With a heavy heart I made the decision on July 4, 2018, to resign from the Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF) Board of Directors where I was Secretary for the past year; on the Honorary Board for several years and a member since 2006. Following is my statement:
Dear Sally and Members of the Board of Directors of the Weston A. Price Foundation:
The purpose of this letter is to submit my resignation as a member of the Board of Directors of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
I joined the WAPF board of directors because I believed in the Weston A. Price Foundation’s mission and wanted to play an active role in decision-making, and contribute my knowledge and background to the activities of the Foundation.
However, I learned soon enough that the “Benevolent Dictator,” as the President of the Board, Sally Fallon Morell, refers to herself, ruled the roost and that science or expertise was of little consequence. Only my agreement was of any value. I found that the Board is a necessary window-dressing to sanction funding of various projects and actions taken by Sally.
Still, as a member of the Board of Directors, I believe that I have a fiduciary responsibility to members of the organization to promote financial transparency, and a moral and ethical responsibility to ensure that products endorsed by the organization are safe and appropriate, and that educational information is accurate and unbiased. Because of the status quo, I cannot fulfill these responsibilities. I cannot in my heart and conscience give unqualified support to a major product promoted by the Foundation, which I do not feel is safe, especially for infants, Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO).
The product is made with raw fish livers, a probiotic, a carbohydrate, and other ingredients, which lie in a vat for several months under the sun, without refrigeration or protection from deterioration. However, there is little transparency surrounding the production of FCLO. A former board member presented laboratory analysis of FLCO based on state of the art methods (nuclear magnetic resonance) from top marine lipid laboratories which showed rancidity, the possibility of added vegetable oils, controversial levels vitamin D to vitamin A, and no vitamin K2 or CoQ10 content (as previously promoted stated on the label). The testing raised the possibility of harm and risk of harm, which should be investigated. However, no discussion was permitted about the issue at the time and the member was removed from the Board. But the elephant is still in the room.
But what is most disturbing is the President’s continued insistence that FCLO be an integral ingredient in the homemade infant formula recipe, despite the possibility that the product may be harmful. However, no discussion on this issue is permitted either. Cod liver oil is not currently regulated or standardized in the United States, and the concentration of both vitamins A and D can vary from batch to batch. Vitamin D has caused hypercalcemia in some infants resulting in serious consequences while other infants have shown hypersensitivity to vitamin D.
In his book and scientific papers, Dr. Weston Price wrote about the adverse effects of cod liver oil on animal models. He advised that a small amount of cod liver oil be used, but always with butter oil which supplied vitamin K2- MK-4. However, in the WAPF infant formula, butter oil is optional.
The Precautionary Principle, a main tenet of bioethics, is based on the Latin “First, do no harm.” At the core of the Principle is the responsibility to anticipate harm and to establish that the action will not result in significant harm, which is especially apt when applied to our most vulnerable of populations, our children.
The Board of Directors Code of Ethics and Confidentiality Policy includes a “duty of loyalty” which requires “supporting and not opposing directly or indirectly or taking any other stance against, the policies and positions duly adopted by the WAPF’s Board of Directors.” Apparently one of the major policies and positions of the WAPF is to defend and promote the use of FCLO unquestioningly. I cannot in good faith uphold this loyalty oath. First do no harm.
Thus I submit my resignation to be effective immediately, July 4, 2018.
Sylvia P. Onusic, PhD, CNS, LDN
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