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There was a time when I thought I would join the Weston A. Price Foundation, as soon as I was able to afford to do so. There was a time when I thought it would be a benefit to my business to do so. There was a time when I thought that the majority of the information coming out of WAPF was credible, and worth supporting. That time has passed, and increasing familiarity with the organization has taught me that my original conclusions were based on a hope which has no foundation in that organization.
The following is an overview of the opinions and conclusions I have drawn in the last three years of circling around the edges of this group, and overhearing the conversations they are having with each other, and reading the things they are publishing, and conducting my own studies regarding the validity of what they claim.
First off, I need to make one thing completely clear:
The work of Weston A. Price is valid. His studies of the diets of indigenous peoples is remarkable, and still very relevant today. His work is not in question. He was a man of integrity and common sense. I am not disparaging his work in any way.
What I am taking issue with, is the use of his name by a foundation which claims to support his principles, while giving every appearance (to me, and many others) of carrying out actions that clearly contradict his published works.
This is not one thing. It is not a single controversy. It is not a judgment made lightly. This is a long train of occurrences that have played out one after another, and a long history of actions on the part of various people involved in the WAPF organization, which are not consistent with the principles of integrity by which I govern my life, and which appear to have been the cause of significant harm to a number of individuals.
The first issue I have is that much of the information published by, and supported by WAPF does not espouse Dr. Price's philosophies - this can be verified by studying his works, and comparing it to what they support on their website. They quote some of his research in their initial published articles on the WAPF website, but from there, they diverge greatly. They have supported the consumption of a product called "Fermented" Cod Liver Oil, which, by all scientific evidence and understanding, is rancid. This is not a product that is in any way historic or traditional in the use that they have assigned it (rancid Cod Liver Oil was used historically only externally on the body, and as a machine oil), and in fact, Dr. Price\'s works do NOT recommend daily consumption of CLO as a routine supplement, but only as a treatment for some illnesses and malnutrition (He also stated strongly that children should not be forced to take it.). They have recommended the use of alcoholic beverages for children (there is sufficient unbiased and conclusive evidence online to verify that home fermented sodas, water kefir, beet kvass, fermented juices, and kombucha are over the legal limit for classification as alcoholic beverages and therefore potentially intoxicating) - a thing that is completely inconsistent with common sense, current law, the advice of all current health professionals, and is in no way based on ANYTHING ever said by Dr. Price. They have supported various new dietary theories which were stated in the studies as being only theoretical, only able to be replicated in a test tube and not within the human body, and which are directly contrary to the evidence of traditional diets as presented by Dr. Price.
The policies which they enforce appear to punish free thinkers and those who speak their conscience. There have been numerous instances where an individual was singled out and shamed publicly by the leadership of WAPF, and criticized and humiliated. There have been multiple controversies where anyone not supporting the official position of WAPF was condemned by the leadership, and publicly shamed. Disagreements with some members of the leadership have resulted in the modern equivalent of shunning. This has been public enough that you can find real evidence to back those assertions, and it has been reported by sufficient individuals who were on the receiving end of it, or who witnessed the receipt of it, that the pattern is well established, and verifiable based on published actions of specific leaders in the organization. THE leaders published the evidence themselves.
This is not only a problem of leadership in the organization, it is a problem with EVERY SINGLE Chapter leader and member who gets behind it and continues to support an organization that would do this to the legs they stand on! And the supporters of this unethical behavior are MANY - The only people willing to speak out about the FCLO controversy with anything CLOSE to the truth, were those who were already ostracized by WAPF.
They give the impression that they sell out for profit. The rules of the organization (in contractual form) are that if you are in a position of leadership, you are not allowed to say anything negative about any sponsor of the organization. Now... this is highly problematic. It means that any business committing fraud need only pay the organization, and they will be backed 100%. Once the money is paid, silence regarding problems of the item is guaranteed. If a leader objects to unethical conduct on the part of a sponsor, the sponsor is apparently never challenged by the organization - their rules FORBID IT! Instead, the leader is reputedly warned to desist or be removed. This pattern is also well established (and ample evidence exists of the enforcement of the rules). The leadership of the organization claims that they do not "profit" from any sponsor, but in fact, the sponsorships are their means of making money, either directly or indirectly.
