn’t make sense to me!
      Mike Boyd

      • Mike, have you any concerns as to the fish being in tins? Metal leaching? I’ve avoided cans for the most part because of these concerns. Also, is Atlantic fish cleaner, as regards mercury? Again, size of fish has been mentioned, so I tend to consume the small fish in tins…

        • The metal can is lined I think with plastic nowdays. Originally it was a thin layer of the inert metal tin, hence tin cannister. Of course Nicola Appert’s first cannistres were made of glass. I can a fair bit of Atlantic Mackerel, that I catch myself, in glass Kilner Jars or Mason Ball Jars. The steel lid is plastic coated and I have seen suggestion that plasticisers can leach out. I’m not sure about this. If the can is upright the food isn’t in contact anyway. I have heard that plastic bags and containers might not be safe too! But it is a hard tale to unravel. The USDA website says the 2 cleanest fish (re Mercury) are Atlantic Mackerel and Herring. They are both surface feeding fish and they tend to be cleaner. Avoid botton feeders! Certainly around my coasts. Large amounts of toxic chemicals went down our rivers during the Industrial Revolution. Avoid the big Spanish, Horse and King Mackerel. They are further up the food chain and accumulate more toxins. They are much like Tuna in many ways which I don’t think are safe to eat. Why do they cook all the fat out of Tuna before canning? Are they that toxic? No omega 3 in any brand of canned Tuna over here!

  58. While I appreciate seeing a balanced approach, it boggles my mind at how many people are caught up in the Alaska pollock vs cod “controversy.” Alaskan pollock IS a member of the cod family. There is nothing “fishy” (yes, pun intended) about using Alaskan pollock. “The Alaska pollock… is a marine fish species of the cod family Gadidae.” (Wikipedia)

    • There is most definitely something “fishy” about calling Pollock cod. It’s pollock, not cod. People have heard of pollock before, because it’s pollock. People have also heard of cod before. No one calls pollock cod, or vice versa, because no one names organisms at the family level.

      Hops and cannabis are in the same family, cannabacea. Are you going to tell me that they are the same because they’re in the same family? Don’t be a fool, and don’t intentionally try to mislead readers here.

  59. Rosita is an excellent product. Try Napa Sesame Oil as an alternative mixed with Win Probiotics and Sunflower Lecithin. This is a formula I came up with for resolving brain fog issues and moisturizing the gut.

    Maury Brooks

  60. For what it’s worth ConsumerLab.com (which tests supplements) uses TOTOX as a measure of spoilage (rancidity). TOTOX values above 26 indicate spoilage in their review. Also among the more than two dozen fish oils reviewed none exceeded contamination limits for Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic, Mercury, and PCBs so I would say that in most cases contamination is not necessarily a common issue. For more on how they test fish oil products see:
    https://www.consumerlab.com/howtested/fish_oil_supplements_review/omega3/
    I have found ConsumerLab to provide unbiased, well researched and referenced testing and information on various supplements. I am not affiliated with them in any way other than being a member (yes, you do have to pay an reasonable annual fee to actually access the test results and reviews).

    • Maybe people also need to see the independent tests via WAPF on Green Pasture FCLO, as of 2014. It gives a comparison as well to other fermented foods, such as cheeses and fish sauces.

      http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/concerns-about-fermented-cod-liver-oil

      The conclusion is that Green Pastures is comparable to these other fermented and commonly consumed foods.

      BTW, Dr. Daniel went against the WAPF Board even though they voted 7-1 against to retest the product. GP also routinely tests their products for all kinds of things, such as PCBs, mercury etc. It has shown to be a very safe and healthful food. GP is also a very reputable company that has been in business since 2000. The fears here are overblown. I look forward to GP and WAPF response.

  61. I’m on my fourth bottle of FCLO with butter oil, two plain and two cinnamon flavored. I’ve never experienced anything like the strong taste and burning that others describe; in fact, it has a milder taste than cheaper brands I’ve tried. It’s been helpful for my skin and my immune system.

      • Faolan, I don’ think that’s slandering. Laurel actually brings up a good point. While I don’t think Chris is trying to present false information, it’s healthy to be skeptical about a person’s motives when financial gains may be involved.

      • Hahaha…slandering!?! He could of just talked about the BP FCLO but instead he had to talk (at length) about this new and improved brand he’s been taking and how “transparent” they are. I’ve read plenty of other articles/opinions on this matter that don’t mention other products. They just simply state the facts about the controversy surrounding BP FCLO. Does posting nasty comments back make you feel any better about yourself?

      • Are you kidding? You should be questioning Sally Fallon and the financial gain WAPF receive from their association with GP!!!!!!!

        • According to Fallon, “WAPF received $20,000 from Green Pasture in 2014 in sponsorship fees for exhibiting at our conferences, plus $360 for an ad and $250 for a membership, for a total of $20,610, about 1.1 percent of our yearly budget.

          This income from Green Pasture has nothing to do with our endorsement of its products, and WAPF clearly does not need the company’s money. We endorsed these products before Green Pasture became a sponsoring exhibitor. Our rule is that we do not allow anyone to exhibit unless they have a product we approve of.”

          As far as rancidity, I would believe Chris and other experts who say that DHA and EPA levels would be low if it were rancid.

          • Josh what about ‘personal gain’? It’s hard to believe that Masterjohn received “a lot” of free bottles of FCLO over many years but that Sally had to purchase hers (at a discount)?

            • Jen, I hear ya. FWIW, I don’t think Sally is lying about that. She strikes me as a “solid on her word” type of person. In my opinion, it is now looking poorly upon both Masterjohn and Kresser to have taken free product from GP. It also looks poorly upon GP to have given so many free bottles of their FCLO to these folks. Perhaps a bottle or three to encourage key spokespeople to try their product, but not “…a large amount of free cod liver oil and skate liver oil over the years,” to quote Masterjohn.

              I still like GP products, because there is nothing else like them on the market. I feel better when I use them. I have heard and read mixed reviews on Dave Wetzel’s business practices and if half of them are true, hopefully he will take this brew-ha-ha and clean up some of his business manners.

    • That crossed my mind and I pray it’s not true. And I agree, the other product didn’t need to be mentioned. On the other side of it, though, he’s aware that there are people who need to take cod liver oil, and will be wondering what to do now. Actually, I feel he was trying to defend GP, but the fact that he receives a commission is a problem for me. He was transparent about it. Let’s believe the best.

  62. I’ve been taking the GP FCLO for a few years now and have *never* received a bottle that smelled ‘off’ or tasted awful. In fact I look forward to taking it! Yeah I know, that puts me in the minority!! I always get the chocolate flavour (tried the cinnamon one once but it tasted ‘chemically’.. but not ‘off’ or rancid). I’m hoping the reports come out positive since I’ve still got 1.5 bottles in my fridge. As for health effects, I haven’t noticed anything different; but then again, how many supps actually have a discernible effect? A few do, yes (like HCI, DIM, Maca) but with most others I don’t feel any different, but trust they’re still having positive / preventative effects.

  63. OK, so I am still getting zero response after two months… Chris, you did a great job, but I am very disappointed in you. There is a clear bias in your article, and that bias has caused you to misrepresent yourself on this issue. I have posted questions and challenges to you on FCLO for two months now, and you have not answered any of them. You seem like a great guy, but this puts you in a very bad light. Please consider these points:

    1. Innocent until proven guilty. We don’t say ‘He might have killed her’ when we are debating guilt. To imply guilt is to reveal prejudice and create momentum towards that point of view. Innocent until proven guilty. Period. There is no proof that Green Pasture (GP) FCLO is rancid. Period. You did a good job of invalidating Dr. Daniel’s testing, and then you still said ‘the product might be rancid.’ The test does not show it, but it might be? Mind boggling. On top of that, you are someone with first hand experience that the GP FCLO helps people. Absolutely no doubt about it. Your own customers are disagreeing with your negative assertions. The evidence in favor of Green Pasture within your personal sphere is overwhelmingly positive, and yet you say ‘it might be rancid.’ Not acceptable from anyone, let alone a professional in the field that blogs to a large audience.

    2. Arrogance breeds Ignorance. You do a wonderful job of hinting at the complexity of the vitamin D testing issue Chris. But you stopped way short. There are hundreds of vitamin D structures in nature; the complexities of which cannot even be known, let alone discussed with any certainty. Similar for vitamin A. Dave Wetzel is great about presenting this type of information, and yet, here we have all these medical experts that somehow skirt that reality. Credit to you for mentioning it, and for referencing Chris Masterjohn on the issue, but it needs to be brought much more into the forefront. As you did point out – testing for D3 and D2 in the products is problematic, as the bioactive nature FCLO cannot be fully understood or measured. But you are still way short, and you do not point to any of the vast information that Dave Wetzel has posted on this topic from himself and other experts. So I will point you to it. Read these posts on Green Pasture and then talk to me about testing:
    http://www.greenpasture.org/utility/showArticle/index.cfm?objectID=7004
    http://www.greenpasture.org/utility/showArticle/index.cfm?objectID=7008

    3. Bioactive. This is such an important concept. We are still woefully ignorant of life, and yet each generation is arrogant enough to think they have all the answers. The great beauty and genius in the Green Pasture products is that they keep it natural and bioactive. They promote natural, organic processes (fermentation), keeping the product as natural and as bioactive as possible. Dave constantly points out that we are not capable yet of fully understanding the nutritional profiles of such foods. The product actually gets stronger over time, as it is active. This idea of ‘fresh’ that you keep associating with EVCLO is irrelevant, and it is inferior to the FCLO in every way (IMO). The fact that you try to imply a fresh smell or taste is somehow healthier is shocking Chris. You know very well that your statement is false, as fermented foods are the healthiest in the world, and it is often the most horrid smelling and tasting foods that are the most nutritious. You know this Chris with absolute certainty. Insinuating otherwise is not acceptable.

    3. Variability. Why say that their processing may have changed? You introduce more unfounded concern?! You know – and you stated in your article – that it is a highly bioactive product, and thus it will change over time. You also know, and often discuss, that we are all different, and so our reactions will vary over time and from person to person. Absolutely no reason at all for you to introduce the idea of changed manufacturing processes. Do the research before you try to cast more doubts in public.

    4. Transparency. You tried to imply that GP is not transparent by pointing out several times that EVCLO is? Seriously? There is far more detailed information on Green Pasture’s website, and you must know this, since you have used their products for years with great success. Your implications about transparency are patently false. Why would you even say such a thing? Sure the EVCLO site is filled with polished marketing crap, but it is dwarfed by the volume of raw data that Dave Wetzel puts out on his site. By raw, I mean blog posts, conversations with customers, Q&A, and even audio. Not only from Dave Wetzel, but from other doctors and experts in the field, speaking for, with, and even against him. Green Pasture is far more transparent, and they deserve respect and acknowledgement for that. You were duped by EVCLO sales and marketing people at Rosita.

    4. Bias. OK, so you do mention that you get a commission from Rosita EVCLO. But you didn’t mention it directly, and not at all in that article. Not very transparent of you. It became obvious to me as I read your article though, and we can find the disclaimer on your website that mentions commissions. Even so, there is no reason for you to compromise yourself Chris. You are better than this.

    5. Testing. No Chris, more testing is not the answer. The links above already make that clear, as well as your own comments. Common sense is the answer. We have a huge ‘live trial’ that has been going on for years on a global scale. Green Pasture FCLO is sold and respected around the world, and the accolades and evidence are non-stop. There is no single test or group of tests that will invalidate that historical data.

    6. Rancidity. There is confusion here (and abuse) with the term rancid. We generally use it to mean that something has ‘gone bad’ and is not fit for consumption. However, that is not the technical definition, and is not used by everyone in that context. When something is rancid, it has what is generally considered a foul smell and taste, and is in a state of decomposition, or similarly bioactive. All fermented food fall under this technical definition, but not the common definition.

    Obviously the tests do not help, as ‘experts’ cannot agree on the meaning of the various ‘markers’ that we attempt to associate with rancidity. And as you noted, even the biased report and testing from Dr. Daniel’s report cannot condemn the GP FCLO as rancid. Statistics never lie, but liars use statistics.

