Amos Miller faces federal charges for private food club

August 31, 2022

Quick links:

Amos Miller’s GoFundMe

Amos Miller’s Give Send Go

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Check here for updates. If Amos goes to jail, I’ll post inmate contact details so you can write/ send money. The GoFundMe’s are doing good

Case updates

Next court proceeding is at 1pm, September 26th, 2022.

United States District Court,
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Holmes Building, 4th Floor
101 Larry Holmes Drive
Easton, PA 18042-7722

View courthouse website

Livestreams and audio broadcasts are banned in US federal courts, though there has been piloting in 2020. I don’t expect to get audio or video clips from these proceedings.

Prosecutors want to add his wife, Rebecca Miller, to the list of defendants because she is a co-owner of Miller’s Organic Farm.

Rundown

The current charges are surrounding Amos Miller’s meats, which he processes on his farm in a facility that is not inspected by the USDA.

Amos rejects the court’s jurisdiction over his farm and private food club because he is Amish. However, he ships raw milk and raw meat, fresh and frozen, nationwide so his case is somewhat high profile.

His argument rejecting the court’s jurisdiction was not accepted in court and he was fined. He has refused to pay the fines, so now federal prosecutors want him imprisoned and his wife to be included in the punishment.

Amos Miller is facing imprisonment for failing to pay $105,065 in fines related to his private food club. Federal prosecutors are seeking a total of $305,065.

From Lancaster Online:

“The United States submits that Mr. Miller’s continuing recalcitrance and flouting of the court’s orders requires a robust, more-coercive civil contempt sanction than previously imposed,” government attorneys wrote in its request filed in late July. “Specifically … the court should order him to be incarcerated until he has paid these sums that are long overdue.”

U.S. District Judge Edward G. Smith scheduled a hearing for Sept. 26 at the federal courthouse in Easton for Miller to show why he should not be jailed.

And the government wants Miller’s wife, Rebecca Miller, added as a defendant in the case because she is a co-owner of Miller’s Organic Farm. That will also be addressed at the hearing.

Private food club

Amos Miller sells his food to members of his private food club. Members of Miller’s Organic Farm sign up and pay a fee to enter, only then can products be ordered through his website.

Becoming a member entails that you have bought a share of the farm. This is supposed to remove your transaction from commerce, and therefore out of commercial jurisdiction, because on paper the products were partially yours to begin with. When you pay, you are paying a service fee and delivery.

This arrangement appeared to keep the heat off Amos for years. This changed in 2016, when his farm was accused of food poisoning and investigated by federal agents because his product was shipped across state lines. Since then they have also pursued Amos for processing meat on his farm.

Current case

Amos Miller is currently standing trial related to his in-house meat processing facilities, not milk related food-borne illness.

Federal prosecutors are complaining that his meat processing is not federally inspected or otherwise regulated.

I’m not aware of any Miller’s Organic Farm members who have complained or even want their private food club to be federally inspected and regulated, I assume many would oppose.

Avoiding regulatory bottlenecks is the reason why this operation is a food club and not a regular farm.

Media attention

Rebel News anchor tweeted about Amos Miller’s case and encouraged people to sign a petition on their website. Tucker Carlson then brought him on to run a segment on Amos.

No raid occurred recently. Miller’s fight has been going on since 2016. There have been inspections conducted by U.S. Marshals, ordered by U.S. District Judge Edward G. Smith, in which Amos has cooperated and no guns were drawn.

The “deep state” in this case is the USDA, whose prosecutors are enabled by legislation that can be changed.

Of course, now we’ve got the Daily Beast’s Qanon expert running articles narrating how dangerous raw milk is and how those involved are unhinged and belong under the boot of the FDA (paraphrased).

Glenn Beck brought Amos Miller onto his podcast to discuss the case. Glenn Beck is an older conservative. He’s not going to go against the dairy industry, so his interview is more skeptical, but he will support civil liberties and he did share the GiveSendGo.

Here’s an article by Conrad Franz via Turley Talks. Amish Farm Raids and the War on Real Food. Thank you for the tag and for spreading the word.

Local news

From Lancaster Online

Lancaster County farmer should be jailed for not paying fines related to food safety, feds say

Embattled Amish farmer’s saga with USDA becomes grist for conservative media

From The Lancaster Patriot

Donations for Amos Miller Pour in As Lawyers Seek a Compromise

Amos Miller Seeks Compromise on Farm Case as Tucker Carlson Takes Up His Struggle

Thoughts

It looks like the only option Miller’s Organic Farm has for continuity beyond this engagement is to pay the fine. If you would like to contribute, here’s a link to Amos Miller’s GoFundMe.

This is not the first, nor is it the only recent case of PMA’s not being respected under the law.

You might be able to fly under the radar locally, but as your farm grows and gains notoriety the federal government will charge you and your business for not complying with USDA regulations.

Either a new and improved model of PMA will be developed, which I don’t see happening, or we are stuck with the task of changing the law to make space for farmers and consumers who want to opt-out of the USDA workflow.

Raw milk legalization has succeeded on the state level, in many states, but the federal government currently leaves no wiggle room for interstate sales. Mark McAfee has been suing the FDA to make them drop their raw butter ban, so there’s hope for raw butter there.

Support the PRIME Act to allow states to set their own meat processing laws.

Links

Lancaster County farmer should be jailed for not paying fines related to food safety, feds say, from Lancaster Online

‘We farmers need to stand together’: Feds take aim at Pennsylvania organic farmer, from the Rebel News

Conservatives Milk Story of Amish Farm Tied to Fatal Listeria Outbreak, from the Daily Beast

Help Amos Miller Save Our Traditional Foods, fundraiser by Amos Miller




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