Amish farmer wins court battle for 'food freedom,' can return to selling raw meat and milk

“The USDA wants to take what was supposed to be an interstate labeling law and use it to regulate what foods you can and cannot put into your own body.”


An Amish farmer is back to be able to sell raw milk and meat after a US Appeals Court dropped a $300,000 fine against him is allowing him to resume selling raw milk meat. Amos Miller does not use antibacterial chemicals to sterilize his products, which means it is considered “adulterated,” by the USDA.

According to Food Safety News, in a deal negotiated by Miller’s lawyer last week, the $300,000 in fines was negotiated down to $55,000 payable over the next six months and Miller’s contempt of court hearing has been canceled, with the case having been put in stay and abeyance, provided that the farmer makes the payments.

Earlier this year, Amos’s farm, located in the Amish village of Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania, which has been operating for nearly 30 years, was raided by armed federal agents who demanded he cease operations for allegedly failing to comply with federal regulations. His claim is that the regulations of the USDA are not actually good for the food he produces. A federal judge ordered the farmer to stop selling his product.

Miller’s spokeswoman Anke Meyn told the Return To Now blog, “The USDA processing plants require the meat to be treated with a chemical cocktail of citric acid, lactic acid and peracetic acid. It’s not citric acid from oranges or lactic acid from sauerkraut. It’s all created in a lab. It’s a synthetic sterilizer that causes many health problems.”

The judge had sentenced Miller to jail for “contempt of court,” a trial for which was due to begin December 16, and was going to shut down his farm if he did not pay in excess of $300,000 in fines. His attorney Robert Barnes said in an interview, “Amos Miller will not be spending Christmas in jail and is no longer facing imminent bankruptcy.”

Miller will also be allowed to sell meat that’s been locked up in his freezers “so his farm can survive economically while a longer-term solution is negotiated.” Miller has customers from all over the US as part of his private food club for his organic meat and dairy products.

“The long-term solution is to enact a ‘custom exception plan’ that allows people to get the food they want, and farmers to make it the way they want, without the government overseeing it,” Barnes said.

“Here you have a case of people saying, ‘I don’t want food the way the USDA wants it,’ and ‘they’re saying nope, you can’t have it that way,'” Barnes said.

Barnes said regarding Miller’s private, farm-share-buying club, "If you’re shopping at Miller’s farm, you’re not doing it by accident. Amos Miller doesn’t sell food to anyone who doesn’t want it exactly how he’s making it.”

“The USDA wants to take what was supposed to be an interstate labeling law and use it to regulate what foods you can and cannot put into your own body," he continued.

“Look at any study of the Amish and you will find by almost any health metric, they are healthier than the people living off USDA-approved food. And the USDA, you know what they think is healthy? Bill Gates’ synthetic corn … his fake beef.”

“This is about the USDA’s attempt to monopolize our food supply, and they targeted an Amish farmer to set the precedent.”

Though the Amish typically eschew publicity, Pennsylvania farmer Amos Miller decided to take on the USDA in the media over the agency's targeting of him and other small organic farmers for the sale of raw milk and meat.


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