    Thus, FCLO, natto, kimchi, etc. are technically rancid, but highly desirable for consumption, and therefore not rancid by common definition.

    7. Cod. You blindly jumped on the bandwagon and supported Dr. Daniel’s false statement. Just look up Cod and you will see that Alaska Pollock is Cod. There is no single fish called ‘Cod’ because Cod is a family of fish. This is common knowledge. The GP FCLO is absolutely from Cod, and there is no question about it. The DNA reports confirm that 100%.

    Hey, FCLO is not for everyone, so there will always be naysayers. But not everybody loves chocolate either.

    You owe Green Pasture an apology, and you owe yourself, your clients, and your audience more. You’re a good guy. Perhaps you were a bit starstruck by Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s name on the report. She duped you and many others. Make it right Chris.

    • I do question what your motivations are Victor? Are you connected to GP? Or perhaps you are just coat tailing Chris’ blog to get attention for your own. I find your demanding approach and always needing a response from Chris quite narcassistic.

      • I have no connection to GP, and I have nothing to be gained by people visiting my blogs. I have an IT company, but I do not link to that because it is irrelevant. My selfish motivation is to protect the Green Pasture products from alteration, as they have been very effective for me.

        Furthermore, I see an innocent man being wrongly accused, and I see a great healer (Chris) being led astray. I see people turning away from a product that may have been of great benefit to them.

        FCLO is not for everyone, and Dave Wetzel has no plans for global domination. He is just a small farmer that is trying to preserve some ancient traditions for the benefit of his family and others. He also an expert in the field of nutrition and contributes a tremendous amount of knowledge to our community.

        I was a fan of Dr. Daniel, and have listened to her speak on various podcasts, as I am a huge advocate of the Weston Price Foundation (and she is their VP). But for me, her report is obviously driven by ulterior motives, as the facts do not add up. I see her actions as a terrible betrayal, and I am moved to defend those that are affected by it.

        If I am wrong on anything I have posted here or elsewhere, I hope to be educated. Like everyone else here, I am seeking truth.

        • Victor, you say you are seeking the truth, but all you want to do is shut Dr Kaayla and Chris down. If you really want the truth why are you not damanding full transparency from your cult leader Dave?

          • No, in fact, I want to hear from Chris, which is why I am being so aggressive here. Chris is an intelligent and rational voice that has been misled.

            But yes, I certainly do want to shut down Dr. Daniel, as she is no longer a trusted source. Her report is well beneath all professional standards and reeks of ulterior motive.

            Dave has always been transparent, which is evidenced by the huge volume of information on his site. Granted, he may not have the most beautiful or easy to use site, but the info is there. And the few trade secrets (fermentation process) that he holds close are more than reasonable, as he is still more transparent than any other CLO manufacturer.

            • Victor, I am new to Chris’ site here. I have never met you before, but I want to say I think the essence of what you are asking Chris is warranted. I believe you when you say you have no other motive than protecting a company you believe in. My own interpretation of Dr. Daniel’s report was one to mislead consumers and smear the reputation of GP. What she has to gain from this, one can only guess.

              I think the points you call out to Chris deserve attention from him. I see that you hold high standards for yourself and expect the same from people you like and respect. I hope he at least reads your questions and writes some sort of response to them, even if he doesn’t reference you directly.

      • Interesting Truth Seeker… you have many technical responses disagreeing with others throughout these comments, and yet you have not challenged or opposed anything I have written. Your snide remark is a pretty good endorsement of my opinions. Thank you 🙂

        Oh, I have no vested interest in GP. And today’s response from Sally Fallon should put this all to rest 🙂

        • I think there are provocateurs on these sites…you seem to be asking reasonable questions about cod liver oil and to repeat what someone else said

          Joan Grinzi, Executive Director of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, says: “It’s taken us over a year to thoroughly search the archives. We can now state that Dr. Price never mentioned fermented cod liver oil and never recommended a product like it.” FCLO is neither a true “traditional” cod liver oil nor the “high vitamin cod liver oil” recommended by Dr. Price.
          Dr. Price pointed out the danger of rancidity in the cod liver oils of his day, and he cited other researchers from the 1920s and 1930s who had “called attention to the importance of considering the toxic substances in cod liver oils as possible explanation for differences in the results obtained by different workers in vitamin studies.” Clinicians observed “severe and striking” effects, most notably “serious structural damage” to the heart and kidneys.”

    • FYI, fermented cod liver oil means the fish livers were fermented, releasing the oil. The oil isn’t extracted and then fermented; the livers are fermented as a means to extract the oil.

  64. Great article, very meticulous as usual. However I take the Green Pastures FCLO/butter oil mix and would be reluctant to switch to the Rosita–no butter oil, right?

    • Jenny, Kitsa Yanniotis from Kitsa’s Kitchen stocks the Rosita cod liver oil in Australia. Her email is : [email protected]. GPA Wholefoods stocks the Green Pastures products (www.gpawholefoods.com.au), you can order it online. I have switched to the Rosita product after reading a lot of comments on Green Pastures not being very open on questions about their products. I honestly can’t tell the difference between the two brands. The Rosita one, being unflavoured, is a bit harder to take, but I mix it in a little bit of kefir and it’s not too bad. I definitely believe that cod liver oil has helped me with my health (better skin, more energy). I’m 43 and planning to get pregnant, so I definitely will continue taking it. Thanks Chris for the update on this. I find your articles and podcast the best in this area, I trust the information provided and the fact that you will come back with updates, when things are changing, as it’s always the case in the area of nutrition.

  65. I bought FCLO in liquid form about a year ago. I had several doses and found it to be dreadful, after taste and it repeated on me. After reading this article makes me think my reaction was right. I’m very reluctant to try anymore Codliver oil brands even this new one on the market who knows what they will find in future I just don’t trust big companies anymore and I think I will rely on the sun for my vit D hit.

  66. On page 51 of Dr. Daniel’s report, she says that “FCLO tested low in pesticides, heavy metals (except arsenic), and other toxins.” That would suggest the source of fish is clean, at least.

  67. Since you’re on the topic of CLO, I’d like to ask if you have any knowledge of/information about the Omega Cure fish oil which I’ve been using for several years. Company is Omega Innovations. I’ve not been able to find any reviews/testing.

  68. Gravlax is a fermented fish, fish sauce is a fermented fish and these are traditional. Glycogen is a mammalian form of glucose and is stored in the liver.

    I love my FCLO and HVBO, and now I know much more about it than before, who new Alaskan Pollock is a Cod. I am sure Dave will be changing his description to reflect this understanding.

    I want to know who Dr. Daniels money for the test came from. Follow the money as Sally said in “The Oiling Of America”.

    • Ann, I think Gravlax is cured fish, the recipes I’ve seen needs sugar and salt added. I don’t know about fish sauce, it sure taste yummy to me, but I’ve never heard of people claiming it’s healthy too. Funny I too used the “follow the money logic” on this issue, and I think Sally Fallon is likely to have a lot more to gain than Dr. kaayla Daniel. Dr. Daniel knew she would be facing opposition and come under severe scrutiny when she went public with this and if she really took money from competitor then she knew she’s risking her reputation and her career. I don’t claim to know who’s right and who’s wrong, but if I apply Occam’s razor’s principle that the simplest explanation is probably right, then I would say Sally Fallon and GP got a lot of explaining to do.

    • Gravlax is not fermented, it’s cured with salt (and the process is fairly brief). “Surströmming,” on the other hand is fermented herring and considered a delicacy in northern Sweden. I’m from Stockholm, and have only had it once, but it is very definitely fermented and considered one of the foulest-smelling foods in the world.

      Wikipedia article about surströmming: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surstr%C3%B6mming

      Very funny video from BuzzFeed featuring Americans trying it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_haw_YDC_zo

    • Exactly! i read something the other day that Is important in this discussion. Is it true that Fallon’s Westin Price Foundation takes a lot of money from Green Pastures. Couldn’t this influence their recommendation of FCLO?

    • Your point about following the money is the exact reason we’ve stopped our FCLO use. WAPF’s biggest financial contributor is Green Pastures. Talk about following the money! They have every reason to be dishonest.

    • The thing that confuses me is that Kaayla Daniels is a longtime WAPF supporter. She has bucked “the system out there” for a long time. I was surprised that it would be someone who I would expect to support WAPF and any of the connections they have. So, she must have had some pretty big concerns to “in fight”

  69. I used Green Pastures FCLO during a 4-wee Real Food challenge in 2013. My diet was mostly paleo. It was success, judging by
    1. weight loss
    2. improved digestion and overall well-being
    3. inches loss
    4. significant positive changes in blood test numbers, cholesterol etc.
    So, while I might try the Rosita brand sometime, I’m ok with sticking to Green Pastures.

  70. I started with GP FCLO about 5 years ago. I really disliked the consistency and the flavors, but took it daily. It helped my dry skin and cracked heels from the inside out. It’s expensive though and was mail-order-only at that time, so one day I bought Nordic Naturals from my local Whole Foods. It was cheaper, easier to swallow and seemed to do the same job the FCLO had done. When I ran out of Nordic Naturals I bought Carlson’s for the same reasons I had tried Nordic Naturals. Carlson’s also did the same job as FCLO. One day at the WAPF conference in 2012 after having been away from FCLO for many months I took some. My throat burned and I coughed uncontrollably for 30 minutes afterward. My husband had the same reaction. Something had obviously changed with the FCLO. We then started buying the capsules to avoid the burn. But I never noticed a benefit from FCLO after that point. I stopped CLO altogether because I thought maybe somehow I had become “immune” to its benefits. That same day at WAPF, I remember testing some EVCLO at a booth and the person there was explaining to me about FCLO being rancid and that’s why it burned. I said I would keep an eye out for his product once it went to market. I liked the sample of EVCLO and I do believe the booth was Rosita’s. I’m glad one can now purchase Rosita’s. I’ll be giving it a try. Probably not going back to FCLO.

    • I’m not sure if this also applies to FCLO, but look up high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It burns in your throat, very similar to the FCLO. I have tasted very high quality EVOO (with a high anti-oxidant score) and it caused me to cough for some time afterwards. At least in EVOO, the burning sensation is associated with high antioxidant content.

      The cinnamon flavor FCLO especially burned my throat. I switched to the Orange flavor and then the unflavored and those two burned far less. Cinnamon is a “hot” herb afterall.

      But my main gripe is why any company (Rosita in this example) feels the need to bash another company’s product. It is very poor form. It is low-handed and disgraceful. Companies ideally should promote their product for all the virtues of their products, how good they are, test results, color, etc. and let consumers draw their own conclusions.

      As far as I know, Green Pastures has done no similar bashing of the Rosita brand. They *have* educated folks on the intensive processing and synthetic vitamins of nearly all other commercial CLO (Rosita is excluded from this, because they don’t use the same intensive processing methods).

      In other words, it’s not just if you win the game, it’s how you play it. Do you play fair and honorably or do you throw mud and cheat?

      • Exactly,I am sure there are enough customers to go around for BOTH companies without one having to take out the competition in a smear campaign. As for me, this whole thing against Green Pastures stinks and I have stayed with their product. I will not be trying the Rosita product because I don’t trust a company that would handle their PR in this way instead of like you said, the merits of their own product, instead of tearing down another company’s product, to build up their’s.

  71. I’ve been taking Green Pastures FCLO for 10 years. I’m soon to be 69, and have never had any kind of problem/reaction from the FCLO, and I’m the healthiest senior I know. I’m going to continue what works for me.

  72. I have been taking GP FCLO for years and it never occurred to me (until I read Kaayla’s report), that all fermented products that I have ever tasted or made either taste sour (sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha), salty (fish sauce, cheese) or alcoholic/yeasty. This is the flavor of something preserved by good bacteria/yeast.

    FCLO tastes…fishy, strong, oily. But not salty, sour or alcoholic/yeasty.

