Earlier in March 2017, much to supporters’ bewilderment, a jury found Sam Girod of Bath County, Kentucky, guilty on 13 different counts because he failed to register his homemade herbal Chickweed Salve with the FDA , and because he sold it across state lines. On June 30, 2017, Judge Reeves sentenced Sam Girod to six years in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised probation, over $14,000 in fines, plus an additional fine of $1,300 in assessment fees, a sentence harsher than most drug dealers receive, say supporters, regardless of the fact that the salve contains no illegal substances (drugs) and has not injured anyone. Protesters outside the court carried signs saying “Free Sam. No Drugs. No Victims. Where's Justice.” and “I don’t need the FDA to protect me from an Amish farmer.”
Amish Farmer Found Guilty of Mislabeling Products Not Approved by FDA – Faces Up to 48 Years in Prison
A jury found Kentucky Amish farmer Sam Girod guilty last week of breaking FDA laws in mislabeling his home-made herbal salve product. His sentencing hearing will be in June, and he reportedly faces up to 48 years in prison. Sam Girod had no attorney representing him, and in his closing statement he made simple declaratory statements of truth. “There was never an injured party in this case.” “I’m not dealing with drugs. Their testing will show that.” “I did not purposefully or knowingly violate one law. That’s not what I do.” “I changed the labels on different times but I kept getting harassed.” “Most of all, it’s taken some of our freedom away.”
Amish farmer Sam Girod of Owingsville makes 3 products: a chickweed salve, a bloodroot salve and an essential oil blend called Sine Eze. You can find similar products online. In fact, you’ll find the recipes online. You can make these products in your kitchen, it’s not rocket science. A few years ago, the FDA came after Sam for labeling crimes — Sam said his salves could cure certain things and that’s a big FDA no-no. Sam immediately fixed the labels as per FDA demands. But then the FDA fixated on him and just would not let go. I’ve seen this over and over and over again. An alphabet agency gets you in its sights and just will not quit. State agencies are bad enough, but the feds… the feds are especially lawless. There is no accountability in a federal agency, they break their own rules as a matter of course. The first thing of note is that, when it comes to powerful well-funded federal agencies looking to set precedent, the Amish have a special target on their backs. Why? Because they generally don’t use lawyers which makes them easy prey. They don’t use lawyers because the Amish are self-sufficient, they know their constitutional rights and they are a peaceful community. They don’t fight back (unless lives are at stake).