An Amish farmer jailed for selling herbs has recently lost his appeal in a case in which he challenged the government’s ability to prosecute him on charges of not cooperating with government officials while he was being investigated for the crime of selling herbal remedies without government permission. My grandfather would have never believed a headline like Amish Farmer Jailed, but times as Bob Dylan said … are a changing.
Girod sold what he described as herbal remedies. He also made the remedies without the governments permission.
He promoted one product named Chickweed Healing Salve saying it may be utilized in treating sore throats, skin ailments, psoriasis, skin cancer, rashes and even poison ivy, according to a court document.
The authorities charged that one of the products Girod sold was a dangerous bloodroot infusion. However, a peer-reviewed study in 2009 suggested bloodroot extracts and infusions have great potential as therapeutic immunomodulators.
A federal court in Missouri barred Girod from operations until he met certain conditions. This included the manufacture and distributing the goods, which allowing the Food and Drug Administration to scrutinize his production facility, according to a court document.
When FDA inspectors did show up in November 2013, Girod and some Amish muscle blocked their entrance.
Girod acted as his own lawyer in the case, fighting with over a dozen charges and asserting since they were “remedies” defined by federal law, that his products weren’t subject to FDA oversight. In addition, he contended that requiring FDA approval infringed on his rights.
Reactions from outside the Federal District Courthouse were angry. Most questioned the actual sentencing of an Amish farmer who simply made and sold some of his herbal products. In a world of catch and release illegal immigrants (many of whom are guilty of murder and rape) the sentencing of a chickweed peddler like Sam Girod seems outrageous.
Jurors rejected his arguments, convicting him on charges that included conspiring to impede the FDA, failing to register his facility with the bureau; threatening a witness to attempt and keep business documents from the grand jury as well as distributing misbranded drugs. (now the remedies are drugs)
The jury ruled that the Girod didn’t have instructions available for use. One of these charges was that he misbranded the goods with the intent to defraud or mislead people.
Girod managed his own appeal, never hearing the saw that he who represents himself in court has a fool for an attorney.
The claims of all Girod were turned off by A three-judge panel of the appeals court.
The panel stated Reeves was right to rule that the products of Girod were drugs under federal law since the decision depends on whether the goods were intended for use.
Girod said the labels weren’t specific because the herbs could be used as a treatments for an assortment of conditions.
The jury found no evidence that Amish farmer was targeted by the government because of his faith to his faith, and the jury instructions were proper, the appeals panel said.
Girod became something of a cause for men and women that became aware of his situation. Over 25,000 have signed a petition asking to have him released from custody.