  73. My experience with Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil: I decided to make a change after 6 months of extreme eczema rashes covering my body. I ordered 2 bottles of Green Pasture’s Non-Flavored FCLO. Three weeks ago I began taking 4 capsules daily. Skin that was completely raw, red, bleeding, itchy and inflamed is now covered in a healthy matrix of new tissue with just minimal dry skin over top. I would try out Rosita’s EVCLO, too, as it sounds awesome, but I believe I am allergic to Rosemary.

  74. Excellent update Chris. FWIW, here is my N=1 outcome: placebo effect or not I couldn’t say, but I tend to recover very quickly when I take GP FCLO – especially if I’m feeling a little less than 100%, but the “precautionary principal” applies for now and I’ll be switching to Rosita until GP responds. I believe FCLO is an essential food to help us ameliorate some of the ill effects brought about by modern industrial living. Please continue to help us sort this out.

    As a side note, I was a State regulatory investigator for many years. I can say from first hand experience that the current degree of consumer protection is utterly dismal (at best) – more like virtually non-existent. As long a producer doesn’t poison someone (and sometimes not even then), the penalties in most states for making false claims or selling adulterated products are so paltry that they are a complete joke. Cases are routinely settled for minuscule monetary fines that are simply baked into the cost of doing business. The USA desperately needs legitimate oversight of food producers to ensure claims aren’t falsified and that products are not adulterated. It is pitiful that it has come down to sending samples to labs to see what we’re actually buying and consuming. Makes me sick.

  75. The only Cod Liver Oil I use which doesn’t cause an after burp and tastes great is the Lemon Flavored, no Vitamin D added liquid Cod Liver Oil by Nordic Naturals. I have tried many great products but they all cause me to burp after.

  76. I tried Green Pastures FCLO for one full year, on the recommendation of a healthcare practitioner. After the year, I stopped because it made absolutely no difference in my health or how I felt.

  77. Thank you so much for this! We need people like you to make sure companies are selling products that do what they say, and are not just out for the money. We as consumers blindly put our trust in these companies…hoping they are being honest. I use green pastures FCLO everyday and it’s not cheap. I hope I’m not being fooled. Anywho, keep doing what you do, Chris! Blessings.

  78. Hi Chris,

    I am 7 1/2 months pregnant (32 years old) and I’ve been taking two capsules of the non-gelatin GP FCLO preconception and throughout my pregnancy. With this new informantion at hand, I would like to switch to the EVCLO brand you suggested (until we know more from GP). I noticed on Rosita’s website, it does not mention Vitamin K as an ingredient. Do you know why this is? Do we still get Vitamin K out of the EVCLO? How many teaspoons do you recommend for pregnancy? (Extended question…should taking FCLO/EVCLO plus consuming a couple tablespoons of grassfed butter a day during pregnancy ptevent the need for the Vitamin K shot at birth?) Thank you, thank you!

    • Hi! I took 5-10 caps of FCLO per day through my pregnancy along with some HVBO and organic alfalfa caps. We opted to avoid the K2 shot and my son had absolutely no sign of jaundice and was incredibly healthy. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    • Hi Cara, congratulations on your pregnancy! I just had my third baby two months ago. My midwife had me take alfalfa capsules starting at 36 weeks, progressively increasing the dose, to help with blood loss and clotting. Alfalfa is rich in vitamin K. I had very little bleeding with delivery and recovered quickly. Good luck to you!

  79. Chris:
    Please allow me to both thank you as well as professionally commend you for your excellent response to Kayla Daniel’s report. Your substantive response and very balanced objectivity is truly appreciated and moreover a valuable contribution to the wellness community.

    While I am optimistic that the issues raised will result in quite a bit of good ultimately I did not want to miss the opportunity to highlight the extraordinary and valuable service you provide to so many.

    Please continue to keep us all informed as many are understandably very eager to receive updates on what is learned.

    Slainte,
    Sean O’Mara, MD, JD

  80. Hi Chris,
    I’ve read about the problem with mercury in cod liver fish oil. EVCLO states that it is “real Norwegian cod liver oil” and my understanding is that it is retrieved from cleaner waters. Do you have any concern regarding mercury levels in cod liver oil?
    Thank you.

    • Mercury is not water soluble, so it will never be a problem in cod liver oil, or any fish oil for that matter. What you should be concerned with are fat soluble contaminants like PCBs, Dioxins, pesticides, etc. They actually concentrate into the oil, particularly cod liver oil, unless less stripped out with purification processes.

  81. I am wondering if you take the cod liver oil do you still need to take another source of Omega Three or can you just take the cod liver oil? I cannot swallow those giant pills!!!

  82. Travelling up the coast of Norway in June I was given some cod liver oil. No repeating at all. I had to give up Green Pasture cod liver oil because of the repeating.

  83. Hi Chris, I’ve been taking the FCLO for awhile now. What always struck me as odd is that I keep the oil refrigerated and when I take it each morning it’s luke warm at best. My question: Is luke warm out of the fridge normal?

    Thanks, Darlene

    • I would get a refrigerator thermometer. Nothing coming out of a fridge should be tepid.

      If it was kept in a door rather than a shelf, it will probably not be as cold there. I would not store milk in the door.

    • I’ve wondered the exact same thing. My FCLO is always luke warm and I keep it at the back of the fridge with my raw milk that needs to stay right at 32 degrees to keep fresh. It’s always seemed odd to me as well.

      • Does it need to be refrigerated? It doesn’t come in refrigerated container. I have some that I’ve had for quite some time from my shipment from radiantlife and I just left it in the box it came in. I figure it’s fermented, so how can it spoil? Am I wrong? Please advise.

  84. I took FCLO when I first learned about it, a few years ago. I did not immediately connect the ensuing chronic throat irritation with taking this until after some time when I had a severe burning in my throat at the time of actually taking it. Then I started to wonder if this was why my throat was inflamed. I stopped taking it and the thrat irritation went away. I also learned of EVCLO and bought this which I have no problem with. The taste of the FCLO was truly disgusting.

  85. Of course, because I just ordered a bottle of cinnamon tingle 3 days ago.
    And response to my question (email) regarding spoilage according to manuf date was as follows:

    “All of our oils are very stable and will not be adversely affected by ambient temperatures.

    The fermented oils will continue to digest, or change, over time which may change the color, taste, smell or texture. Refrigeration will slow this process, but all of our oils are very stable and do not require refrigeration; even after opening. We do not believe these oils are even capable of going bad or becoming rancid.

    Previously we used an expiration date that was dated two years out from the date of manufacture.

    With best wishes,

    Green Pasture”

    • The content of the email is quite disturbing. These oils are inherently unstable, that means that if they can’t go rancid, they already are rancid or there is so much preservative in them that they are non-functional.

  86. I tried several flavors of Green Pasture’s FCLO and always had the same result – acid reflux, nausea, headache, and just over all not well shortly after consuming. Believing this was a safe product that was good for me, it took me a little while to pinpoint the FCLO as the culprit. Now I stick with Carlson Norwegian CLO and have no problems.

  87. I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and GAPS Diet Practitioner with a private practice here in the Bay Area. I have had Green Pasture Products FCLO capsules in my supplement stock for the past 5 years and have been supplying it for many of my clients. Many of us were waiting for your take on all of this Chris, and I am so glad you posted this response. In addition to my clients, my husband and I have been taking the Green Pasture Products FCLO capsules for at least 5 years and we both feel it has improved our overall health. That said, we do not take large amounts of it – no more than two capsules a day, and we often skip our daily dose, and in addition we take a 2 day break from it every few weeks. I do not believe the GP FCLO is rancid – if it was, I feel that my husband and I would have a noticeable reaction to it, as we are both very aware of our bodies and eat a very clean, well balanced diet. We are both very healthy, have excellent blood lipid numbers, and have no need for any type of prescription medication. Kaayla’s findings are interesting, but I am in agreement with your stance that further investigation is needed from all parties involved, and I will continue to take this product with general confidence. Continuing to recommend it for my clients is another matter, so for now, I will hold off on that practice until we get more answers. We are all on the edge of our seats I’m sure!

  88. I’ve been taking 5 ml of GP FCLO per day for a couple of years based on your recommendations here, Chris. I also supplement with additional Vitamin D daily in addition to the FCLO. I have not had any issues attributable to the FCLO other than very rapid growth of hair and nails.

    I will continue to monitor your site to see where this topic goes.

  89. When I took FCLO in even the smallest amounts (like 1/4 tsp) I found I had scary rage. It was horrible. I stopped taking it for awhile and tried a small amount again to the same reaction. So, I stopped taking it. I asked around, and no one heard of that issue. I thought there was something wrong with me for a food that is supposed to be so good for me to cause such an emotional state in a normally calm, easy-going personality. I wonder if the EPA/DHA ratio is to blame, the Polluck instead of Cod, or what. This report helps me understand that it’s not just me.

    • I am interested in knowing if you used unflavored FCLO or a flavored form. The flavorings can trigger the type of reaction you describe.

      • Initially, it was the cinnamon tingle, and I later saw that they used Cassia cinnamon, and stopped that, since I get a heightened heartbeat and sweat with Cassia Cinnamon. But I also had their unflavored and reacted similarly.

        • This is an interesting reaction – I’ve heard that those with “pyroluria” need to be careful with essential fatty acid supplements (from any source) due to difficulties metabolizing same. I wonder if that’s what your rage is about?

          • That is possible. Thanks for opening a window. My 23andme results do say I have the TT pair for that gene/snp. I do have other symptoms similar to pyroluria as well.

            • Renee, do you recall the SNP rs number of the gene you are referring to (for pyroluria)? I’d like to look at my own 23andme report and see if I’ve got that defect.

                • I don’t want to burst your bubble, but I don’t think that the mutation in the NBPF3 gene can account for all pyroluria. That gene occurs with a frequency of 37% in the general population! while pyroluria is around 10%. Other factors, more than likely including other genes as well as environmental insults, must play a role. People with the NBPF3 gene do seem to tend towards lower levels of vitamin B6 in their blood, so definitely could be contributing to pyroluria. I couldn’t find any specific studies trying to link pyroluria with that particular gene either.

  90. If you read the Rosita website, and it’s a lot of reading, you will come across a bit of info that is found only rarely on other sites that explain the cod liver fermentation process. These livers are fermented not because it was the best method but because it was the easiest and least labor intensive method for extracting the oil from a large quantity of cod livers. The rancidity is generally not from the oil itself (as long as it’s done correctly), but from the burst hepatic cells (liver cells). Please see this page for Rosita’s info: http://www.rositarealfoods.com/cod-liver-oil/2-artisan-extra-virgin-cod-liver-oil

    Take a look at this excerpt from http://blog.ppnf.org/cod-liver-oil-a-historical-perspective/
    “As early as 1841, questions were being asked about the differences between various types. That year, John Hughes Bennett produced a treatise on cod liver oil, in which he described four types of oil (white, yellow, red, and brown) and their traditional preparation methods. (Bennett JH.) Pale (light-colored) oils—those most commonly marketed for internal use—were obtained by cooking fresh livers with water at low temperatures, after which the oil was strained and filtered. The Scots macerated the livers in cold water, then heated them just until the pale oil separated out. In Ireland, the livers were heated in iron pots, then the pale oil was expressed. The process was repeated with the remains, resulting in a secondary brown oil. Bennett’s inclusion of testimonies on the benefits of cod liver oil from European doctors has been credited with furthering its acceptance among the population at large.”

    “Dunglison described several methods of extraction, one of which involved slicing fresh livers and simply exposing them to the natural warmth of the sun, thus causing the first oil to run out. This is what we would call “extra virgin oil” today and, like olive oil, it was of varying shades of yellow and varying degrees of transparency. The clearest type of oil, wrote Dunglison, was ”more used [as a remedial agent] than the darker variety, although several physicians affirm, that they have found the latter more efficacious.” (Dunglison R.) He added, “If the livers are running gradually to putrefaction, the oil becomes of a chestnut brown colour…; and, again, after the oil has been obtained by the above methods, some can still be procured by boiling the livers.” (Dunglison R., pages 339-340.)

    Dunglison explained that the properties of the oil were said to differ among the varieties and stated, “According to Messrs. Gouzee and Gmelin the brightest oil ought to be employed internally; but MM. Trousseau and Pidoux think that the limpid [clear] oil has no medical virtue. They prefer either the second [the secondary pressing, or brown variety], or that which is obtained by ebullition [boiling], and has a disagreeable acrid taste.” (Dunglison R., Page 455.)”

