This is an update to my fermented cod liver oil series last fall… In case you missed it, you can click here to read all the posts and watch all the video interviews: Fermented Cod Liver Oil Scandal.
NutraPro Cod Liver Oil Sex Offender: Official WAPF Response from Sally Fallon & My Rebuttal
Jump down to Sally Fallon Morell’s official statement.
Jump down to my video response to Sally’s statement (I don’t mince words)
Jump down to my written rebuttal to Sally’s statement
This post is the official statement from Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price Foundation in regard to my recent post that the owner of NutraPro International, Tilak Dhiman, is a registered sex offender. NutraPro cod liver oil is one of the 3 brands that WAPF recommends in their “Best” category for cod liver oil on their website and in their shopping guide. Their audience is made up of a large percentage of mothers with young children.
This official statement was forwarded to me by Sandrine Love, who runs the WAPF-based non-profit organization, Nourishing Our Children. I did not hear from Sally directly, but had to comment on the Nourishing Our Children About page asking for a statement. I’m grateful to Sandrine for her quick response.
I also commented on Weston A. Price Foundation Board Member, Sarah Pope, The Healthy Home Economist’s website and her Facebook page, asking if she would submit a statement.
My comments were promptly deleted from Sarah’s website and I was permanently banned from her Facebook page, and my comments were deleted. This is strange behavior, particularly since Sarah is a member of the WAPF Board of Directors. Not only did she refuse to address my question, but she effectively censored me from asking any questions. (I talk about this and more in my video reaction below. Jump down to my video reaction.)
Sally Fallon Morell’s Official Statement from WAPF on the NutraPro Sex Offender Controversy
Controversy Over Nutra-Pro Brand Cod Liver Oil
A controversy has arisen over the Nutra-Pro brand of cod liver oil, one of three brands of cod liver oil in our “Best” category in the WAPF Shopping Guide.
Nutra-Pro is described as “Virgin Cod Liver Oil,” which as best as we can determine, is steam extracted. This is an extraction at a lower temperature than most brands of cod liver oil, which are extracted through a process called molecular distillation. The other two brands in the Best category are not heated. The Blue Ice cod liver oil is extracted from the livers through fermentation and the Rosita brand (described as “Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil”) is released from the cod livers after a rapid change in temperature. All three brands contain natural vitamins A and D, with nothing added.
The Weston A. Price Foundation has conducted rancidity tests on all three brands. We found no signs of rancidity in the Blue Ice cod liver oil and very low signs of rancidity in the other two brands. The results of these tests were presented at Wise Traditions 2015 and also published in the Spring 2016 issue of Wise Traditions. Oil #4 is the Nutra-Pro brand.
It was recently brought to our attention that the president of the Nutra-Pro distribution company has a criminal record as a sex offender in 2007, having been caught making inappropriate comments online to a federal agent posing as a fourteen-year-old girl. We need to make it clear that the Weston A. Price Foundation does not do background checks on the owners of the companies recommended in our Shopping Guide. We have over three thousand products listed there, and to research the backgrounds of the owners is beyond our budget and not part of our mission statement. We do our best to produce a guide containing products that conform to our guidelines, but cannot vouch for the overall accuracy of the guide nor the background of the owners. Whether individuals wish to purchase the Nutra-Pro cod liver oil given this knowledge is their individual decision.
It turns out that the owner of Nutra-Pro is Tilak Dhiman, once a distinguished professor of dairy science at the University of Utah and an expert in lipid science. He is listed as an author of twenty-two papers on CLA, and the importance of grass-based feeding of dairy cows. In fact, he was an eloquent voice for a return to pasture-based feeding and was a speaker at Wise Traditions in 2006. So he is very qualified to assess the qualities of the cod liver oil that he distributes, and we have never had any complaints about the product.
Neither the Weston A. Price Foundation nor its officers or employees has a financial interest in any of the cod liver oil products listed in the Shopping Guide.
Watch the Video: My Reaction to Official WAPF Response from Sally Fallon
I recorded this reaction video on Facebook Livestream Wednesday afternoon, right after I received Sally’s statement via email. The video is long, a little over an hour, but there’s lots of good information in it and really great questions from my viewers (over 1,000 people watched when it was live).
Skip to 20:00 to get to the part where I read Sally’s statement.
Skip to 25:00 to hear my reaction to Sally’s statement.
I am VERY frank in the video. I’ve never spoken so openly about my distrust for Sally Fallon and WAPF. I also talk about the “real food bloggers” and how disgusted I am by their total lack of attention to this issue. I also talk about how almost all the bloggers deleted my comments and/or ignored my questions. I’ll be writing a post about that in the near future.
My written response to WAPF’s statement is below. I have included factual inaccuracies from the WAPF…
NutraPro Cod Liver Oil Sex Offender Controversy: My Rebuttal to WAPF’s Statement
Sally Fallon, author of “Nourishing Traditions” and the President of the Weston A. Price Foundation issued an official statement yesterday saying that they are aware that NutraPro International’s business owner, Tilak Dhiman, was convicted, pleaded guilty, and served time for stalking children online for sex, and that WAPF will continue to endorse and promote NutraPro International brand cod liver oil.
