Chris Kresser is a great guy and a great healer. Absolutely a knowledgable and likable force in the natural health community. I enjoy his podcasts and blogs, but I have a very serious concern that I need to voice here.
It seems to me that Chris is compromising himself for monetary gain, and while I would prefer not to believe that, it keeps poking at me via the FCLO issue (Fermented Cod Liver Oil, from Green Pasture). In truth, I am sure it is not about money. I think Chris has just been duped by marketing and sales at Rosita EVCLO, and by Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s recent report.
Chris has years of great experience and results with the Green Pasture (GP) FCLO, but has recently switched to the EVCLO product, which he gets a commission on. Commissions are fine, except when you marginalize a competing product without any valid justification – as he has now started to do to the GP FCLO.
The first evidence that I saw was in June 2015, in this article. I was dismayed, and made several posts; none of which he responded to. Here are my posts:
No Response 🙁
Again, no response 🙁 And my comments there are particularly relevant to what has just happened with Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s ridiculous attack on the Green Pasture FCLO. To which Chris responded here. It is a well written attempt at being neutral, and yet borders on slanderous with its unfounded insinuations.
My full response to his article is posted in his comments section here; although I do not know if we will approve it, so I present it here in full:
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:
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.