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Amish Farmer Can Return to Selling Raw Meat and Milk After Court Battle


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An Amish farmer is able to sell raw milk and meat again after a US Appeals Court dropped a $300,000 fine against him.

Amos Miller does not use antibacterial chemicals to sterilize his products, which means the USDA considers it “adulterated.”

While the dropped $300,000 fine is being considered a ‘win’ for “food freedom,” Miller still has to pay a $55,000 fine over the next six months.

That’s anything but a win!

The federal government continues its onslaught against freedom in this country.

Food Safety News reported:

Civil imprisonment and $300,000 in fines can likely still be avoided if Amos Miller sticks to the plan outlined in new court documents

Miller and his wife Rebecca were scheduled to be back in federal court on Friday with their new lawyer and maybe a new strategy to avoid imprisonment as a party in a civil case and monetary judgment of more than $300,000.

But the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania at Easton before federal Judge Edward G. Smith has decided that won’t be necessary.

Instead, a “second consent decree” filed by Miller’s new attorney, Robert E. Barnes, and government attorneys working on the case, is the current focus of attention.

It is another attempt to enforce the Court’s permanent injunction against Miller and Miller’s Organic Farm. The 2019 injunction prohibits violations of the federal Meat and Poultry Acts.

The first consent decree was entered on April 26, 2020

The new Court documents now call for Miller to pay $30,000 into the Court’s registry within ten days after the “Second Consent Decree” is signed. It says:

“This sum will be used to reimburse: a) Mr.Lapsley’s fees and expenses to date; b) the U.S. Marshall’s Service’s fees/expenses for accompanying Mr. Lapsley on his March 17, 2022 farm site visit; and c) Mr. Lapsley’s ongoing fees and expenses in reporting on compliance with certain terms of this Second Consent Decree and the Second Contempt Sanctions Order.”

Lapsley is an agriculture expert the Court has assigned to the case.

Another $55,065.72 Miller owes USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for the agency investigative work must be paid in two installments. The first $27,543.86 is due Jan. 15, 2023; and the second payment of $27,543,86 must be turned in at the U.S. Attorney’s office by April 15, 2023.

The Post Millennial provided additional background:

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.


 

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