    My take? It’s all good as long as it’s real cod liver oil, not refined to death and all the vitamin A removed and then added back as synthetic palmitate. I cannot stand the fermented stuff, but I do believe that it’s good FCLO because I used it for a year with no inflammation issues such as I get from the rancid wrong oils. I use Rosita, which is expensive but smells and tastes mild, so do what works for you.
    Good Health All!

  91. I’d like to say that I have had concerns to the point that we stopped taking the Fermented Cod Liver Oil. We’ve used it for about 4 years and this time I actually ordered it from Amazon and received it with a date that was past the date on the bottle. Upon calling Green Pastures they said the date on the bottle is the packaged date and would be good for 2 years past the date on the bottle. It is really expensive. I have 4 bottles of it, but intend to discard it……..sad to say!

  92. I have been using FCLO since 2009 and have also been suggesting it to my clients and students since then as well. I have seen health improvements in myself and others. Interestingly my 25(OH) Vitamin D3 levels increased to 40 pg/ml but my 1,25(OH) Vitamin D went to 85.3 pg/ml in April 2013. This is the active form of D, and since I know I was not getting much sun then, there were no changes to my diet nor was I taking other D supplements It can only be attributed to the 6 FCLO capsules (equivalent to about 1 tsp) I was taking daily at that time. I have since reduced my dosage to 2-4 capsules daily and my D levels came down to 61.2 in August, with daily sun exposure. I will continue to use and recommend FCLO capsules to my clients unless the research shows problems with the current product. I do find that capsules are easier for most people to take than a liquid and would consider switching to the Rosita product if they had an encapsulated version.

  93. Very interesting reports and questions raised, Chris.

    As for just eating fish instead, I eat fish every other day (usually water-packed sardines, occasionally water-packed tuna, and rarely salmon), 3 eggs every other day that I’m not eating fish, 2-3 avocados per week, 1 or 2 T. or handfuls of nuts/seeds daily, 1/2 teaspoon of coconut manna/crème occasionally, olives rarely, some California Olive Ranch brand EVOO, and avoid heated oils in food preparation almost entirely. At age 63 and based on the above eating routine for at least 2 years prior, I had lipids testing that showed my Omega 6:3 ratio as 3:1, with DHA and EPA also ideal. I’m 65 this year and have continued that routine as it feels best for me personally.

    • Carol,
      Most canned tuna has soy oil, even the water type. A few use olive oil instead.

      Plus tuna tends to have too much mercury except for a few types so please be cautious.

  94. Chris, How depressing to read, can’t anything in the health world be EASY?! My kids (3 and 2 yrs old) line up like birds in the morning to take their FCLO/Butter Oil Gel. I think it smells rancid but figured that was because it’s a fish product and fermented. I’d LOVE to just go with REAL FOOD vs. a supplement. Specifically, how much liver and fish should we eat per week to get what our family needs? What’s your favorite liver? Chicken, beef etc…?

    • Hi Leslie,

      If you eat 3-6 ounces of liver a week, and eat about 12-16 ounces of cold-water, fatty fish, you probably don’t need CLO. Of course you’ll need to have your vitamin D levels tested, because each individual is different in terms of their conversion of sunlight to D and their absorption of D from food and supplements. All animal livers are beneficial; chicken liver is a bit higher in folate and I believe beef liver is higher in A (going from memory on the A content).

      • Your opinions, as usual, are not supported by science. Why not poll 1000 people that have been eating for twenty years as you suggest in this comment and give us the details on how many have clogged arteries?

  95. I had to stop FCLO after nausea every time I took it in spite of having food in my stomach. I switched to EVCLO this past winter. It’s much better and I often add a drop of essential oil to cover the fish taste (although admittedly it’s very fresh-like). That said I’ve often been wary of any fish oils when people like Jaminet (and Masterjohn?) advise caution against fish oils. We try to get our vitamin A more from desiccated liver or when I cook it (not my favorite food) and eating whole fish.

    • The nausea is caused directly by consuming rancid oil. Fermentation of oil is generally a bad idea. Also, EPA and DHA do NOT go down when a product is peroxidized. You can test the same oil at the time it is opened, and months later while yielding nearly the same results for EPA and DHA.

      • Corinna is correct. The EPA and DHA levels will barely do down when primary or secondary oxidation occur. However, some of the fatty acids will indeed cleave themselves from their glycerol backbone, resulting in a higher quantity of free fatty acids. A high FFA content is indeed a sign of oxidative degradation.

  96. I have never tried the fermented cod liver oil. This is partly because I failed to grasp the reason for the fermentation. It was partly because of the cost, and my uneasiness about the potential for harmful levels of unwanted organisms.

    When offered a 50% discount, I did try the extra virgin cod liver oil, it tasted good — fresh and fishy, as expected. I also periodically taste the contents of the other cod liver oils and the omega 3 fish oil supplements that I take.

  97. This has LAWSUIT written all over it. The “tests” are irrelevant. What are the lot numbers of the samples? Were they adulterated in any way? Is there possible collusion with a competing product company?

    This is fear mongering, yelling fire in a crowded theater. To name a particular company, damage their reputation and scaring people when nobody has been harmed is probably illegal. This has done untold damage to Green Pasture, which has a perfect safety record.

    As a Board member of both WAPF and FTCLDF, she should have followed the way things are done, which is by vote. The vote to re-test GP products was 7-1 against. She went about it on her own, then went public with a “shocking” e-book.

    I’m pretty sure she should be sued and investigated for collusion with whomever sponsored this “report”. It is meant to scare people away from GP and get them to buy another product, not investigative journalism.

    • I’m confused — how are the test results “irrelevant?” How doy t you know she doesn’t have the lot numbers, etc.?

      An organization like WAPF has the right to pursue research in determining if they will recommend a product. If she gave the board the opportunity to do so, and they chose to pass, does that mean that she personally has no right?

      If her goal was to promote an alternate product, would she have taken this to the board first? Yes? No? Maybe.

      And if the board had decided yes, to pursue the research, and the results were concerning (which they are) — would you still be upset?

      If she had the tests done on her own, what’s the problem? The results are what they are, regardless of who pursued them. And in this case, they are concerning, and the community knows to seek more information, or to make their own choices.

      There are no grounds for a lawsuit, as she hasn’t falsified any information, simply published the findings.

      • It’s called Conflict of Interest.

        “Shocking truth about fermented cod liver oil”. Does this sound like a scientific publication?

        The way this could have been done is 1) taken the information privately to the Boards and discuss it with other Board members. 2) Send in various samples of different CLO brands, not single out one company and tarnish it’s name over possible issues that could be answered before making a public e-book that has obvious commercial connections. This could have been released with company names left out while comparing each brand X, Y, and Z for the results of rancidity and other named tests.

        It was not objective. I can only surmise there is an ulterior motive here with intent to push people away from GP products and toward another product. That’s malice, if so.

      • Well, for starters, she WAS already promoting an alternate product, so apparently she WOULD take it to the board first anyway. As for “the results being what they are,” keep in mind that she cherry-picked which results to give to you. Labs #1 and #3 said this, labs #2 and #3 said that… you read the results she wanted you to read and not the ones she didn’t. While I don’t necessarily agree that this is lawsuit material, I am concerned that so many people are making decisions based off of this biased “report.”

      • The board of WAPF *did* vote to test the FCLO for rancidity in 2014 and it came back as not rancid. What Dr. Daniels wanted was for them to test it *again* and then they voted no:

        http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/questions-and-answers-about-fermented-cod-liver-oil-fclo/

        One of the main problems I have with Dr. Daniels report is she is hiding information. She not only blocks out any identifying information of the labs but also refuses to disclose who paid for the lab tests, other than Dr. Ron. Blocking out information of who the labs are is one step away from rumor-mongering. Who are these labs? Are they trust-worthy? Do they have a good track record? In the WAPF report above, they give full disclosure to their their financial arrangement with Green Pastures (GP contributes a total of 1.1% of the WAPF annual budget) as well the the name of the lab and the full test results.

    • WAPF has every reason in the world to promote Green Pastures as safe. They receive most of their funding from them. If every whistle blower was treated with the same aggression, nothing would ever be revealed or questioned.

      • Sorry, but Kaayla Daniel does not qualify as a “whistleblower” in this situation. She is just a person making malicious accusations based on findings of dubious merit that cannot be scrutinized for accuracy nor authenticity due to the total lack of transparency in her “report.”

      • But they *don’t* receive most of their funding from Green Pastures. In 2014, they received a total of 1.1% of their annual budget from Green Pastures, in the form of advertising and sponsorship:

        http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/questions-and-answers-about-fermented-cod-liver-oil-fclo/

        Quoting Sally Fallon from the linked article:

        “Do you personally or the WAPF receive any compensation from Green Pastures for an endorsement or sale of product?

        WAPF received $20,000 from Green Pasture in 2014 in sponsorship fees for exhibiting at our conferences, plus $360 for an ad and $250 for a membership, for a total of $20,610, about 1.1 percent of our yearly budget.

        This income from Green Pasture has nothing to do with our endorsement of its products, and WAPF clearly does not need the company’s money. We endorsed these products before Green Pasture became a sponsoring exhibitor. Our rule is that we do not allow anyone to exhibit unless they have a product we approve of. (By the same token, we do not allow any of our exhibitors to criticize another approved product. If they have concerns, they need to bring them to us to look into. They should sell their products by emphasizing their good features. Exhibitors who market their products by criticizing competing products will be asked to leave and will not be invited back.)

        I do not receive any compensation from Green Pasture. My husband and I do sell its FCLO and other products in our farm store (pabowenfarmstead.com), along with other healthy products that we believe in. Gross profit from sales of Green Pasture products probably does not exceed $1,000 per year. All the Green Pasture products for my personal use and farm store sales are purchased directly from Green Pastures; my only discount is for buying by the case.”

  98. I just want to say that i had purchased the past two years many bottles of GP FCLO and distributed them on friends and family members. My brother swear at them and keep him full of energy and awake if he takes them in the evening. I must mention that the last lot I purchased online around Christmas in a cold weather here in the UK, one bottle was rancid and this put me off of taking FCLO so i switched to krill oil for a little while. Now my vit D level is 67 nng although i have not taken any supplement for a while. I beleive if you follow healthy diet made of grassfed products and kefir etc…this will do the trick. Thanks

  99. I have been using FCLO from Green Pastures off and on since 2011. In my opinion, rancidity is most often a result of user failure in storing the product appropriately. It may be that the labs finding markers of degredation stored the samples at high temperatures or there were shipping problems. Rancidity is likely attributable to the source (retailer) from which the product was obtained and/or the shipping method used. FCLO of course can be ordered directly from Green Pastures, but a number of suppliers have been used over the years through Amazon that may or may not store inventory correctly. And the variables for temperature fluctuation are almost endless when one considers the practices of FedEx, UPS, or the USPS. In my experience, try to ensure it doesn’t sit on your front porch or mailroom in high temps, or order multiple quantities during winter months.

  100. I’m sincerely of the belief after reading her 111 page report that all she wanted to hear and do is take what sounded good to her. The report is slanderous, it is goading and it is not written with respect. Much more importantly Green Pastures wants transparency as well and attempted to have her come out to see what hey do and she decided
    Not to even see their production. She outright just took the data and twisted it based on assumption or “other colleagues” and “underground resources”. How is she being transparent? How are the lab reports transparent if she’s blacking out who did the testing? while I’ve heard of Rosita I’m still super skeptical on how they were able to maintain high levels of vitamins and have such clear liquid. I personally would like to see their operation. I believe it’s my understanding that Dr Kaayla did this purely because she had a vendetta of some sort to prove the people in WAPF wrong. She made this her mission. I’ve only been using Green Pastures FCLO for 3.5 years. It restored my daughters tooth decay, it makes my kids happy babies, it keeps my skin healthy and my bowels cleaned out and I believe its an excellent product from a small boutique group who do all they can to remain true to processing.

