Important Update on Cod Liver Oil

Important Update on Cod Liver Oil

by Chris Kresser

Last updated on

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.

best cod liver oil
One of the best ways to get a daily dosage of cod liver oil is in capsule form. obewon/iStock/Thinkstock

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.

Dr. Chris Masterjohn, a nutritional scientist with expertise in fat-soluble vitamins, 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 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

          • “Oily fish will raise your cholesterol by the way, which is good!!!” not oxidized LDL, that is NOT good.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. I kind of feel like this controversy was a reason to push some new product that Chris gets commission on.

      • 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    • Hey, look everyone, it’s someone who has a vested financial interest in supporting Green Pastures!

      • 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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