A recent controversy over fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) is leading to yet another foundation dedicated to the work of Weston A. Price, DDS, and Francis M. Pottenger Jr., M.D. Behind the new foundation are Kaayla T. Daniel, Ph.D., a nutritionist who published a report Aug. 23 claiming that Green Pasture (GP) FCLO, endorsed as a “superfood” by the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), was “rancid, putrid, low in fat-soluble vitamins, and is not even made from cod,” and Ron Schmid, N.D., a former naturopathic doctor and owner of the well-trafficked Dr. Ron’s Ultra Pure nutritional supplements website. The new foundation is rising out of the FCLO controversy, and the two say it will be based on democratic governance. Schmid and Daniel plan to birth the Foundation for Ancestral Wisdom Nov. 21 at a conference in Massachusetts. Their invitation letter states that they hope “to bring together the paleo, primal, Weston Price and Francis Pottenger Jr., communities, united by the belief that the writings of Dr. Weston Price form the core (but not the full extent) of the nutritional wisdom we need to live in optimal health. The research and ideas of others who have enlarged and updated nutritional knowledge for the modern world will be encouraged for presentation and open debate.” In one possible reference to WAPF’s relationship with Green Pasture, the invitation notes: “The foundation will under no circumstances officially endorse or promote any individual, product or company in any way, financially or otherwise.” Price and Pottenger have inspired their share of foundations. In addition to the WAPF, there is also the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, which has been around under various names since the early 1970s. The less-political Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation runs on about $400,000 a year. The WAPF, which bounced Daniel from its board after her report on the fermented cod liver oil product, was formed in 1999. It’s best known for taking on just about any opponent of raw milk consumption from the federal government to health organizations and individuals. In addition, the WAPF, with annual revenues approaching $2 million a year, spun off the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund in 2007. Based in Falls Church, VA, the nonprofit legal shop represents farmers in need of defense in raw milk cases and it also pops up in other “food freedom” cases. It operates on about $750,000 a year. What ties together Price, a dentist, and Pottenger, a medical doctor, after they have both been dead for decades? Their followers say that the two are heroes even today for health and nutrition because of their work into the root causes of physical degeneration and decay. One thing that sets the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation apart is that it owns all of the pair’s existing research, writings, studies, and photographs, including copyrights. The Canadian-born Price, who ended up in Cleveland, is known for traveling the world to study the nutrition and dental health of more isolated native people. Pottenger conducted a 10-year study of the effects of diet on cats. Both men are said to have reached similar conclusions about the effect of diet and nutrition on overall health and behavior. The two became acquainted in the 1940s, with Pottenger disseminating Price’s findings. In the years since their deaths, their work has been extensively criticized. Their research methods, for example, are now known to have been flawed. One modern critic of Pottenger simply says that “cats are not people.” The new foundation is being organized just after the WAPF annual conference scheduled for Nov. 13-16 in Anaheim, CA. WAPF is using that meeting to whip its local chapters into line over its cod liver oil recommendations, which is called its “most important superfood.” WAPF has instructed its chapters to remove any negative information about the Green Pasture product from their websites or face possible legal action, and it also held a special meeting in September in order to get Daniel off its board. At least two major WAPF sponsors — Randy Hartnell’s Vital Choice Wild Salmon and Dr. Ron’s nutritional supplements — have pulled their support from the organization’s big annual conference after Daniel’s GP findings. Hartnell said his withdrawal was due to WAFP’s continued backing of GP. Schmid blames the GP product for giving him heart problems, a condition that he says went away when he got off the fermented cod liver oil. Both of their sites have ceased filling orders for the GP product.
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