    • Dr. Daniel took a huge risk by publishing her findings. She put her reputation on the line and she went against her colleagues at WAPF. I think no matter what, her research shouldn’t be dismissed lightly. I’m not trying to dispute whether what she said is true or false. However, I have learned when evaluating information at I can’t really be 100% sure is true or there’s conflicting info, I always ask who’s a lot to gain/lose and who’s hasn’t. I’m not saying this method is infaliable, but in a world of deceits it can be helpful. I’m glad to hear FCLO has helped you and your family. But if we start giving GP carte Blanche like WAPF does, then one day we may find ourselves in trouble.

  101. I have a biology degree and was a high school biology teacher for many years. Now in retirement, I I sell supplements. I advise people to choose several of the highest quality brands of a supplement that they can afford, and then to rotate between them, depending upon what is on sale. In my experience, it’s a good idea to change things up. I took one multi brand for about 4 years and wound up in an unbalanced state as a result. If you rotate between a few reputable brands, you don’t run the risk of overdosing on a harmful substance continuously, or creating ongoing deficiencies. Manufacturing is not a perfect process.

  102. I tried the Green Pastures FCLO on more than one occasion, after you and others had enthusiastically recommended it, and just could not stomach it. My body just hated it. So on a gut level, I am not surprised that there may be issues with it.

  103. I’ve tried both FCLO and EVCLO. I stopped the EVCLO recently because the taste absolutely made me gag, and my 1.5 year old daughter refused to take it. It definitely did not have the “mild, fresh” taste that they claim on their website. I went back to the cinnamon FCLO and I can take it down fine as can my kiddo. I don’t know…I’m still not convinced any of these things are superior, and I have had a lot of concerns about the legitimacy of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I haven’t read anything that gives me reason to believe they are experts about anything in nutrition. I guess the lesson is that we should all be skeptical, do our independent research, and ultimately go with what our body tells us.

  104. 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.

    • Viola, that is shocking indeed. Especially coming from a producer who’s reputation is based on ethical production and high quality products. I hope that was simply an aberration, but I want to thank you for sharing this. Do you still take GP or something else now?

      • I don’t take any fish oil for the time being. Instead I rely on fresh fish: I subscribe to a CSF (Certified Sustainable Fishery), which works a lot like a vegetable CSA and delivers seasonal, local seafood on a weekly basis. I still think supplemental cod liver oil is a good idea, especially in winter, and plan to try the Rosita EVCLO combined with butter oil once flu season starts, especially for my kids.

  105. While I don’t know what is going on with the blue ice fermented CLO, we did take the old formulation of high vitamin cod liver oil until it was no longer manufactured and it worked very well at keeping my children’s teeth strong. But since they no longer make this, we had tried the fermented CLO but the odor and taste was objectionable and my children would not take it. My cat would not go near it either and normally he will lick fish oil off your fingers if it’s fresh. In any case, I hope this leads to a better product overall and better transparency. We no longer buy fermented clo. We gave up on it. I’m glad to see a new product available that is not fermented.

  106. Hello Chris,
    I have no problems using the cod liver oil, I find it has benefited me on my search for health. I don’t even have a problem the livers come from polluk, in a world of overfishing our traditional cod species are over fished, I don’t mind the change to help bring their numbers back up.
    As far as whether or not the livers are processed by fermented or rotting. ….many Indigenus cultures on our North Pacific Coast made Eulachon(ooligon) oil/grease, it was a staple in their diet for preservation of different food, stomach ailments, skin disorders etc. My grandfather’s tribe the Tlingits used this amazing grease and our ancestors thrived until modernization. The eulachon fish is first rotted before the oil is extracted.
    https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.mcgill.ca/files/cine/JFoodCompAna1996_9_18-31.pdf&ved=0CB8QFjAAahUKEwiGtZPtkMfHAhVIlIgKHTKeCqo&usg=AFQjCNGxLD7mKgmBvW81tBAjtyfGnh15-A

  107. Sandrine Love, a member of the BOD at WAPF posted a comment on David Gumpert’s blog stating:

    “Sandrine Love
    Today 10:59 am

    ‘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.’ “

    • I take Green Pastures FCLO. I’m very worried to discover that the cod used is from the Pacific Ocean, also 10% Alaska.

      I always bought canned Wild Alaskan salmon but stopped buying it because of the radiation in the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima.

      Of course, I don’t want FCLO that is sourced from the Pacific Ocean. I also see that Rosita FCLO is a lot more expensive than Green Pastures.

      Can Chris recommend a FCLO or CLO that is a safe source at a reasonable price? Thanks.

    • I take FCLO from Green Pasture. When I read this article just now, I wondered if the Alaskan Pollock and the Pacific Cod might be contaminated with radiation from Fukushima. Does anyone know?

      • I’ve avoided fish from the west coast since Fukushima, I’ve also avoided shrimp from the gulf coast since the spill and reading a report that my son found regarding the eggs of shrimp, are found by their heads. The eggs are suppose to be by their tails. Mutated shrimp isn’t on my plate. Worth mentioning, Whole Foods, in the northeast sells west coast fish ( dover sole ) and gulf coast shrimp rather inexpensively. When I wrote them about it they didn’t respond.

    • It’s irrelevant. What Dr. Daniel did is probably illegal. It’s called SLANDER. Spreading fear and scare-mongering, naming the specific company, causing harm to GP reputation, withholding info, going around the Board, abusing her position, possible collusion with a competing product, and more. LAWSUIT.

      Green Pasture has caused nobody any harm from any pathogen or Pollock. Even her “tests” found no pathogens. The rest is fear-mongering.

      • Jesus, calm down, Dave. It seems to me you are the one doing the slandering. Do you really know what that word means? She has done nothing illegal.

        • Oh, no big deal, Causing possible major financial damage to a company that has harmed nobody, publishing a scientific report as “shocking truth about fermented cod liver oil”, while on the Board of WAPF and FTCLDF, scaring people into distrusting a reputable company? It’s called LIBEL.

          Just sayin’. She’ll probably get sued for this “report”. It’s not an objective approach to this situation. GP has been in business for years. This has ulterior motives written all over it. IMHO

      • Dave, no one can say GP hasn’t done anyone harm. That might be true or false. However, the producers have the burden of proof that their product is safe, that burden shouldn’t be placed on the consumer. I have no intention of starting a fight, but I just want to point out that you have done exactly what you’ve accused Dr. Daniel of doing. And please, don’t bring up the idea of law suit, that will make a loser out of you and me and everyone except the attorneys. I work in the legal field and see it first hand.

        • Fill us in.

          I’m a vendor of Green Pasture products and feel personally damaged by this e-book. There are many of us out there. She is causing damage to GP reputation with her e-book, when nobody has been harmed by this product. She has crossed many lines here, in my opinion.

          The accusations are equivalent to yelling fire in a crowded theater, rather than taking a scientific approach to this issue. The testing should have included several different brands of CLO and compared the results, not singling one company and individual. There seems to be a different motive here. Just sayin’.

          • Dave, thanks for for disclosing that you are a vendor for GP. Is it possible that Dr. Daniel wasn’t singling out GP but fermented CLO? I don’t know b/c I’m not familiar with which company carries what products. Sounds like there are lots of vendors out there feeling the pain, but equally there have been a number of posting of consumers feeling uneasy about this product before the report came out. I’m actually neither a vendor nor a user of any CLO. I’ve just started checking it out a few months ago and haven’t made a decision on any company. So I guess you can say I’m as neutral as they come. In any case, protecting the public should be the most important issue. waiting till someone reports they been hurt before we conduct independent test, well we know that’s a terrible idea. Besides, if indeed Dr. Daniels report is wrong, your biz will recover and will likely even improve as that will boost consumer confidence. I for one will start buying this. But I’m not going to start taking something on faith alone. In the end, the best we can hope for is that the consumer come out as the winner, and if that’s the case you being the vendor will win too b/c you’ll carry the best product be it GP or some other brand.

            • Thanks Helen.

              I look forward to GP and WAPF response.

              For the record, WAPF does conduct independent tests of GP FCLO:
              http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/concerns-about-fermented-cod-liver-oil/

              Here we can see that fermented CLO is similar in process to other fermented foods like blue cheese and fish sauces, with similar amines present. It is not any less safe than these other foods in that respect.

              GP products have consistently been found safe and healthful. GP has been in business since 2000 and routinely tests their products for safety, along with others tests such as vitamin levels and absorbancy. Much of this can be found at GP’s website.

              I just don’t want fear to be overwhelming people. I have many anecdotes of the benefits of their CLO. But there are other good sources of CLO as well. Some people might not tolerate the fermented due to certain amines, like histimine.

              I don’t speak on behalf of GP, just have done my own reading and know how it personally has benefited me (tooth decay issues) and other people.

              • Hi Dave,
                Thank you for your last comment. I can sense you are genuine, and that makes me want to be more open minded about this.

            • Bravo, Helen. Excellent, reasonable response. I look forward to the coming months. I truly hope truth will prevail here that doesn’t require legal action (no offense!).

    • People isn’t it obvious WAPF has given GP special treatment in the past and continues to do so. Sally Fallon refuses to test GP products despite Dr. kaayla’s suspicion, to me Fallon has lost her credibility for good and I won’t be renewing my WAPF membership this year b/c of this. I’ve had my suspicion about Fallon and Sarah Pope for awhile. besides, Pollack isn’t cod, it’s related but not the same. That alone makes me not believe anything GP claims. Chris I hope you won’t delete my comment just b/c I named important people. Regular folks need to always question those with authority even if they are in natural health field. In the previous post someone mentioned why does everything has to be so hard in the health field, it’s hard b/c there’s a lot of money at stake, and sadly I think it’ll always be like this. So far I’ve been very impressed with everything from our Chris, and Chris Masterjohn and his friend Denise Minger.

      • Helen,
        I have heard the same thing. There is something going on between GP and WAPF. WAPF is not going to drop GP. When I heard that right away WAPF has lost its credibility for me as well. I take everything they say with a grain of salt now and it saddens me.
        I have always been suspicious of GP though and I did not understand why GP was so revered.

        • I have to admit that the pricing has always seemed over the top to me, and I have also noticed the extremely close relationship between GP and WAPF (see “Dave’s” histrionics in the above comments).

          I’m also concerned about the use of pollack.

          Having said that though, I do fine that FCLO from GP has made a difference in my health.

      • The WAPF board declined to test GP’s FCLO *again* after already having done so, I believe it was last year but that’s from memory. Jeez, people are really jumping to conclusions and assuming all kinds of bad motivations — on both sides.

        One thing to consider in the contradictory reactions is simply biochemical individuality. Some people thrive on FCLO and others can’t tolerate it. No one is “right” or “wrong” for their response, and it’s just possible both FCLO and EVCLO are both fine, healthful products — just not for everybody. I don’t have a dog in this fight; I’m just trying to follow the evidence.

      • Helen –

        I like your voice of reason here. I would love to hear your comments about Sally Fallon’s recent post responding to Dr. Daniel’s expose:

        http://www.westonaprice.org/uncategorized/questions-and-answers-about-fermented-cod-liver-oil-fclo/

        In it, she claims that in 2014, GP gave WAPF (in the form of membership, ads and sponsorship) a little more than $20,000, or a total of about 1.1% of the annual WAPF budget. Assuming this is true (I have never had reason to think Ms. Fallon would lie about such numbers), I find it hard to believe WAPF has much to gain financially whether or not GP stays in business or not. She said she personally gains about $1000 a year through selling FCLO through her farm store. Not enough to even pay for your car insurance for a year!

        So, have you seen other happenings, something else that leads you to believe that GP and WAPF are somehow “in bed” together?

        My sense is (and Sally says so) that WAPF has promoted the GP products long before GP was a sponsor, because they believed in the products as good.

        I read all these comments on these blogs about these issues that “GP is WAPF’s biggest financial contributor” but give nothing to back it up. All I have to go on is Sally’s word that GP gave about 1.1% of their budget in 2014. I suppose someone could ask her to back up that statement with financial documents or a tax return? But where are people getting the idea the GP is giving tons of money to WAPF? $20,000 isn’t much money, in the big picture of things.