What we have here is a convicted registered sex offender working out of a suburban tract home, selling nutritional supplements to moms with kids. There is zero information on his website about where he sources his products, who manufactures them, and whether or not they are tested in terms for the nutritional data he claims.
Sally also continues to promote Green Pasture Products’ fermented cod liver oil, even though a whistle blower report came out last year exposing the product as rancid and not fit for human consumption.
Are you OK with this? I am not. First we get snake oil from WAPF, now we get a sex offender.
Actually this is the second sex offender… Sally Fallon Morell’s husband, Geoffrey Morell was the first sex offender, as I documented last fall.
And how do we know this is not more snake oil? As I said above, we know almost nothing about NutraPro and how the product is sourced and produced.
I’m also not OK with the “real food” bloggers online staying silent, or worse, continuing to promote FCLO, NutraPro, and WAPF. I will be writing a post about my disappointment with the “real food bloggers” in the near future.
Below, I made a list of a few of the factual inaccuracies in Sally’s statement as well as questions for Sally for more information. I’m sure my readers would like answers to these questions.
1. Steam Extraction? Or Something Else? Who Knows?
Nutra-Pro is described as “Virgin Cod Liver Oil,” which as best as we can determine, is steam extracted. This is an extraction at a lower temperature than most brands of cod liver oil, which are extracted through a process called molecular distillation.
“As best as we can determine”?
Really, Sally? You don’t know how NutraPro International extracts their cod liver oil?
I’m curious if you’ve ever asked Tilak how he does it. Has anyone seen him do it? And where does he do it? Perhaps he has a steam distiller in the bathroom of his suburban tract home? If someone else is processing the oil from the cod livers for Tilak, I think customers should know who that is and how they’re doing it, don’t you?
If you are going to recommend NutraPro cod liver oil, I think you owe it to WAPF members to find out how NutraPro (or whoever it is doing the manufacturing) is extracting their cod liver oil and report back.
Just as we want to know how raw milk farmers feed their cows, what kinds of cows they are (Jersey or Guernsey, for example) how they are milked, whether they are given antibiotics, how the milk is processed, and so forth, we need to know how the details about how a cod liver oil is sourced and processed.
Wouldn’t you agree?
2. Nothing Added?
All three brands contain natural vitamins A and D, with nothing added.
This is incorrect. In the process of writing the post I’m working on of the cod liver oil brands I recommend, I looked up the ingredients of the three cod liver oil brands you recommend in the Best Category.
1. Green Pasture – Green Pasture’s ingredients include cod liver oil from fermented (putrefied) fish livers and various essential oils, depending on the flavor.
2. Rosita EVCLO – Rosita’s ingredients include wild and extra-virgin cod liver oil, plus traces of rosemary herb & natural vitamin E as antioxidants.
3. NutraPro Cod Liver Oil – NutraPro’s ingredients include cod liver oil (note: it does not say it is wild or raw, like Rosita’s is) and they add d-alpha tocopheryl acetate, which is a natural form of vitamin E, an antioxidant.
So the only one of these three brands that does not add an antioxidant is Green Pasture.
The reason antioxidants are added to cod liver oil, and this is something pretty much all cod liver oil companies do, is because the antioxidant slows the oxidation of the oil.
The fact that Green Pasture does not add antioxidants, as is industry standard, raises more suspicion about whether or not the FCLO is rancid.
In fact, David Wetzel said that he does not add antioxidants because he saw no benefit to adding them (probably because the oil was already beyond rancid so he could see no difference in test results). To read Wetzel’s statement, see # 5 in my post, Top 10 Reasons FCLO Has to Be Rancid.
4. Shark Livers in Tahiti?
In the Wise Traditions journal article Sally linked to in her statement, and in the Powerpoint she made for the conference last year, there is a photo of shark livers hanging from trees and fermenting in Tahiti.
First of all, I have a source that told me that the photo was not in Tahiti, it was in New Zealand (which makes sense because Sally’s husband, Geoffrey Morell is from New Zealand).
But more importantly, this photo is a lie. Here’s why…
Sally is using this photo (it’s on her website, too) to prove that it is a traditional practice to make fermented fish oil. And yes, it’s true, people in Norway did ferment cod liver oil in barrels. But it is very cold in Norway most of the year, so the oil stays cold, not exposed to heat. If you are going to ferment cod livers and extract the oil, you need to protect the oil from rancidity.
And, according to fish oil expert, Dr. Rudi Moerk, who I interviewed last fall, the fermented cod liver oil the Norwiegians made was, in fact, rancid to some degree, and that is why they had a lot of health issues and people died… but that was a trade-off they made for survival. A lot like the Easter Island cannibalists Professor Jared Diamond writes about. Easter Islanders resorted to cannibalism out of desperation, in a fight for survival, not because it was the best choice. And obviously it was not, because it ultimately killed them and wiped out their civilization.
