This new test data comes from multiple independent laboratories, and is the result of efforts by nutritionist Kaayla Daniel, who is the Vice President of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). Over the last year or two, people started expressing doubts about FCLO, including how it is produced, its vitamin content, and its efficacy. The Board of the WAPF voted against testing FCLO (as they felt like the testing they had already performed was sufficient), but Kaayla wanted to investigate further to find out if there was any validity to the doubts about FCLO.
Because there have been questions raised about the accuracy of the FCLO test results that Green Pasture posts on their website, Kaayla sent unopened bottles of FCLO to multiple laboratories in the United States as well as abroad, who were known to be experts in testing marine oils. Kaayla wanted to find out if there were any issues with rancidity, and find out how FCLO's nutrient-profile looked.
As the test results came in, she was surprised to find that, in addition to rancidity and nutrient issues, FCLO actually appeared to be made from something other than the liver oil of Arctic codfish. This led to DNA testing of the Green Pasture Cattle Lick product, which is said to be made from the livers leftover from making FCLO. And the DNA tests showed that the source of the liver was actually Alaskan pollock, NOT cod!
In short, the test results showed the following:
- FCLO appears to not actually be a fermented product, as its pH is too basic and it does not contain significant levels of lactic acid bacteria.
- At least one of the bottles of FCLO that was tested showed significant rancidity issues. (Note: there is not a consensus in the scientific community about what constitutes rancidity, so this conclusion is widely debated.)
- The bottles of FCLO that were tested had extremely low levels of Vitamin D, nearly nonexistent Vitamin K, and less Vitamin A than claimed by Green Pastures.
- The EPA to DHA ratio of the bottles of FCLO that were tested is not consistent with what it should be if it is really made from the liver oil of codfish.
- DNA testing of a product claimed to be liver leftover after making FCLO showed it to actually be liver from Alaskan pollock, NOT cod liver! Pollock is a member of the cod family, but it has a very different nutrient profile than codfish.
I am relieved that I trusted my gut instincts and stopped giving my family fermented cod liver oil a few years ago. And I am so glad that we can boost our nutrition instead with extra virgin cod liver oil! The color, odor, and flavor of EVCLO are wonderful indicators of its freshness and purity; Rosita's transparency in describing and showing their processes for harvesting the oil is refreshing and gives me confidence that this really is a well-produced product.
Here are some links for those who want to read more analysis of Kaayla's FCLO report and the controversy surrounding it:
- Weighing In on Fermented Cod Liver Oil by Chris Masterjohn
- A Summary of Dr. Kaayla Daniel's New Report on Green Pasture's Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil by Ron Schmid
- Questions and Answers about Fermented Cod Liver Oil by Sally Fallon Morrell
- Green Pasture's Response to Questions on Fermented Cod Liver Oil
- Important Update on Cod Liver Oil by Chris Kresser
- Can You Ferment Cod Liver Oil? by Firelight Heritage Farm
- My Take on the FCLO Scandal by Cheeseslave
- What Would Dr. Price Do About the FCLO Mess? by David Gumpert
What has been your experience with FCLO? Have you tried EVCLO?
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