    • Actually, FDA requires that you list the common name of any fish species used. Dave has no clue what he’s doing.

      Their failure to list vitamin contents in the supplement facts panel is a violation of labeling laws. So, there’s another law they’re breaking. Not surprising, really.

      • I have wondered about that, too (the lack of labeling of nutritional value per dose), esp. since I take a multivitamin and had to start taking a D3 supplement last winter due to low D levels. (I’ve been taking less than the recommended dose of the FCLO + butter oil capsules, just one per day on most days, because they are so dang expensive).

        Wondering now if the FCLO has played a role in my worsening reflux despite the improvements in my diet over the last few years…

  108. Thanks so much for posting this Chris. I haven’t thrown out my bottles of GP FCLO yet. But want to learn more about the possible presence of “vegetable oil”.

    • This was the most concerning part to me, too–about the possible dillution with vegetable oil–and I am surprised to hear so little about it in the conversation.

  109. Cod Fish are loaded with parasites and worms. Yes, even in the liver. Fermented and extra virgin cod liver oil is not heated to kill these buggers. The bigger critters can be filtered out not the little ones. What’s the exposure here? I would like to hear from the experts. It’s not uncommon to find worms in canned cod livers from Europe.

    • Hmmm….this is a good inquiry. It’s a raw fish product after all. I wonder if it’s possible to filter the oil with such a small “screen” that parasite eggs are removed. I’d also like to hear more from experts about this aspect of raw fish liver oil.

      • It’s been 40 years since I took a biology class that went into detail about the parasites in fish, but ever since I have steered clear of sushi. (I did hear that the lemon juice used in ceviche “cooks” the fish– it turns from translucent to solid white, as if it was cooked).

        So no raw fish for me, even if fermenting it makes it safer, that might not be enough.

        It’s likely that Kaayla Daniel’s edge of anger arose when her reasonable questions were ignored. I’m still grateful for her book The Whole Soy Story and other work. A good editor would have helped her voice be more dispassionate, and raise questions instead of make judgments where data was skimpy.

        Nevertheless, the more transparency the better, and Kaayla Daniel has helped us all see that. Ditto for WAPF, an organization that we will someday recognize as a major player in rebuilding health around the world. It’s like when two dear friends have a spat, I wonder why they can’t sort it out since they’re both sincere and wise.

    • I always understood that we didn’t need to cook canned salmon and canned sardines. Do we need to cook canned salmon, canned sardines and other canned fish to kill worms?

      • No.

        The heat involved in canning kills worms and other pathogens – the point of doing it in the first place, to preserve it. However, canning does not deal with botulism spores (don’t eat from bulgy or rusty or seam-dented cans), nor does it necessarily destroy all toxic products generated by said creepies prior to canning, assuming the product was not well handled. If it smells or looks bad, or is mouldy, or includes a dead fly (happened to me – twice), or metal or glass or plastic, etc., throw it out.

        Stick with reputable brands, and worry more about BPA/BPS can linings. And your vinyl shower curtain.

  110. Thanks Chris for weighing in on this very important issue. As always, I appreciate your knowledge, diligence and level-headed approach. More testing is needed, however, there are enough suspicions raised in Kaayla’s report that I will no longer be taking FCLO. The preponderance of evidence suggests to me it is not what it is claimed to be and may contain harmful substances. Why take the risk?

  111. My understanding is that some cheaper CLO processes the D out of the oil. They then add it back in… But that may defeat the central reason for taking CLO.. The idea is to maintain the natural balance of A and D..Too much D or not in the right ratio will wipe out the A and something similar in reverse..So if you are taking cheaply processed it may only be like taking a fish oil pill and a D pill. … I think you need to get the expensive stuff that more carefully extracts the oil and maintains the integrity of the A and D.

    I was thinking of switching to EVCLO but the WAPF recommendation to take FCLO kept me in place.. I will now switch.
    I would love to see more discussion of Paul Jaminet’s recommendation to only eat fish and not take CLO. I think he says cold water fish like salmon once per week and then eat sardines and other small fish regularly.

  112. I never got into taking FCLO or any oil form CLO due to the taste and ‘burpeeness’ it caused for me….I currently take Standard Process cod liver oil and Tuna Omega-3 oil, both in gel perles and rotating back and forth between them….but for the most part prefer to eat a lot of real foods such as pastured organ meats……regarding the issue at hand, standards seem unclear; transparency is lacking; and questions abound….however, these are ‘supplements’ none-the-less and are meant to supplement FOOD….eat more food…

    • I also take Standard Process cod liver perles; Standard Process comes recommended to me through my chiropractor. He has visited the site to see how they produce their products and says they have very high standards for their products.
      Chris, I would like to know if you have used or considered using any Standard Process products in your practice. High quality products are very important to me.

  113. Each time I’ve tried GP FCLO I’ve experimented anxiety, hot flushes/sweats, acne … I left the very expensive bottle in the fridge and there it is, now I can explain my reaction.
    I thought it was because of fermentation and ordered the rosita EVCLO … Let’s see.

    • I’ve experience more skin problems since I’ve upped my dose. I’m breast feeding and needed to make sure I was getting enough. I had a keratosis Polaris outbreak and it’s making it worse. I just ordered the EVCLO a couple days ago. We will see if it makes it better.

    • Fascinating! I just started taking Green Pastures FCLO (a week or so ago) and I’ve been experiencing something like hot flashes and sweats, which I could not understand (being 61 and well past all that nonsense). Strange, and now I’m really curious about whether they could be related. And, if so, how?

  114. Chris,

    As I commented on a recent piece written by David Gumpert, I’m very confused as to why Daniel saw fit to black out all lab identifying information for data she claims is legitimate. Which as you’ve explored 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 on David’s blog added that, somehow being a third-party and not dealing directly with a supplier, an identified lab in this scenario would be subject to legal repercussions. Is this true?

    There doesn’t seem to be much logic to those explanations. As long as the lab abided by 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 WADA-accredited labs y 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 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.

    • Perhaps Ms. Daniel was able to obtain independent lab tests at a much lower cost by agreeing to the anonymous reporting. Liability insurance would be quite expensive.

      Any expert testimony would be quite expensive. The greater the compensation, the greater the bias likely to be inferred by the jury or judge. Personally, I am less persuaded by lab test results that are paid for by a commercial manufacturer or other seller. This comes up in any discussion of pharmaceutical company research of course. Note that the best scientific medical journals now require that funding sources be disclosed.

      • A further note: in contrast to other health professionals and online businesses, the provision of medicines is limited to pharmacists, who should be independent practitioners, not financially linked to the prescribing medical doctor. For this reason, I do not buy supplements or medicines from online commentators,

    • I work in the legal field. Trust me no one wants to get sued, no one wins others than the attorneys. I totally understand why the labs didn’t want to take the risk of being sued. It will kill their business even if they did nothing wrong. To me the fact that Dr. kaayla’s didn’t reveal the lab names doesn’t make her less credible. The fact that WAPF refused to test GP products makes me wonder what kind of financial arrangements are made btw them.

    • I read elsewhere that the reason Daniel may have been required by the labs to black out their names is that she was not the supplier, but rather, a middleman. If the supplier had provided them with the product directly they would have been happy to publicize the results under their name. But since they couldn’t vouch for the “chain of custody” of the product, they would have been opening themselves up to a lawsuit by publicizing the negative results. (or something like that!)

    • The whole point is we are not in a court setting. We can consider all the evidence presented to regardless if it’s admissible or not. Dr. Daniel can’t reveal the lab names she used. But if this ever got to court(hope not), new tests can be done w/ labs willing to reveal their names b/c they’ve been adequately paid for the insurance they need to take out on this. We are consumers, we can make decisions without a judgement from court. I’m far more disturbed by what GP and WAPF are trying to hide than Dr. Daniel not able to reveal the lab names.

  115. My daughter took FCLO for maybe a year or less. We went through 2 bottles. aprox age 2-3. She would randomly throw up in mornings 1-3 times and be fine by noon. (she has only thrown up once in her life and we were both sick) I found out that every time she threw up, I had given her FCLO the evening before. I thought maybe her stomach was too empty and made sure to always give it with something or with dinner but that did not help. Once we stopped the FCLO she has not thrown up again in 9 months. It did not happen every time she took it and my best guess was that maybe it wasn’t all rancid but she was getting rancid pieces that she could not handle. We switched to Rosita’s EVCLO and have had no problems. I find this all very interesting given our history…

    • I can’t keep it down either, the smell is horrendous! The taste worse…

      I have read that the rancidity is due to the liver cells, not the oil. If fermented/rotted/rancid liver tissue is the reason for the dark color and the putrid odor, then even though the oil may be wonderfully rich in fatty acids and vitamins we are still ingesting something rancid and some people literally cannot stomach that. Use something else, I also use Rosita, but I use their ratfish oil – a few drops per day.

  116. I started taking GP CLO several years ago while I had marked joint pain & stiffness. I had a hard time walking to work & sleeping due to the pain. I started on Krill oil and the pain dropped off magically in 5 days. After 2 bottles of that I switched to GP CLO, taking just a quarter to a half teaspoon daily for about 4 years. Occasionally I would go off of it and within 2 weeks the raging pain & inflammation would return. I also had my 25-hydroxycholecalciferol tested during that time and it was 66 ng/ml, which I felt was significant considering I had lived in Seattle for over a decade at that point. I have since moved to a sunny locale and have drastically reduced my GP CLO and am only slightly more stiff & painful than without it. I am opposed to supplements preferring foods instead. I thought of CLO as more of a food than a supplement. However, now I am hesitant to keep taking it. A Salish medicine man once told me that before the white man came, his ancestors used to dig a pit in the ground and fill it with ooligan and wait for the oils to rise to the top. They would then mix the grease with blueberries and make cakes out of it that they ate all winter. I assume that the antioxidants in the blueberries kept the fat from going rancid & the fat kept the blueberries from rotting & molding. Perhaps a lesson in there somewhere for fish oil producers today.

  117. Chris,

    Thanks for a great article as always. As someone who wants to switch from Green Pastures to Rosita, what would you recommend for us to supplement in addition to get our dose of K2? Would eating grassfed butter be sufficient or is there something else to substitute the loss of Green Pastures?

    Thank you!

    • Hi, Chris,

      I would like to echo Rosita’s comment. Do you have any recommendations for alternatives to Green Pastures’ Butter Oil? Your thoughts would be EXTREMELY helpful.

      Personally, I have seen a huge improvement in my skin from taking the FCLO/BO blend and no ill effects. However, I really trust your thorough, unbiased investigative ability to wade through “scientific” claims, and if your judgment is that some degree of concern and caution may be warranted, I don’t want to ignore that.

      As Ida pointed out, if I were to stop taking Green Pastures’ FCLO/BO, I would still need something to replace the Vitamin K2 from the Butter Oil.

      Lastly, thanks for posting an article on this subject; I was starting to see concerns raised about Green Pastures and was hoping you’d be able to give us a truthful perspective on everything.

      • Sorry, I mis-typed! Names get so easily confused. I meant to say that I echo Ida’s comment, of course.

        Don’t mind my typo. XD

  118. Oxidation of EPA/DHA (derivatives or non-essential fatty acids) is and will always be a problem. With 5 and 6 double bonds are many times more susceptible to oxidation that the plant-based Essential Fatty Acids. In fact, unadulterated Linoleic Acid is much more stable and the oxygen dissociation curve is similar to haemoglobin, which is why it is necessary for for proper cell membrane structure. The biochemistry makes sense.

    • But many people are not able to convert plant-based, short-chain omega-3 fatty acids into the long-chain animal form that our (animal-type) bodies use in our cell membranes. Only about 1/3 of the global population is reliably able to make that conversion.

