Fermented Cod Liver Oil Scandal: Update

Its been about 8 months since Dr Kaayla published her condemning report on fermented cod liver oil. For the months that followed there was a lot of heated debates,...

Its been about 8 months since Dr Kaayla published her condemning report on fermented cod liver oil. For the months that followed there was a lot of heated debates, name calling, discussion and the unavoidable emotion drive and unscientific opinions being promoted as facts. After reading the report I’ll admit it got me worked up, but I tried to keep a level and evidence based approach in my analysis of the report.

Now the dust seems to have settled we can look back at the events – has anything changed, have we learnt anything, and how did it happen?


A re-cap of some key events

  • August 2015 – Dr. Kaayla published her report.
    • David Gumpert and Dr. Ron support Dr. Kaaylas findings conclusions and create a new organisation with Dr. Kaayla to compete with the WAPF called The Foundation for Nutritional Wisdom (FFNW).
    • The WAPF community is divided. Some feel betrayed by the WAPF for recommending a product Kaayla condemns, whilst others say her conclusions do not match her findings and her research is bogus.
    • Recommendations about a product called Rosita EVCLO begin to be made by those who claim fermented cod liver oil is toxic, and Rosita start to get a bit of attention on the global stage.
  • September 2015 – Green Pastures publish a number of independent lab tests on the purity of tier products, but these largely go un-noticed.
  • Through October 2015 & November 2015 , the scandal escalates with video interviews by a very vocal blogger called ‘CheeseSlave’, who covers the topic in great detail (but very one sided).
    • More and more people are recommending Rosita EVCLO, and everyone is getting very worked up. The differences between fact and fiction is not very clear for many people, and emotions run high.
  • November 2015 – The FFNW (renamed to Paleo-Primal-price Foundation, or PPPF) has their first annual conference. David Gumpert describes it as a ‘Breath of Fresh Air‘.
  • December 2015 & January 2016 – Things get very quiet. David Gumpert does one summary blog post which effectively said it was all over and Green Pastures products did pose health problems.

Then nothing. There isn’t any talk about the scandal, the FFNW/ PPPF or cod liver oil, so where does everyone stand?


Update on PPPF members

In short the FFNW/ PPPF seems to be a dead duck and nothing is happening. I will never know the motive for setting up the new organisation (although after doing quite a bit of digging I have speculated here), but if they hoped to make a new version of the WAPF, it looks to have failed.

Dr. Kaayla – She instigated the whole scandal with her report, and was very vocal about how bad fermented cod liver oil was on her blog,. However, in November she suddenly went quiet for about 3 months, after which she blogs about fibre and NSAIDS. She doesn’t mention anything about cod liver oil or the new organisation she co-founded.

Dr.Ron – Dr. Ron is one of the founding members of the FFNW/ PPPF, but generally isn’t very vocal and doesn’t maintain a blog so you hear very little from him. However, considering his importance in the FFNW/ PPPF, you would expect him to be able to link to the correct page on his website. It could be an honest mistake, but it looks like his heart isn’t in it.

Ann-Marie (aka CheeseSlave) – CheeseSlave was possibly the most vocal about the whole affair and published numerous video interviews and blog posts about how toxic fermented cod liver oil was until she suddenly went silent. After a break from the blog posts and videos she goes back to blogging about her family and food again, and there isn’t one mention of the scandal which seemed so important to her just a few months ago, or the FFNW/PPPF which she was so enthusiastic about.

David Gumpert –  David Gumpert does maintain a very active blog, but it is all about milk, again. There is no mention of the new foundation he started with Dr. Kaayla and Dr. Ron at all.

FFNW/ PPPF – The new foundations website has not been updated for at least 5 months, which I find odd.

In fact, all the people who were very involved in the FCLO scandal went quiet in November. Perhaps people burnt out, or perhaps other things in their life/ work needed their attention. However, it all felt like quite an abrupt ending with no real conclusion. Was fermented cod liver oil really toxic? Was it a case of rushed science which got exaggerated? Or, was there some ulterior motive? What happened?


Now the dust has settled…

A lot of information about fermented cod liver oil came to light during this period – it is no doubt now the most thoroughly tested cod liver oil ever. A number of independent labs tested the oil for a whole host of different bio-markers to see if it was toxic or not. Every test found the oil to be safe, even Dr. Kaaylas own independent lab tests found that the oil was safe (she just decided to interpret the data in an unusual way). Green Pastures have published a number of lab results from the independent labs Midwest Labs, Eurofins and Merieux NutriSciences (see some here) to be transparent to the public about the results. Being independent labs, there is no risk of the results being doctored.

Peoples opinions cannot always be taken as facts – emotions and other factors can cause people to take sides and be bias, but it is hard to argue with the plethora of independent research which shows that fermented cod liver oil is safe. The data simply cannot be interpreted any other way.

I’ll never know for sure why the whole scandal started. I don’t know the people involved, the relationships they have, their ambitions for the future or what motivates them, so I can only speculate. However, with all the research on cod liver oil that has been done over the last 6 months, I can quite safely say that fermented cod liver oil is not rancid, and is very safe for the vast majority of the population.

I hope you enjoy the site, and like what we have worked hard to create, any feedback is very much welcome, after all this site is for you! Graduate of Nutrition & Food Science (Bsc) at Reading Uni.
    • Impeliadramon

      Bullshit, your sell this shit in your store .One can easily see it is just for business…

      • Yes I do sell the product, I have spent a lot of time reaseraching and understanding the product, and know its benefits. I have covered the topic on the articles because there is so much half-truths being banded about, much of which is unethical. If you look at the facts, there is nothing but healthy nutrients in fermented cod liver oil. Can I not explain my position on the subject because I sell it? Trust me, when the scandal started almost 6 months ago, I was prepared to pull the plug on the whole line if there was any evidence of the product being toxic, but there isn’t. As far as I can tell, there are no grounds for the accusations.

