From the very start I had never wanted to get involved with the politics revolving around the FCLO scandal. Politics are synonymous with ulterior motives, lies, and half-truths – none of which I have much time for. However, as the dust settles on the scandal, and more science is coming to light you do have to look at the politics to fully understand what has gone on, and why Green Pastures were attacked with such ferocity with so little evidence.
It is hard to know where to start with the scandal, but for me, it starts somewhere is mid 2013, which was when I first came across a product called Extra Virgin Cod Liver oil (EVCLO). At the time, I thought the EVCLO website was another site owned by Rosita (which is the company that make EVCLO) but it is actually owned by the owners of Corganic/ Organic 3 (a health site specialising in supplements for sufferers of gut and psychology syndrome and similar disorders). I spoke with the guys at EVCLO back in 2013 as I was interested in selling their product here in the UK, but it was early days, communication and organisation were poor, and we didn’t get very far. I kept a close eye on them though, and regularly visited their site hoping someday, when EVCLO was a bit more established, we would be able to sell their product.
Rosita make EVCLO, but I now know it was the brain child of the guys over at Corganics, and the site is run by Corganics. Nothing wrong with this at all of course, but when you know the connection between EVCLO and Corganics it casts another shadow on some of the events which went on since I discovered them.
A bit of background
The owners of Corganics are heavily involved with the Weston A price foundation (WAPF). In fact, Dan Corrigan (co owner of Corganic helped run the first WAPF chapter in 2001) so it is quite safe to say that a large proportion of their customers were from the WAPF community. The WAPF strongly recommend a brand of cod liver oil called Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO), and it is on their recommendation of this brand that Green Pastures have been very successful globally.
For a short time, Corganics sold this brand of cod liver oil, but many of their customers complained about it because it upset their sensitive digestive systems, and so after 8 months Corganics stopped selling it and started looking for alternatives. This led Archie Welch (co-owner of Corganics) to discover Rosita in 2012, which at the time was a producer of Ratfish oil in Norway.
Archie discussed the possibility of Rosita producing a cod liver oil using their extraction methods, and they began developing the product called he calls Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil (EVCLO). It was during the development stages of the product that I first came across the EVCLO website.
Obviously, nothing wrong with all of this – one company is helping the other create a great product and launch it in the US market. Companies do this all the time. However, consider this through out the rest of the article: the main target audience of this product in the US is the WAPF members, most of which will be taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
During the final stages of the EVCLO production (which took 2 years), I noticed a considerable amount of Green Pastures slandering online. At the time, I hadn’t realised there was a connection between Corganics, EVCLO and the WAPF (I have nothing to do with WAPF) at the time, I didn’t think much of it, but looking back now, I’m not so sure. Here are some highlights, but this is by no means the full extent:
Jan 2013 sees the following blog post published by Sarah Smith (a co-leader of a WAPF chapter), saying how she is switching from FCLO to EVCLO after collaborating with Archie Welch (co-owner of Corganics) on a project (nourishedandnurtured.blogspot.nl/2013/01/why-we-stopped-taking-fermented-cod.html)
In 2013 EVLO publish the following article about cod liver oil, which says fermented cod liver oil is less nutritious than fresh oil. (http://evclo.com/history/)
in 2014 shortly after the launch of EVCLO, we see a very negative campaign launched against FCLO through social media. Much of this has been deleted, but the remnants of fake Facebook profiles promoting EVCLO still remain. The EVCLO site clearly makes attacks against fermented cod liver oil, and Dan Corrigan instigates open attacks against FCLO, sayings its production methods are a fallacy because oil cannot fermented (not that anyone claimed the oil fermented, it is the liver that ferments). This makes a lot of WAPF members doubt the authenticity of fermented cod liver oil, and look for an alternative, and you can read about all of this more here: http://davidgumpert.com/simmering-cod-liver-oil-imbroglio-heats-up-for-wapf-conference
Sept 2014 – we see the owner of Rosita publish a video suggesting that Green Pastures purchase their oil from China (or at least Alibaba, which is a Chinese wholesale site).
This kind of activity is unethical to say the least. The owner of Corganics and Rosita have gone out of their way to spread lies about how their direct competition source and process their product. It puts EVCLO in a bad light and paints the picture of an untrustworthy company who are quite happy to lie. And for what? Money? Well, I don’t think you lie like this just to improve peoples health. The motives are speculation on my part, but I don’t doubt that 2 years of experimenting with cod livers costs money, which needs to be recouped. In a recent interview Archie Welch says that at some point he had Rosita on the phone saying “we’ve got these fishermen out there, and if we do