      • That is actually not true. It is commonly taught but not backed up by science. “Alpha-Linolenic Acid Conversion Revisited,” by Norman Salem, et al., states “A recent article in the PUFA [Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid] Newsletter indicated that in adult men and women the ‘average estimated conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to n-3 LC PUFA metabolites and docosahexaenoic acid was 17.3 ± 12.8 and 3.6 ± 3.8 percent, respectively (mean + SD).’ This is likely to be an overestimate of the actual overall conversion rates for several reasons. We see even with this excessive estimate of the omega-3 derivative conversion that theoretically no more than 37% of them are converted to derivatives.”
        The article makes the case that in reality only about 5% of the ALA (omega-3) is converted into derivatives. Pawlosky and others calculate that less than a mere 1% goes to derivatives. The article ends with “The best estimates of alpha-linolenic acid conversion to n-3 LC-PUFA are much smaller than those claimed….”
        The article, “What is the role of alpha-linolenic acid for
        mammals,” Lipids 2002 Dec;37(12):1113-23, reveals that the major metabolic route of ALA in the body is beta-oxidation [burning for energy!]. ALA accumulates in specific sites in the body of mammals, and only a small portion of the dietary ALA is converted to DHA.

        We only need 10mg of EPA/DHA daily and this is easily accomplished on an as needed basis by our bodies. It is the unadulterated Omega-6 that is all important for proper cellular functioning. 95% of LA stays in its native form and is vital for cell membrane function and integrity, don’t get lost in the pathways.

          • If you supplement with Omega’s, it should be plant-based combination of organic, cold-pressed Linoleic Acid (Omega-6) and Alpha Linoleic Acid (Omega-3) in a 2.5 to 1 ratio, at least 3 grams a day. The difference you feel will be remarkable.

        • That’s a different issue. There is a difference between how MUCH gets converted (which is what your quotations address, I believe) and WHETHER people can do any conversion at all, which is what I was addressing. IF you can successfully get through all the conversion steps, then yes, your stats might apply. But that’s a big “if” — too big an “if,” in my mind, to make it a good idea to recommend plant-based n-3s as the best way to meet our need for omega-3 fats.

          Also, most Americans are already getting WAY too much omega-6. Recommending taking omega fats in the correct ratio is never going to overcome the huge imbalance from the rest of the diet.

          My 2-cents.

          • I would think all can do the conversion or they wouldn’t be long for this world. The Omega-6 the Americans are getting is highly processed so it is basically non-functional. They need to supplement with large amounts of non-processed, functional Linoleic Acid (Omega-6, at least 3 grams a day) to compensate for this problem. Fish oil will not address this problem.

            • Actually from memory delta 6 desaturase requires zinc, magnesium and B6 as cofactors and delta 5 desaturase requires zinc, vitamin C and niacin. Then there are the various desaturase SNPs. I’m not sure what the elongases require, but there don’t appear to be the same issues elongating the omegas as there are creating the double bonds. Delta 6 desaturase appears to be the rate limiting step. People in poor health and vegans would not be wise to rely upon short chain omegas to supply their essential fatty acid needs. Deficiencies in long chain omega 6 and 3 fatty acids have been described frequently among people suffering from eczema and schizophrenia, often due to problems with delta 6 desaturase enzymes. Supplementation with GLA for the omega 6 or of fish oils for the omega 3 has been shown to be beneficial in these targeted groups. Certainly evening primrose and borage oil or fish oils seem to help a lot of women with mebstrual issues and acne or eczema.

              • You’re getting your terms mixed up. There are only 2 essential fatty acids, the 18 carbon fatty acid Linoleic Acid (one of the Omega-6 fatty acids) and the 18 carbon Alpha-Linoleic Acid (one of the Omega-3 fatty acids). When you say supplement with fish oil for Omega-3, your are talking about the derivatives of EPA and DHA which are 20 and 22 carbon fatty acids with 5 and 6 double bonds. Vegans can do well but they have to be very careful about which foods they cook and what they eat raw. Cooking destroys the fatty acids (oxidizes them) which makes them non-functional.
                Delta-6 desaturase works fine in almost all people (if it didn’t, one could not mount an inflammatory response, not good for long term survival) and only needs to convert 1% of LA or ALA in the fatty acid cascade to keep up the the body’s needs. 95% of LA stays in its native form and used as a structural component of cell membranes, while 40% of ALA undergoes beta-oxidation for energy and the rest again is mostly unaltered.
                The problem we keep running into is people are using nomenclature improperly. We shouldn’t be using the term “Omega” at all because it refers to families of fatty acids, not specific ones.
                You are right that Evening Primrose Oil has been used for centuries (high in Linoleic acid and GLA) and it does work, I use it daily, but borage oil has different stereochemistry and has more limited bioavailability.

            • Dr. Jeff, regarding your comment

              “If you supplement with Omega’s, it should be plant-based combination of organic, cold-pressed Linoleic Acid (Omega-6) and Alpha Linoleic Acid (Omega-3) in a 2.5 to 1 ratio, at least 3 grams a day. The difference you feel will be remarkable.”

              Would you mind identifying any products that fit that recommendation?
              Also, if the common diet is already consuming too much Omega-6, does that recommendation still provide enough balance for Omega-3 intake?

              Also in regards to feeling remarkable, do you mind expounding on what benefits consumers might feel?

              Thank you!

        • OK here is the real data about conversion rates from Hussein, Nahed, et al., Journal of Lipid Research, Volume 46, 2005, pages 269-280

          “Overall conversion rates of LA and ALA, calculated from peak [13C] LCP concentrations adjusted for dietary influences on pool sizes of LA and ALA, were low and of similar magnitude overall for AA and EPA (0.18% and 0.26%; Table 2). LA→DGLA and AA formation was significantly lower on the FXO diet in each case, with ALA→EPA and DPA formation on average higher on the FXO diet, although the differences were not significant. Conversion of tracers to DHA was much less. [Note: We see EFA conversion rates of less than a mere 1%. The same less than 1% conversion rates held for DGLA, DHA, and DPA.]

          Few studies have attempted more than relatively crude estimates of isotope transfer from tracer into the various trace pools, and it is recognized that AUC values will overestimate true conversion rates and provide only approximate relative rates of transfer.” [Note: This is why so many health professionals have been misled into thinking the EFA-to-derivative conversion rates are much higher than they actually are.]

          • “Comparison of bolus versus fractionated
            oral applications of [13C]-linoleic acid in humans,” European Journal of Clinical
            Investigation, Volume 29 Issue 7, Pages 603 – 609

            “Conclusions: Using areas under the curve [the simple, standard method of analysis] overestimates the conversion, because different residence times are not considered.”

  119. It’s very easy to chop and pulverize liver and incorporate it into everyday foods. You can put a LOT of liver in your favorite chili before it starts tasting of liver.

    • True! And kidney, but that’s another story, eh?

      I actually love the taste of chicken livers and eat them at least once a week. Fried in butter and mixed in rice. MmmMM

    • Would they have the same fatty acid profile? (High omega-3, more DHA than EPA)? If from conventionally raised animals, certainly not. If pastured??

  120. Some of these comments bring up other issues. For one thing health is more than taking a supplement as we all know. A supplement may/may not be indicated if a person is tested to be low in a vitamin such as A or D. Health is not so simple as just taking a supplement or pill to adjust something in the body.

  121. Great article. I appreciate how you are always willing to investigate and reevaluate your opinions and recommendations when it’s warranted.

    I look forward to further info on this. I had a tough time trying to figure out what sort of fish oil/cod liver oil/other source of EPA & DHA to take. Due to genetic lipid problems, I need amounts higher than I could get from just eating seafood.

    I was glad to see mentioned in the comment above that Pollack is a pretty clean source. My functional doctor has me taking fish oil pills made from Pollack and Pacific whiting. It does have a higher amount of EPA than DHA, which I am a little concerned about.

    Any opinions about Calamarine oil (made from squid), like Dr. Steven Sinatra recommends, that has more DHA than EPA?

  122. Thank you for always approaching every subject with a calm and collected manner! Your advice always has caution where it needs it, and more than one or two research sources, which I greatly appreciate. This is analysis is really helpful for those of us that are not sure how to read lab reports to the best degree!

  123. What about her concerns that it is not possible to “ferment” either the livers themselves or the resulting oil. By definition fermentation involves micro-organisms feeding on sugars. Liver has extremely tiny amounts of carbohydrates and the oil has none? How is this product ‘fermented’?

    • There are definitely several concerns that her report brought up that haven’t been addressed by Green Pasture (or anyone else) yet. One of the more troubling ones is that it’s not cod liver oil, but Alaskan pollock liver oil, that is being sold. Another is that GP has never been completely transparent (as far as I know) about their fermentation process. The reason given has been to protect a trade secret, but at this point I think we need more than that.

      • Alaskan Pollock is a codfish. There are a lot of fish in the cod family & this is one of them. Common names do not always reflect this. Sometimes there may be several common names for a plant or a fish. (I am an aquaria buff. It can be confusing. )

        • Marty, you’re right, but only recently so. I found that the announcement of it being moved to the cod family was made in January 2014. We don’t know when GP started using them though. And common acceptance or even scientific fact doesn’t really matter in this instance. In addition to full disclosure in labeling – an ethical issue – the FDA has not yet made it legal to market Alaska Pollock as cod. When they do make it legal, you will likely never see Pollock marketed anywhere again and you’ll see a lot more cod available, when people are able to put a premium name on a much cheaper product.

          • It changed names formally back in 2013, I think. I think that the FDA only looks at food supplements for problems or hazards. So, it’s not illegal to call this cod fish a cod fish in this instance, as I understand it. Also, it’s my understanding that it is not uncommonly used by other CLO manufacturers. Also, apparently GP uses the Pollock when supplies of Pacific Cod are low- a relatively small % of their production. I personally have no problems with the use of either.

            • You may be correct. It remains to be seen. I actually called the FDA though, and was told repeatedly that in such a case as this it would be “misleading”, and was finally told that it was “mislabeled”. Admittedly it was a seafood safety officer and not a nutritional supplement expert (had to negotiate their call center system a couple of times for them to figure out enough to get me to him), but he told me he would talk to the nutritional supplement department and call me back if he found out anything different. He never called. But the fact that there could be legal fraud involved, and GPP was unaware of it until this all broke and they ended up talking to lawyers, could be a reason they have not themselves formally admitted to using pollock.

      • If somebody says it is impossible to ferment cod liver in order to make fermented cod liver oil, they are wrong.

        I live in Norway, and I make my own fermented cod liver oil using this method.

        • Norwegian woman – would you mind sharing your process with us? I think there are many folks who would like to try doing this on their own, for the cost savings alone. Thank you!

        • Right. Chris I didn’t read that you commented on the possible presence of vegetable oil in the GP FCLO. I think it is important for there to be a discussion of that issue. Also I see this as a major labeling problem. If the GP product is made from pollock livers and has vegetable oil, then the label on the bottles is incorrect.

          Chris, can you comment on the added vegetable oil issue?

      • I think you are way out of line here Chris. This single article by Dave Wetzel shuts down every negative insinuation and comment in your article:

        http://www.gpawholefoods.com.au/choice/manufacturing-of-cod-liver-oil-returning-to-tradit/160

        And this is but a small fraction Dave’s writings that are available at Green Pasture and other sites around the world.

        When it comes to understanding vitamin A, D, K2, FCLO, lab testing, and such, Dave has demonstrated a level of expertise that is far beyond even your own vast and impressive knowledge. You should be speaking to him, looking at his writing, rather than passing judgement and making insinuations. The report from Dr. Kaayla Daniel is completely bogus, and contradicts a long standing large body of work that is readily available on the Green Pasture website and elsewhere.

        You have used Green Pasture products with great success for years, and yet you are not aware of the vast amount of knowledge on their website. You insinuate that Rosita is more transparent, but that is absolutely not the case. The information provided by Dave Wetzel dwarfs that from Rosita.

        You owe it to yourself and your community to look at this much more closely. Digest everything on the Green Pasture website and then tell me what you think about Dr. Daniel’s report.

        • I agree w/ Victor. Also, don’t forget that Chris makes a profit if you buy the Rosita CLO. Look at how much power Chris has; the capability to black list an entire company if he wants to.

          • I think this is a very important point that you raise Emmy; that Chris is blacklisting Green Pasture, whether intended or not. I do commend him for his efforts in responding so fast to the issue, but he was off the mark and has done a lot of damage. Let’s hope that he rectifies the situation with a followup.

