Radagast Pet Food using crowdfunding to seek investment

On October 15, the maker of Rad Cat raw cat food announced that it was going out of business.

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photo courtesy U.S.F.D.A.
photo courtesy U.S.F.D.A.

Radagast Pet Food’s owners hope to revive the raw pet food company with outside investment, which they are seeking using a crowdfunding platform. On October 15, the maker of Rad Cat raw cat food announced that it was going out of business in a letter to consumers posted on its website, which also asks for outside investment. Now the company’s owners have a Go Fund Me page dedicated to helping Rad Cat come back. As of November 15, the page has raised US$24,268 of its US$1.2 million goal over 28 days, although the founders state that this crowdfunding effort is not intended to raise donations. Instead, Radagast's owners state that the crowdfunding effort comes at the behest of consumers, and that the company is seeking outside investment.

Recalls of Radagast Pet Food raw cat food

In March, Radagast Pet Food of Portland, Oregon, USA recalled one lot of Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Turkey Recipe raw cat food and one lot of Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Chicken raw cat food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration

Then in July, Radagast recalled three lots of Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Chicken Recipe because testing results indicate the raw cat food may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. Radagast also recalled one lot of Rad Cat Raw Diet Pasture-Raised Venison Recipe because testing results indicated it had the potential to be contaminated with Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O121.

That recall was expanded in August to include an additional quantity of Rad Cat Raw Diet across all varieties with Best By dates of 10/19/18 through 12/3/19 because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Reasons for closing of Radagast Pet Food

That recall included 340 lots, according to Radagast, and was a major reason for the demise of the company. The FDA did not force the shutdown contrary to rumors, according to the letter on Radagast’s website.

“The expenses of these events, along with slow reimbursement from insurance, and some distributors who, collectively, over the last few months have withheld hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments (namely Animal Supply Company and Monarch Pet Products), have made it economically impossible for us to continue…,” according to the letter on Radagast’s website.

“Our shut down was pure economics – cash not coming in fast enough. It’s simply fallout from having to recall 340 lots of food in August. And, from money being withheld from insurance and from us having to fight for payments from some distributors.”

FDA and Colorado Department of Agriculture blamed for raw cat food recall

However, in a blog post Radagasts’ founders did accuse the Colorado Department of Agriculture of mishandling the raw cat food sample that led to the August recall. The company’s founders claimed that samples were not maintained at the proper temperatures by the Colorado Department of Agriculture employees and that the FDA condoned this action.

“The CO Dept. of Agriculture abused our sample and tested it anyway and it was used by the FDA to take regulatory action against us,” wrote the founders in a blog post. “We also have them on record saying the FDA knew of the issues with this sample and chose to accept their positive results regardless of how the sample was handled.  What does this mean?  It means the FDA knowingly acknowledges and accepts the results of temperature abused samples to take regulatory action against raw pet food companies. If a pathogen is found in a temperature abused and mishandled sample, it is still considered actionable by the FDA.”

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