Without sponsorships, the organization would cease to exist. And sponsors are difficult to find, who will pony up $20k just for a booth at a convention. Published responses to complaints regarding product quality of sponsors have been met with rebuttals that are so thin, and so filled with evasion and verbal slight of hand, that the overall impression to me is that the issues and concerns are known to be valid, but are of no concern to the leadership of WAPF.
The selling out for profit appears to filter down to chapter leaders. Group orders of sponsored products are fairly lucrative. Many bloggers and others have hitched their wagon to the organization, and do not know how to survive in business without the unquestioning floods of members who will buy anything that is recommended as a helpful product by the WAPF or the circle of supporters who will repeat whatever new thing the organization has decided to get behind.
This means that when a controversy erupts, and there is financial motive to continue to support WAPF positions, or WAPF sponsors, a few intrepid voices will say, "Oh, golly! I don't know WHAT to think! Could this be TRUE???", and shortly thereafter, will publish an almost verbatim quote of the official WAPF response, whether it makes sense or not, and that is the last that will be said on the matter. YES I question the integrity of EVERY SINGLE VOICE that has cried out in dismay and then recanted a week later, because they KNOW that the thing they are supporting is not what they are claiming it to be! I question the integrity of EVERY SINGLE NETWORK that has been formed on the coattails of WAPF and which has sought to perpetuate the "nothing negative about our sponsors" rule! It is a deadly poison that corrupts an organization through and through, because it protects producers REGARDLESS of the quality of their product or information. Again, in the recent FCLO controversy, the only people willing to speak out with anything other than the official party line, were people who had NOTHING TO LOSE by doing so! Anyone who still stood to GAIN from supporting deception simply repeated the official response from WAPF, with no further mention of the very real issues.
This means that any information on supplements presented by WAPF is suspect, because good whole foods are always a better source of absorbable nutrients than ANY ANY ANY extracted supplement!!! In fact, this is the position they have always REPUTEDLY taken - that food is better than supplements. But there is less money in recommending healthy food than there is in recommending a supplement, so their actions no longer match their words in this regard.
Personally, I would not trust any information coming from them in regard to any dietary supplement.
Much of WAPF's information is skewed towards selling product (by virtue of their no criticism policy) rather than toward common sense, so where does that leave their recommendations for consuming lactofermented foods?
This is an area where they have quoted half-science in support of lacto-fermented foods as a cure-all. They are not that. They can help in some instances. And they are a better food preservation method than canning for shorter term food preservation. But it isn't magical. It is just another form of healthy food.
What about grass fed beef, butter, pastured chicken, etc?
Recent debacles have called into question the nutrient testing methods used by the lab quoted by WAPF for nutrient levels of these things. But common sense, and testing from other sources, verifies that these foods ARE healthier, and slightly higher in some nutrients.
Common sense also tells us that food that is NOT extracted, refined, robbed, and reassembled into a facsimile of food, is healthier than food that has been processed to death. Common sense tells us that foods that have been relied upon for thousands of years are a better choice than foods that are refined replacements of those foods (can anyone say \"almond milk\"?). Common sense also tells us that there are NO miracle superfoods, but simply foods that, when included in a varied diet, can help us maintain optimal health.
And this is my biggest gripe with WAPF. Dr. Price was a man of eminent common sense. And it is my opinion that WAPF has abandoned common sense, in favor of hawking shady supplements (directly, or indirectly), and in favor of sensationalizing marginal study results which do not relate to actual functions within the human body.
NOTICE: This is an opinion piece. Many names have been left out because they are well known. Others have been left out in order to protect other individuals from petty reprisal. Some searching of the WAPF website, and Googling relevant topics, will back up any claims or suggestions of actual events made in this commentary.
The information on this site is presented for informational purposes only, and consists of the opinions and experiences of the site authors. It is not to be construed as medical advice or to be used to diagnose or treat any illness. Seek the assistance of a medical professional in implementing any nutritional changes with the goal of treating any medical condition. The historical and nutritional information presented here can be verified by a simple web search.