They intentionally ignored procedure, they intentionally mishandled a testing sample, they intentionally destroyed a quality pet food business.
With great sadness, Rad Cat Pet Food announced yesterday they will be closing their doors. Their business was murdered by FDA and multiple State Department of Agriculture offices.
The death of Rad Cat pet food began with Ohio Department of Agriculture. Ohio notified Rad Cat they had tested the pet food and found it to contain pathogenic bacteria. Law required Ohio Department of Agriculture to provide the company they are testing a “split sample” and “chain of custody” documents. A split sample is significantly important for any business but especially a raw pet food (considering the clear agenda of regulatory authorities to destroy raw pet food). A split sample is the government agency providing the pet food manufacturer with a sample of the exact food they tested. If the split sample tests positive for the manufacturer, no argument – pet food is recalled. But…if the pet food tests negative, further investigation is required. These testing requirement laws are written to protect both the government agency and the pet food business. BUT – these laws are only effective IF the government agency abides by law. Ohio Department of Agriculture outright refused to provide Rad Cat pet food with their split sample and refused to provide any chain of custody documents. First nail in the coffin complete.
The next nail in the coffin came from Colorado Department of Agriculture. It is required by law that pet food samples are handled properly from when they leave the pet food store where purchased to the laboratory where they will be tested (this is part of chain of custody requirements). With a raw pet food, proper chain of custody requires the pet food to remain frozen. But Colorado Department of Agriculture could have cared less about proper chain of custody. The Colorado representative that purchased the Rad Cat pet food from a store, did not place the frozen pet food in a cooler as required by law…no, that didn’t happen. Instead, the Colorado Department of Agriculture representative ignored the cooler he had in his car, and he just sat the pet food in his car, in July. Ignoring all required protocol for sampling a pet food, the Colorado Department of Agriculture representative sent a thawed pet food to a lab for testing for bacteria. No one knows exactly how long that pet food was exposed to the hot summer day before it reached the lab. With absolute certainty, the integrity of the pet food sample was compromised and was NOT appropriate to be tested, nevertheless to be the exact sample used to force a recall.
And Colorado Department of Agriculture’s sloppy enforcement did not stop there. The agency sent Rad Cat an official letter of sample positive notice stating the pet food was purchased “on April 11, 2018”. Nope. The pet food wasn’t even manufactured on April 11, 2018, didn’t ship to distributors until May. Rad Cat pet food has one document from Colorado that states their pet food sample tested positive, and another document that says it tested negative. The Colorado Department of Agriculture deputy lab manager acknowledged on more than one occasion that she made assumptions not based on fact, was given misinformation and her subordinates did not follow SOPs.
Unlike Ohio, Colorado Department of Agriculture did provide Rad Cat with a split sample of the mishandled venison pet food. Rad Cat received their split sample thawed. This exact sample had been frozen, thawed, frozen and thawed again – but it tested negative for any pathogenic bacteria.
Colorado Department of Agriculture’s sloppy testing and recall notification procedures should have been dismissed by all. But that’s not what happened. The last nail in Rad Cat’s coffin. Enter FDA.
FDA was fully aware that Ohio Department of Agriculture did NOT follow required procedure. In fact, FDA told Rad Cat they would not help them when Ohio refused to provide a split sample. This was a lie – FDA certainly could have stepped in and required the split sample to be provided (they just didn’t want to). FDA was fully aware that Colorado Department of Agriculture intentionally mishandled a frozen sample. In fact, when the mishandling of the Rad Cat pet food samples was discussed by the pet food company with FDA, the agency told the pet food: “With the more problems we find, raw food will be accepted until it is no longer accepted. We will do what we need to do to control companies if companies can’t control themselves.”
There it is. The death sentence. “We will do what we need to do…” That’s exactly what happened. Every single enforcement agency did what they needed to do to destroy a quality pet food.
FDA openly admitted to corruption – doing what they have to do to destroy a pet food including ignoring all legal requirements.
But there’s more (to prove FDA, Ohio and Colorado intentionally contaminated this pet food)…
Probably unknown by Rad Cat pet food is a pet owner who was feeding their cat Rad Cat. The cat suddenly got sick, so the pet owner sent 3 samples of pet food to an independent lab for testing. The pet foods she tested was:
Pork: Lot: 63039, Best before date: 09/17/2019
Venison: Lot: 63045, BB: 09/24/2019
Turkey: Lot: 63037, BB: 09/13/2019
And guess what? All three lots of pet food tested negative for any pathogenic bacteria. The exact lot of Venison this pet owner tested, was the lot that Colorado tested, mishandled, and tested (supposedly positive) and the company was forced to recall in July. The lab told this pet owner “We cultured your specimens directly and recovered no bacterial growth of any kind.”
Double standards, selective enforcement.
