Making money by selling your off-grid homemade products apparently can land you in prison.
An Amish farmer in Kentucky discovered this the hard way when he was sentenced in late June to six years in prison for selling homemade herbal products and then impeding an FDA investigation.
A federal court determined Amish farmer Samuel Girod mislabeled his herbal home remedies, which were for sinus infections, skin disorders and cancer.
Even though the local sheriff stood in Girod’s corner, the 57-year-old homesteader was convicted on 13 charges.
A petition supporting Girod garnered about 30,000 signatures. A rally in support of the Amish farmer was held outside the Kentucky federal courthouse.
“I don’t need the FDA to protect me from an Amish farmer,” read a sign held by T.J. Roberts, a college student who supported Girod.
“I feel what happened here is an example of judges making the law,” Roberts told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “What the FDA did here is an example of executive overreach in which they are choosing what Americans can put in or on their own bodies. I struggle to find where the victim is in this and where the crime was committed.”
The Kentucky Amish farmer made his own herbal products, including salves, and sold them to folks in his Bath County community.
Court records maintain Girod defied a federal order to stop selling the salves until his business was inspected.
The Amish farmer “brazenly placed the public at risk, openly hampered law enforcement, and intentionally impeded the judicial process,” according to acting U.S. attorney for Eastern Kentucky, Carlton Shier.
Girod represented himself and claimed the court did not have jurisdiction over him.
Supporter Richard Mack of Arizona told the Herald-Leader, “This is a national disgrace and outrage. … He is being punished for being stubborn.”
Sheriff John Snedegar of Bath County wondered why the FDA is “attacking and victimizing such peaceful and law-abiding Americans.”
When FDA agents tried to inspect the business in 2013, Girod and others blocked them.
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