But the big reason this photo Sally uses is a lie is because shark livers are not the same thing as cod livers. As I wrote last fall in my post, FCLO: The Top 10 Reasons It Has to Be Rancid…
Here’s the key difference between shark liver oil and cod liver oil. Shark livers are naturally rich in antioxidants like vitamin E and squalene. So perhaps the reason the South Sea Islanders could store shark livers for months outdoors is due to the natural antioxidants.
Cod liver oil does not contain antioxidants. So we are talking apples and oranges here, folks.
If you leave cod liver oil out, exposed to oxygen, without an antioxidant (which we know Green Pasture does not use), it goes rancid.
5. No Budget for Background Checks?
We need to make it clear that the Weston A. Price Foundation does not do background checks on the owners of the companies recommended in our Shopping Guide. We have over three thousand products listed there, and to research the backgrounds of the owners is beyond our budget and not part of our mission statement.
It took me all of 15 minutes to do a couple Google searches to confirm that NutraPro International owner, Tilak Dhiman, is a registered sex offender. I didn’t spend a penny on a background check.
Sally Fallon admits that Tilak Dhiman spoke at the WAPF Wise Traditions conference in 2006, just a few months before he was arrested. So she obviously knows the guy. She’s known him for over a decade.
Why didn’t Sally look into his operation? Why didn’t she google him at the very least?
Better yet, why not tour his facilities? Oh, right, because his “facilities” are his residential suburban tract home in Utah…
I actually got tipped off about Dhiman’s sex offender registry while I was reading the NutraPro reviews on Amazon. Which led me to the Google search… and voila! Like I said, it took about 15 minutes of research. (You can read about my discovery here.)
Are you telling me that nobody at WAPF knew about the arrest or the conviction that happened nearly a decade ago? I find that very hard to believe.
But even if that were true… now they DO know. And yet they are choosing to look the other way? They are recommending that WAPF members, mostly women and moms, buy nutritional supplements from a convicted pedophile? And we still have zero information about this guy’s company, his sourcing, his manufacturing, etc. etc.?
Yeah… I don’t think so, Sally.
6. Is WAPF Hiding Something? Why No Brand Names?
This is the email I got from Sandrine Love, verbatim:
The results of these tests were presented at Wise Traditions 2015 and also published in the Spring 2016 issue of Wise Traditions. Oil #4 is the Nutra-Pro brand.
What stands out to me here is this: “Oil #4 is the Nutra-Pro brand.” If you look at the chart of test data of cod liver oil in the journal, they don’t list any of the brand names.
I’m very curious, Sally, as to why you did not include the brand names in your published testing data. It’s funny because you said Kaayla’s whistleblower report was invalid because she blacked out the names of the labs. Kaayla defended that, stating that it’s standard procedure.
Yet Sally, you ignored the fact that it’s standard procedure, and you continue to blame Kaayla on your website:
What about all those lab reports in Dr. Daniel’s report?
To be a valid legal document, or to constitute substantiation for a nutrition claim on a food or supplement label, or to be sufficiently credible for WAPF to publish it, a lab report must show the name and address of the lab, the name and contact information of the person requesting the analysis, the date, the name of the product, the type of test used and the name of the person responsible for the test. None of this information is disclosed in the reports that Dr. Daniel has relied on in her report. Therefore, we have no way of evaluating the reliability or relevance of those reports.
But let’s get back to your test results, Sally. Let’s talk about why you listed 5 anonymous cod liver oil brands in your published test results in the journal and do not reveal who they are. Why did you do this?
Why did you not publish the name of the brands? I was able to find the names of 3 of the brands you tested by digging through sub-folders of content on your website… but you only list 3 of the 5 brand names. Why?
Are you hiding something? Or will you tell us which is which and provide all the test data for all 5 brands?
CLIFFHANGER: The fact that Sally/WAPF did not include the brand names in their published test data, and published the test data in such a way that makes it VERY hard to find the facts… I realized something very fishy went on with the way they published the test data.
So fishy, in fact, that it shows that Sally is hiding something very, very big. Something it seems like she doesn’t want us to know.
Was this just an accident? Or did she do it on purpose? I think I know the answer… you’ll find out in my next post.
Postscript: UGH… it feels like I will be writing about the mishaps and Sally and WAPF forever… but the lies just keep getting uncovered and the more I dig, the more I find…
What Cod Liver Oil Do I Recommend?
I know you guys are going to ask. I recommend one brand of cod liver oil: Rosita EVCLO (extra virgin cod liver oil).
Please note: I have recently become an affiliate for Corganic, the company sells Rosita, so if you click that link, I will earn a small amount if you purchase a product. This is the only cod liver oil I will be recommending. (I only promote and recommend products I truly believe in… and affiliate commissions help me continue blogging.)
Oh, and for those who are asking, Rosita will be offering capsules of their cod liver oil here in the United States very soon… hopefully within the next month or so.
I am working on a comprehensive post this week about why I recommend Rosita cod liver oil over the other brands.
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