        The product is healthy, so I sell it, I do not say it is healthy because I sell it, and this distrinction needs to be made. I want to promote health and use my understanding of this poorly regulated industry to help others.

        Could you explain what is wrong selling a product that I know to be healthy? If I sell the product, should I be silent and watch people who don’t understand nutritional sciences blindly follow people preaching pseudo-science? Or, should I stop selling the product and cover the topic in these articles? Why can’t it be both?

    • Mac

      I still have 11 bottles in my fridge ( Chocolate flavour) and haven’t been game to swallow any since I saw this erupt. Few thoughts, it looks like crap, tastes like crap so inevitably it might end up being crap. Imagine having 500 bucks worth of crap in your fridge.

      • Sorry to hear you bought so much before you decided to stop taking it. When the scandal started you could send any stock back for a refund, but I doubt you could now I’m afraid.

        For what it’s worth, many many independant lab tests have shown that it dones’t contain anything toxic, so it is quite safe to consume.

    • CK

      Thanks for this, good to see you are still following the debate even if things are quiet. I just started giving FCLO/butter oil to my 1-yr-old and he loves it, We both take it with no problems but I am hesitating about buying more until we know for sure what the deal is. What concerns me most is the low amount of vit D3 found and that trans fats were found in the oil.

      • Hi CK, thanks for reading!

        Vitamin D is difficult to really test for. There are over 100 active forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is one of them, and it is very common and abundant. Most tests only test for vitamin D3, which means there is at least 100 other forms untested for. Most cod liver oils have lots of vitamin D added in after processing (as processing strpis out all the vitamin D). Fermented cod liver oil doesn’t though add any vitmain D to their oil though. Sadly, it is extremly hard (dare I say impossible?) to test for all these active forms of vitamin D. The cost alone is prohibative too.

        One interesting test done my Green Pastures is called a rat bioassay, which invoives giving rats their oil, and testing the activity of vitamin D. The results were very high. We cannot know what forms of vitamin D did this, but there certanly seems to be a lot of vitamin D activity when taking this oil.

        The trans-fats are nothing to worry about. The levels found in FCLO are the same as all other cod liver oils – all natural oil have very small amounts of trans-fats. People like to use this as a scare-mongering tactic, but the reality is every cod liver oil has similar amounts of these trans-fats.

        Hope this all helps!

    • AnnMarie Michaels

      Things are definitely not quiet, Craig. You might want to change or retract what you wrote about Dr. Ron above, considering the man just died of heart disease. Rami Nagel, another vocal proponent of FCLO, also just died of cancer. He was only 38. Interesting, no, considering that we know for a fact that rancid oils cause heart disease and cancer.

      • Why would I change things just because he died? Are you going to stop using his name in your ridiculous crusade because he has died? No. Sad, yes, but facts still stand. Sad also about Rami, but cancer at 38 is not unheard of. I doubt everyone who gets cancer at a young age takes FCLO. *sigh*. Again, you have 1 case of cancer in an FCLO taker when there are 10000s of FCLO takers…this makes the odds of getting cancer actually very low if you take FCLO – great news!

        I am getting a bit sick of your relentless and unfounded accusations. They were humorous at first, but they are starting the get far too repetitive and boring. I am always open to debate, exchanging information and ideas. However, you have repeatedly failed to answer any of my questions, even simple and fundamental ones. Until you can actually provide useful and valid information I won’t be replying to you any more. I welcome any information you can provide, but I would ask that you stop trying to stoke a fire that has gone out with fuel that doesn’t exist.

        Provide evidence. Provide research. Provide real and valid connections between the two. Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of lipid science. Demonstrate you can be approach this subject objectively. Sort out your data. Act mature. Then, I am more than happy to discuss at length with you.

        • taylor green

          People need to realize that all nutrients work together. The body is use to receiving vitamin k2 with all fats that enter the body.. as they would be if you ate an animal (land of course). Vitamin k2 works with vitamin D, E, and A. I like to think of myself as pretty wise and logical. We know the government suppresses us through diet. We know Tesla had his lab burned down. And the same thing has happened to several throughout history that discover amazing healing techniques. FCLO is one such amazing healing substance.. I think the people that spoke against it were either forced or paid to. Makes sense to me because Dha is a lot more vital than most people know. K-vitamins.com; this site that has some rare information about how our body thinks vitamin k2 is present every single time fat is ingested. It feels silly to learn such things that make so much sense, ya know? Yes he sells the product, but he is very sincere and comical too. And he has the best K2 in the world. I love that this site is hip with shungite!! Truthers galore!! Have y’all looked into iron overload all throughout the body, and how donating blood (contains 80% of Iron) has several health benefits? There are also chelators for it. Neuromelanin also absorbs several heavy metals in the brain and doesn’t allow them to form free radicals. Tyrosine increases it’s biosynthesis. Very potent healing technique, in my opinion. I think I will be a new regular on this site. I have a lot to share and debate about lol respectfully. I’m no expert, just a 20 year old kid who has been heavy metal detoxing for quite a while now. Peace homies!!!

    The Health Cloud was created in December 2011 by Craig and Morg who have been friends since high school. Our focus is to educate our readers with unbiased health articles and on the side we run our own online health shop. This website is for you, so drop us a comment or send us a tweet, we always take the time to reply!