        • I just read the link above. What a crock of…
          Mr. Wetzel claims he’s using a lacto-fermenting process. Now, I’d like someone to explain me, how do you lacto-ferment liver and oil?? You need carbs to lacto-ferment anything!
          Better yet, he goes on to explain that the nasty aftertaste is nothing else but a ‘sting’ due to lacto-fermented nature of the products! How about comparing a sauerkraut sting versus a rancid oil ‘sting’?? The taste of rancidity is unmistakeable. It seems common sense these days isn’t very common – I’d say, if it tastes off, it is off!

          • You are grossly misinformed MFV, as any search will show you that lacto-fermenting meat and fish is an ancient and cherished process.

            Many of the most nutritious foods in the world taste and smell worse than FCLO, and taste is a matter of… taste. I have family members that can eat FCLO like ice cream, while others gag. Everyone is different.

            In addition, there is confusion here about the term rancid. We generally use it to mean that something has ‘gone bad’ and is not fit for consumption. However, that is not the dictionary definition, and is not used by everyone in that context. When something is rancid, it has what is generally considered a foul smell and taste, and is in a state of decomposition, or similarly bioactive. All fermented food fall under this technical definition, but not the common definition.

            Thus, FCLO, natto, kimchi, etc. are technically rancid, but highly desirable for consumption, and therefore not rancid by common definition. I hope that helps.

            Nobody has any valid reason to be attacking Green Pasture or Dave Wetzel, so I suspect ulterior motives when I see such attacks.

            • Lacto-fermenting can ONLY be done using some sort of a carb, and while it is possible to facto-ferment meat, it can only be done by adding sugar to the brine. Mr Wentzel has gone on record to say that he does not use any sugar in his brine, thus he cannot be lacto-fermenting his pollock livers. Apart from that, I would love to see some sort of support as to his claims of the traditional medicinal use of the brown sludge versus fresh, golden cod liver oil. It appears that the former was indeed extracted, but not for human consumption, but for lamp oil and paint. As for rancidity – the acrid taste of oil gone rancid is very specific, although it can be masked by added flavors. However, I have yet to find the stinkiest cheese or natto (both of which I happen to love) to replicate that sensation.
              The fact of the matter is that fish oils in general are very fragile and are notorious for spoiling easily. I would love to find out just how ‘lacto’ fermenting for months at a time can preserve them. If I am mistaken, please enlighten me.

              • Umm… Chris has already explained here in this article that the GP FCLO is not rancid. He did a pretty good job of dismantling Dr. Daniel’s findings, so I am not sure why you still want to discuss rancidity. The fact remains that no testing has ever confirmed GP FCLO to be rancid.

                I’m no expert on fermentation, and I no nothing about GP trade secrets, but maybe someone else has an answer for your question about lacto-fermentation.

                As for taste and reactions, everyone is very different. It is quite entertaining to pass around a jar of the stuff at a party and watch the wildly different reactions 😉

              • MFV, can you cite where Mr. Wetzel said he doesn’t use any sort of sugars in his fermentation process? One of his posts about the topic I have read, where he talks about similar traditional fermentation processes does list adding sugar to the fish broth.

        • Yes Chris,
          I have been taking GP FCLO for years based on your recommendations. I trusted you and have been spending hundreds of dollars to purchase their high quality products. I don’t appreciate you jumping ship and scaring your community just to get a new commission from Rosita. I am very disappointed in your actions.

          • Marcia,
            Information changes. Years ago I thought that eggs are not healthy due to cholesterol and I avoided all fat. I have learned since that I was wrong.

      • Chris,
        How do you feel about Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil? It seems to be the freshest possible. It’s values are marked on every label and even poor people can afford it.

  124. What about Nutrapro International cod liver oil? It is a little less expensive and almost the same in guessing?

  125. I had my blood work done when just beginning to take GPFCLO and after 9 months taking it. My vitamin d and a levels were very low in the beginning. After 9 months, we retested and it increased my vit d and a levels so high that I was reaching toxicity for vit a. I was told to stop immediately. I asked Another homeopath opinion of the GP fclo and he said the only reason he didn’t recommend it is that there were no vit d/a content level listed on the bottle at all and he couldn’t prescribe it not knowing how much was in it.
    I ended up switching doctors for unrelated reasons, and he was the third to agree to put the fclo on pause. However all doctors had advocated the same pure good source of fish oils from genestra brand called super efa.
    I’m going to keep reading up on how wapf is reacting.

        • For the record, that’s significantly higher than either GP or WAPF recommends, I’m not surprised it put your levels up way too high. The max recommendation is 2 teaspoons per day, but that’s only for pregnant or nursing mothers. Everybody else is recommended 1 teaspoon

        • That is a huge dose if you mean 2 tablespoons per day. I think their recommended dose is more like 1/2 tsp per day.
          I also think there is more chance for Vit A overdose if you eat liver weekly.

          • Yes it’s a high dose. It was the doctor prescribed dose due to my severely low levels and my desire to prepare my body for pregnancy so it was the dose the doctor decided for me.
            It did the job of increasing my vit d and a levels very well. I’m not complaining, I’m pretty happy about that actually.
            Just sharing my small story.

  126. A leveled point of view. But I am curious as to why neither Green Pastures, The Healthy Home Economist, or this article, have addressed the issue of the livers used test negative for cod DNA. None of the rebuttals have addressed the high presence of trans-fats in the oil either. Those are serious concerns to me. It is one thing to pay $40 for a cup of high quality cod-liver oil, another is to pay the same for a cheap substitute.

  127. Chris,
    The following statement is inaccurate:
    “If FCLO were truly rancid, we would expect to see very low levels of EPA and DHA in the oil.”
    It only takes a fraction of a percent of oxidized Omega-3 to make a product rancid and unpalatable. It takes quite a bit of atmospheric exposure and thermal abuse to reduce the EPA and DHA content by a couple of percent. This can contribute significantly to oxidative stress.
    However, you’re right that free fatty acids (FFA) are not a good indicator of rancidity. This is because you can have unoxidized free monoglycerides that are also measured as FFA. Some oxidation byproducts are fatty acids and they’re lumped in with the wholesome monoglycerides.
    What typically happens with fish oils is that you see a rise in peroxide value during the first few months. These peroxides are then converted to ‘Anisidine’ compounds over time. Practically, this means that a product with low Anisidine is not aged. Once fish oil has low peroxide and high Anisidine, this means the oil is old. This all goes out the window if the oil is flavored with citrus oils. The aldehydes in citrus oils are falsely measured as oxidation products.
    Disclosure: I studied lipid chemistry and my thesis was on lipid oxidation. I’ve been eating Paleo/ancestral since before it was hip. I own a company that makes and sells fish oil, K2 among other things. I analyzed FCLO many years ago and found it to be rancid and high in environmental pollutants. I’ve been trying to stop friends and family from taking FCLO ever since. I have a blog about Omega-3 and nutrition (who doesn’t?) but chose not to publish my FCLO findings because of conflict of interest related loss of credibility.
    Having said that, I’ve been deeply disturbed by the unquestioning endorsement of FCLO by ancestral nutrition thought leaders. Yes, FCLO can have some fat-soluble vitamins. But there are better sources of these vitamins without the oxidative burden and environmental pollutants. The risk/benefit ratio of FCLO does not make sense to me at all.
    I have not analyzed the new Alaskan Pollock liver oils. These are relatively clean, fresh, and the Pollock fishery is highly regulated. There isn’t much risk with Pollock products as long as it is not exposed to light, heat, or air. Pollock liver oil is widely sold in the US as fish oil supplements – it’s good stuff but has a little more PCBs than Peruvian Anchoveta oils.
    I’ve known this report was in the making for a while. Had Kaayla Daniel released such a report several years ago (when paleo folks were first falling in love with FCLO), it would have been a lot more damning.
    If we’re after Omega-3 and fat-solubles, it’s time we went back to eating fish, pastured eggs, liver, hard cheese, and fats/butter from animals that have recently grazed on growing green grass.
    FCLO (or other supplements) is not the answer. Hearing that from someone who owns a supplement company may be relevant.

    • This comment came from two separate lipid scientists at prominent U.S. universities. Clearly there is a lot of controversy about what markers should be used to determine rancidity. That is why I’m suggesting more investigation before coming to a conclusion.

      • Free fatty acids are not a good direct measure of oxidative rancidity, but they are a great marker for oxidative changes.

        For example, you can’t tell if an oil is rancid simply because it has FFAs, but you most certainly can tell that an oil has gone rancid if you tested it when fresh and it had little FFAs, but that same oil had high FFAs after 4 years on the shelf.

        Since FCLO has gone rancid before ever being bottled, there is no way to determine the baseline FFA level, making bottled FFA measurements not very valuable.

    • Mr. Kutty,

      I am heartened by your endorsement of getting all of our nutrients from real foods.

      Perhaps I should ask my doctor, or a qualified nutrition expert but I would like to ask you, Mr. Kresser, and other highly educated here:
      What about old people, and others who may be ill, de-conditioned, or sarcopoenic.?
      or genetically disposed to high levels of LDL particles?

      Wouldn’t added fish oils from clean areas of our oceans be advisable?

      • Hi Jane – Chris has written extensively about LDL particles elsewhere. I have nothing to add on the matter.

        However, it is always a good idea to consume fish and pure fish oils, regardless of your age or health. Google ‘IFOS Report.’ IFOS (International Fish Oil Standards) tests and publishes purity and potency results of dozens of good fish oil brands.

    • Do you have an opinion on Kerrygold grass-fed butter vs. raw butter vs. raw grassfed butter (harder to come by and more costly)?

      Also, what are your thoughts on heating Kerrygold?

      Thanks in advance –

    • I completely agree with everything Mr. Kutty wrote above. He is 99% correct. My only differing opinion is that free fatty acids are a great indicator of oxidation, but only when measuring changes over time. A one-time spot measurement is indeed quite meaningless.

      • Truth Seeker – it appears we agree on that too. 🙂 Any change in FFA% in a lipase-free environment can be interpreted as a good indicator of oxidation.

        I’ve had FRESH fish oil test high in FFA. Puzzling at first, until you realize that it was recently exposed to recent lipase activity during reesterification.

  128. Thank you, Chris!! That is the kind of thorough and rational response I would expect from WAPF in response to the concerns and report. As always, your communication and analysis are spot on, and so very much appreciated!

  129. So if the worst case scenario is that it is/was rancid, what should we do to clean up the damage from rancid oils? How much have we harmed ourselves?

    • If you don’t feel any noticeable harm then you have not harmed yourself at all. Eating something that is “rancid” is not healthy, but it will not seriously hurt you either. The worst that could happen is you get food poisoning and throw up for a couple days.

  130. i have a concern about the keeping qualities of the EVCLO once it is opened. What evidence is there to show it doesn’t deteriorate quickly, unless frozen, maybe?

  131. I’ve used FCLO for a couple years and recently had my vitamin A level checked and it was low. I was taking it for vitamin A so not sure that it’s been helpful since I don’t know if it was a lot lower before.

  132. Would it not be far wiser to just consume large amounts of fatty fish (including, perhaps, the cod livers themselves, which are available), rather than to take the risk with supplements the quality of which is so clearly equivocal?

    It seems really foolish to take such risky supplements when you could eat animal products with DHA and EPA instead.

    • I would also add that testimonials are not really a valid basis for general supplementation recommendations. There are many anecdotes of terrible reactions to FCLO as well.

    • Fatty fish does not contain vitamin A. Cod liver oil isn’t necessary if you are eating organ meats (for vitamin A) and plenty of cold-water, fatty fish (for vitamin D, EPA & DHA). I don’t take it every day myself.

  133. Chris,
    Thanks for your thoughtful analysis of this situation. I tried FCLO in 2012 on your recommendation and it gave me the worst migraine I had ever experienced (4 days!). I just started eating more liver instead. 🙂

    Mickey

  134. Given how sick FCLO made me, I’ll be avoiding it. With just one dose, I felt spacey, giddy (almost drunk), nauseous and developed a migraine. I am very sensitive to bioactive amines, though.

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