Consider this – the FDA openly allows all other styles of pet food to utilize “diseased animals and animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter”, a direct violation of federal law. Colorado Department of Agriculture, Ohio Department of Agriculture and every other state Department of Agriculture openly ignores federal law with all other styles of pet food. But with raw pet food, all regulatory authorities ask raw manufacturers to use only “USDA inspected and passed for human consumption” meat.
FDA took NO enforcement action when a Mars Petcare plant was infested with “millions of roaches” for multiple inspections.
FDA took NO enforcement action when an inspection found multiple violations in a Purina Beneful plant. Instead, the agency only “talked with Purina”.
But with raw pet food, multiple regulatory authorities absolutely violate law ‘doing what they have to do’. Only raw.
Double standards and selective enforcement must stop.
I encourage all pet owners – regardless to whether you feed raw pet food or not – to demand equal enforcement of law. If we don’t take action, they will continue their destruction of real pet foods.
Please write your State Department of Agriculture (you can find your state representative email address here: https://www.aafco.org/Regulatory) and write FDA (AskCVM@fda.hhs.gov) and clearly express to them you expect equal enforcement of all pet food laws for all styles of pet food. An example email for you is below.
I want to make you aware of a situation that is evidence to destructive selective enforcement and lack of enforcement of law in pet food.
Pet owners just lost an option of a quality pet food due to sloppy and outright illegal actions by multiple regulatory authorities. Rad Cat pet food was bullied and battered so extensively by multiple regulatory authorities, the company just announced they will no longer be providing consumers a quality pet food.
Clear evidence shows – FDA, Ohio Department of Agriculture and Colorado Department of Agriculture systematically destroyed Rad Cat pet food through violations of sampling procedure. Split samples are not provided, frozen samples are transported without protection of a cooler, frozen samples were received in the lab thawed. Evidence shows that the pet food company testing of the pet food proved negative, and further – independent testing by a pet owner proved the pet food tested negative for any pathogenic bacteria.
But FDA, Ohio Department of Agriculture and Colorado Department of Agriculture ignored all proper procedure and continued their bullying. An FDA official stated to this pet food company – and I quote – “With the more problems we find, raw food will be accepted until it is no longer accepted. We will do what we need to do to control companies if companies can’t control themselves.”
There it is. The entire problem for pet owners…FDA and all pet food regulatory authorities believe they they can ignore and even violate law because they know best what my pet should be eating. Wrong.
FDA and all State Department of Agriculture’s openly and aggressively bully the raw pet food industry while at the same time allowing all other styles of pet food to utilize illegal ingredients such as diseased and non-slaughtered animals. Law is clear – no matter how many times a dead decomposing animal is processed…it still illegal to be included in pet food. Further, FDA, and all State Department of Agriculture’s openly cooperate with AAFCO to prevent public access to the legal definitions of pet food ingredients. These are both direct violations of law.
There are clear pet food double standards and it must end today. I am writing you to ask for consistent regulation of all laws with all styles of pet food. No more picking and choosing what law you’ll enforce and with who. I am writing you to asking for consistent testing of all styles of pet food. I am writing you asking for a response fully explaining (in detail) how you are going to accomplish this. Further, I am asking for public access to all AAFCO pet food ingredient definitions, Freedom of Information rights require this.
I leave you with one question that I would like a response to as well. How does FDA and all State Department of Agriculture expect for any USDA inspected and passed meat to be clean of pathogenic bacteria when YOU allow the livestock animals to consume poop. The 2018 AAFCO Official Publication contains SEVEN processed animal poop feed ingredients. Have you ever considered that the waste YOU allow in animal feed IS the actual cause of the pathogenic bacteria common to raw meat? Perhaps you should. Does FDA and all State Department of Agriculture agencies ever test livestock feed – especially those feed that include up to 50% chicken poop – for pathogenic bacteria? Perhaps you should. You can’t allow livestock animals to consume poop and expect the meat to be clean.
I await your detailed response to my questions.
To Rad Cat Pet Food – I am so sorry you were bullied by those that have no regard for law. I’m so sorry you were abused this way. I have appreciated your honesty and transparency with me through this entire devastating event (Rad Cat has been sharing these incredible violations of law with me for several months). I encourage you to sue them all. They violated law and destroyed your business. They must be held accountable for their reckless and destructive actions. Sue them.
To Pet Owners – please take a very vocal stance on this issue. We must demand that all laws are enforced across all styles of pet food. Even if you don’t feed a raw pet food, bias enforcement of law effects everyone. The next time…it might be your trusted pet food that is murdered by sloppy regulators determined ‘do what they need to do’. The entire animal feed industry needs a dramatic overhaul (seriously – cats/dogs should not be eating decomposing animals and cows should not be eating chicken poop as 50% of their feed). If we don’t speak up, loudly and now – who knows what they will do next. FDA just secretly snuck into an unrelated bill the action to remove pet food safety laws written on the deaths of thousands of animals in 2007. I am very serious…who knows what they will do next.
Before they further destroy the real pet food industry (food, not feed) – please write and call your regulatory authorities.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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