Amish Man Sent to Prison for 6 Year Sentence, Because of FDA Labeling Infraction

Federal Overreach: Amish Man Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Improper FDA Labeling

Making money by selling your off-grid homemade products apparently can land you in prison. Need another example of extreme federal overreach? An Amish farmer in Kentucky got into trouble with the federal government for his herbal remedies. He was sentenced in late June to six years in prison for selling homemade herbal products and then impeding an FDA investigation.
According to Ricochet, the father of a dozen kids sold things:

“… a salve made of chickweed, rosemary, beeswax, and olive oil. The label said it was to treat skin disorders such as “dry skin, cuts, burns, draws, and poison ivy.” Girod also handed out pamphlets touting the product’s effectiveness in treating skin cancer, diaper rash, and fungal infections.”
When a Missouri resident filed a complaint, the state health department demanded he remove the language. Girod changed the product’s name to “Healing Chickweed,” agents said the word “healing” was verboten, so he renamed it “Original Chickweed.”

The Kentucky Amish farmer made his own herbal products, including salves, and sold them to folks in his Bath County community.

What is your reaction? What should the federal government have done?

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21 Responses to "Amish Man Sent to Prison for 6 Year Sentence, Because of FDA Labeling Infraction"

  1. Kate Martin says:

    Here are my thoughts – we must have government oversight in situations like this, period. This man claimed his salve could “treat” skin cancer. If you’ve ever known anyone that’s had cancer or died from cancer there is an amount of desperation that supersedes rational thought and grasping at straws like a comfrey salve that might treat skin cancer is part of an industry that preys on vulnerable folks that will try anything, throwing their money away on snake oil treatments/cures and possibly jeopardizing other family members financial security.

    Six years is a damn long time & it’s that aspect of this situation that should be changed. A monetary fine and probation would have been more appropriate DEPENDING on the exact circumstances. To me, the fact this fella labeled his salve as treating skin cancer throws any sense of naivete on his behalf out the window and a little jail time – couple of months – would have also been an appropriate punishment.

    Don’t ever think that just because a person lives a religiously based, simple lifestyle they are as honest as the furrows they plow are straight. People are people, no matter their lifestyle choices and greed and subterfuge are both something that we are all capable of.

    • Gina says:

      I wish you’d take a second to think how backwards this rationalization was. You think that the government should step in more because people with health conditions are in “desperation” for cures? So sad. There are people I know in Canada who have had cancer and were taken care of straight away…many of them living already 30+ years now cancer free. It’s so sad how people in the United States are conned into thinking this is a death sentence. What we are actually afraid of is that it is a financial death sentence. If our government should monitor anything more in regards to the safety of its people it should be better healthcare access, not imprisonment of a natural medicinal entrepreneur. On top of that the man changed the name to better suit their demands and they still harassed his business.

    • Rob says:

      Kate, did you not read, or could you not understand, that he CHANGED THE LABEL MULTIPLE TIMES to accommodate the FDA? Therefore he willingly complied with their requests and was still charged with a crime. What an idiot you are. The world needs less people like you.

  2. Matt says:

    Nothing, should have let him alone. Law suit time

  3. Tammy says:

    This is such Bull$#!T…..With all of the people who should be in jail, he is not one of them…..they need to find someone more deserving of picking on.

  4. Heidi Piltz says:

    Seems more than extreme. Imprisonment, for something like this? Somebody has it in for the guy, clearly. False claims, okay – a fine would be sufficient, and offer assistance on how to market his product properly.

  5. Connie Lutter says:

    If our government would focus on itself and its own infractions… maybe we could all breathe a little better! Herbal remedies included!

  6. Ohhhdear says:

    Although the Amish believe themselves to be outside the rule of law in the USA, they are not. They take advantage of its protections and like all citizens, must obey the laws too. We no longer live in the days of snake oil remedies with outrageous claims. Mr. Girod could have changed his labels to fulfill the law but refused to do so, and impeded the investigation too (which is probably what got him jailed, actually). Remember Watergate?
    The FDA’s main purpose these days isn’t to ensure pure food or quality, but to investigate and make sure labeling is correct and true.

  7. Chere Holm says:

    I am heart broken fir this man and his family. This is out and out religiosity persecution. On my Bucket list is the opportunity to visit an Amish community, am 66 living in California. I pray the librals judge will reverse this ruling. This is the worst news I have read on Facebook. Thoughts and prayers for all.

  8. Chuckie says:

    F*CK the FDA! They’re simpletons who want a “piece of the action” and want to control others. Any judge who would send a man to prison for such an “infraction” should have his head examined!

  9. Deanna Wells says:

    There are reasons with have these laws to protect all of us. However, something should have been done to help this man.

  10. kat says:

    Did the government give him a list or words that could not be used or just let him continue to ‘hit and miss’ until he found something they’d allow?
    I really don’t think its an offense that requires prison. Now the gov’t gets to pay for his room and board, and if the family has to go on welfare and foods stamps while dad is in prison, just add more to the cost—kinda stupid. (Bet the Amish would never be lazy enough to be dependant on the gov’t though—hard working people)

  11. Jodi Brast says:

    Seriously! This is a good use of our tax dollars? America the free!

  12. Donna Rice says:

    This shit makes me MAD!
    You can’t harvest rainwater(apparently the gifts of sky and sun are NOT free).
    Our great grandparents lived without the government’s overwatch just fine.
    Why CAN’T we take back our heritage?!
    Herbs? Really?
    Next, they’ll try to tax the sunlight you aborb while walking!

  13. Charlotte A. Slayton says:

    What a shame

  14. Page says:

    The Federal Gov should stay out of it!!!

  15. Jae WELLS says:

    Seriously? You all let molesters go free? You let terrorists go free? You let drug traffickers go free based on you didn’t see it happen? You have the nerve to arrest someone on herbs that worked for his family? Every free citizen should have the right to purchase whatever they want to go on their body! Goodbye free man, hello slave.

  16. Marie Leitman says:

    This is stupid. Why jail him for wording and let the big manufacturers get by killing or Injurying people with all these new drugs that are put on the market?

  17. k says:

    You are having an extreme response. Most medicine are made from these products and many products used correctly do very much help. Putting a person in jail for this is very extreme. I’m. Scared to death that the natural products I have used for years will be not allowed, that have helped me much more than most pharmaceutical products I have ever used.

  18. Jodie Brewster says:

    If that is true everyone selling Plexis should be in prison !! They tell you it heals everything

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